How to take advantage of the use of oil? Nutrition and design join forces at INFINITIA to create innovative new products

Imagine we are talking about cooking oil, a widely used product with a long tradition in Spain. How can we improve its use and the user experience, before and after consumption? How will INFINITIA and its technology intervene in this process?

It seems difficult that areas of Food Technology and Strategic Design work together and complement each other. The truth is that, with the union of the two disciplines, more valuable results can be achieved. This is something that Cristina Franco, UX design consultant at INFINITIA, confirms, and a statement that Elena Díaz, nutritionist and food technology consultant, also agrees with: “By joining forces, the value increases exponentially. The magic is that the two areas come together and we are able to validate what is behind the technology”.

When we talk about improvements, Javier Sanz, our CEO, refers to the “impact of the environment, the life cycle and the user”. And he adds that “it is essential to analyse the value chain to create new business opportunities“.

However, when focusing on each area… From the market and user side, we start by exploring the possible needs and habits in the environment of use and what happens after use to try to “provide innovative solutions, help users, contribute to the environment and extend the life cycle”, according to Cristina Franco. In addition, as Sanz reminded us, business opportunities must be detected. For example, in which regions or in which part of the process of use we would have the greatest possibility of applying the new product, based on the needs expressed by the consumer.

For this reason, the first step is to carry out a market study of the products that already exist around oil and an analysis of the whole experience of the users during their contact with this food. What habits and perceptions do they have? In this line, we have to take into account the culture that exists in Spain with regard to oil, which is different from that of other countries. So, we analyse the possibilities, the size of the market we could have and we investigate the users to detect problems, needs, how open or interested they are in applying something new to this concept… “All this has to be applied to the country, but also transferred to the rest of Europe and see how the different solutions fit better in each place, and what value users are looking for depending on their habits and customs depending on the place”, Cristina Franco points out.

“In Spain, olive oil is the most consumed product, and it is reused. In other countries there may be a refusal to do so for health reasons, for example,” says Sanz. “In terms of uses and possible solutions, there is a change because the user is different”, says Cristina Franco. Hence the importance of analysing each type of user we want to address, with their needs, desires and problems, but without remaining abstract ideas. We have to make something tangible, validate it. This is where the Strategic Design team comes in.

Our objectives are clear. To identify the most optimal way to take advantage and get the most out of the oil through different technologies analysed, while designing a solution that allows users to have a better user experience throughout their contact with the product. “In both cases, we have to do a screening of technologies where we look at the positives and negatives of the technologies and evaluate them against each other,” says Díaz.

Synergies and feedback between different areas is the essence of INFINITIA. So, if you are thinking of developing a product, don’t know how to do it or lack specialised information, contact us. We will be happy to help you.