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Cereal Foods World, Vol. 63, No. 6
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/CFW-63-6-0245
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Design Thinking for Food: An Overview and Potential Application for Grains
Lauren Shimek1
Food.Tech.Design, San Ramon, CA, U.S.A.

1 CEO/Founder of Food.Tech.Design, San Ramon, CA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Food Science, University of California, Davis, CA. Tel: +1.650.714.5011; E-mail: lauren@foodtechdesign.com


Design thinking is an established, human-centered innovation process that brings together multidisciplinary teams to solve complex challenges, using the lenses of desirability (people), feasibility (technology), and viability (business). More recently this collaborative process has been applied to food and beverage product development, as well as food system challenges. The design thinking innovation process utilizes four phases to create breakthrough ideas: insight and inspiration, synthesis and strategy, design and iteration, and storytelling and communication. This process is particularly well suited for food and beverage solutions, including cereals and grains, because of its focus on understanding the changing needs and desires of consumers, as well as key stakeholders and customers, and its primary objective to design solutions to meet those needs. Design thinking challenges the concept of traditional food prototyping with a build-to-think, rough and rapid prototyping methodology and places a strong emphasis on human-centered storytelling, for all team members, to help people connect with and adopt new ideas.

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  1. Glass, I. Ira Glass on storytelling. Available online at www.thisamericanlife.org/extras/ira-glass-on-storytelling. This American Life, August 18, 2009.
  2. Kolko, J. Design thinking comes of age. Harvard Bus. Rev. September:66, 2015.