THE PROJECT BACKGROUND
This project was presented to our group in a DSEL (Design Sandbox for Engaged Learning) course called Farm to Market. We were put into groups of teams with people within different disciplines. Each group was partnered with a local Bozeman farmer. We worked with Three Hearts Farms. The end goal of this project was to create a value added product for these farms using their excess crops that they currently just compost back into the soil.
JOSH HEALY (Sustainable Foods), BEN FULLER (Business Marketing), & SARAH TUMA (Designer)
After working through lots of different unique ideas our team settled with a dried soup. Since our farm is located within a community that takes every advantage to get outside, this idea made sense. We saw a need for a healthy, local, instant soup mix that could be taken in a backpack for any outdoor adventure. Three Hearts Farms is already working on dehydrating excess vegetables, herbs, and spices so they are super enthusiastic about this idea. We named our product, “Three Hearts Bowls”.
Our soup ‘flavor’ per say is based off of each seasons excess produce. With that in mind we wanted to convey to the consumer the flavor is “Summer Harvest Veggie Soup”. This allows for there to be a consistent vegetables, however there is some room to play. While talking to Three Hearts Farms, we learned they especially had excess zucchini, carrots, kale, corn, and peppers. These were the base of our soup. We added a spice mix and israeli couscous to make the soup heartier.
THE PERKS & AUDIENCE
While our product is healthy & hearty, it is also local, dairy free, and vegetarian. Our target audience for this product is young professionals on the go. As well as hunters, skiers & snowboarders, hikers, backpackers, and much more. The Bozeman community is so supportive of our local farmers, ranchers, and businesses. We have seen these farmer’s products start to trickle in to the local grocery stores as well. We see this product being sold at farmers markets, local groceries stores and Co-ops, and outdoor industry retailers such as REI and Roundhouse.
We held a few focus groups to test out our product. After lots of positive feedback, we learned that not everyone likes semi spicy soups. Some like it super hot to warm you right up, some like little to no spice at all. We played with the idea of having three different spice levels, however it was decided that we would start with one soup with little spice, thus allowing the consumer to add more if they so desired.
THE LOGO & PACKAGING
The logo for Three Hearts Bowls was inspired by a sprig of cilantro, an herb commonly found at Three Hearts Farm. We wanted it to feel organic, home-cooked, yet marketable. The end goal was to have a bowl, the consumer could be intrigued to pick up, look at, and purchase. It is a meal they would continually come back for more.
To start this product off, we would sell in bulk to eliminate the cost of packaging. However, once this product gains popularity, we have concepted an idea for packaging. It was important to our farmer for our packaging to be easily recyclable or compostable. This bowl we have found composts in 90 days. It is hearty to hold with the heat and also has a lower center of gravity so that it does not tip over easily. The bowl also is not filled to the top, making it easily transportable from a microwave or hot water station. This packaging concept would not work well going into the backcountry, but would serve those at the local ski mountain or work place well.
Our Farmer was so excited about this realistic solution to their excess produce. They are currently looking at ways they can put Three Hearts Bowls into production. Keep your eyes pealed around Bozeman in the future!