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Redesign the supermarket layout based on food miles... UPDATED

(Initial concept is below) ** Update** Since building upon this concept through some intense brainstorming with everyone at the OpenIDEO workshop in Brisbane, this concept has developed into 'The Super Challenge: An Australian Event', which (as shown in the diagram below) is a multimedia extravaganza to bring Aussie supermarkets (in a positive light) into a public forum through the media to engage in the conversation: what does the supermarket of the future look like? How can the supermarket support local food production? Pairing up supermarket retailers with designers, this event would be held in a public space or art space, in which the future supermarket would be brainstormed/designed/prototyped during a live event. This event would be filmed by Australian TV and developed into a documentary/reality show, and would also include an iphone app & web platform as well.

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Initial Concept:

Starting from 1 kilometre at the entry to the supermarket, food will be arranged according to food miles. The further your food comes from, the further into the supermarket you have to walk. Therefore, the most local food will be in the most seen & visible places, instead of the current junk food and specials being close to the checkouts. Make this system highly visible, with signage showing kilometres & place names too so that people can physically walk through the locations their food comes from - from local, to state, to national, to international.

Given the large size of Australia, the signage system could also incorporate maps so that people understand geographically where their food comes from. This type of system would encourage people to rethink their priorities in terms of local vs imported food consumption, and allow shoppers easy and highly visible access to this information.

Concept builds

What actions would need to be taken to turn this idea into a reality?

1. Partnership with supermarket chain 2. Map the location of existing products stocked against food miles 3. Also map the supermarket shelf space against rent price per shelf (to be able to relocate the locally produced food to the most valuable shelf space) 3. Plan a new store layout which is based on the principle of food miles, and takes into account the problems as mentioned below in the comments section. These issues could be addressed by re-planning within each section of the supermarket (eg. Dairy in the refrigerator section/Pastas etc) based on food miles. 4. Devise a holistic signage system which works as an educational tool and a wayfinding tool to navigate the customers around the supermarket. This would incorporate information including food kilometres, maps, information about the producer etc. **Update** Key partnerships with supermarket retailers need to be formed first, then designers, then the idea needs to be pitched at the Australian media

Who might make a good partner for this project?

Supermarket chains (Coles/Woolworths/IGA), local designers, Australian media

What suggestions would you have for potential sources of funding for the development of this project?

This programme would require pilot funding from government or local food organisations and growers **Update** Australian media

Virtual team

Everyone who has commented, all delegates at OpenIDEO workshop Brisbane

Evaluation results

11 evaluations so far

1. How effectively do you think that this concept reconnects food consumers and producers?

It would reconnect food consumers and producers strongly - 27.3%

It would somewhat reconnect food consumers and producers  - 36.4%

It would not significantly reconnect food consumers and producers  - 36.4%

2. How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This concept can be scaled across many communities  - 36.4%

This concept will take a fair bit of work to build and scale - 36.4%

This concept is not particularly scalable  - 27.3%

3. How quickly could this concept be impactful? 

This concept could happen today - 0%

This concept could happen soon with some work - 81.8%

I struggle to see this happening in a reasonable timeframe - 18.2%

4. How original is this concept?

This concept is extremely original - 63.6%

This concept has some original aspects - 36.4%

This concept already exists - 0%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

This concept rocked my world – it’s brilliant - 45.5%

I liked this concept but preferred others - 27.3%

This concept didn’t get me overly excited - 27.3%


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