Service Design: Team British Tofu & Farmhouse Delivery

For the past eight weeks, Team British Tofu has been diligently working alongside Farmhouse Delivery to more fully understand their service and how it could be improved.

Two key issues we found were that:

1) Farmhouse Delivery does not communicate to the customer what quality “real food” looks like — customers expect perfect, waxy produce that they see at the grocery store, and when produce looks less than perfect, they are disappointed.

2) Customers find it difficult to cook all their produce. Customers feel guilty about the resulting wasted food and money.

From these two breakdowns, we prototyped an “ugly produce” card, which would inform clients why their “real” produce might look a little different than what they normally see in the grocery store; and a cooking poster, which would help customers cook with ease, and help eliminate food waste.

We picked these two for the following reasons:

  • Limited impact/work needed by Farmhouse Delivery to integrate
  • Illustrator and paper were accessible tools and materials to create these ideas
  • It would have a high impact on the customer

The “Ugly Produce” Card: Prototype & Results

For the card, we reached out to Farmhouse and asked if there were any issues with the produce that week. The CEO quickly replied, saying the broccoli was purple, which was caused by cold damage. She said that she was concerned that customers would not understand that the quality was just as high as green broccoli, it simply looked different.

With this, we designed the copy for the card. We strived to create something that was informative yet still pushing the idea of “this food is okay to eat!”. We had so carefully crafted this copy, but when we brought it to the client asking if the literature was okay to use, they completely changed the feel of the card. Unfortunately we had to change our copy to accommodate the client and the time restraints we were working under. This experience of pushing back with the client was interesting, but something that require a lot of skill that we still need to refine.

Once printed, we placed the card in 22 bins and called customers to see if these cards made an impact. While some got value out of the card, the majority of those we contacted didn’t even see it. One customer said “I didn’t get purple broccoli, so I guess it doesn’t matter?” 

As we reflected on the feedback, we realized we had made some assumptions. For example, we assumed, since Farmhouse already regularly placed recipe cards in the bins, that a paper card would be the best information delivery mechanism. However, during our customer calls, we realized that customers actually have lives outside veggie delivery. Go figure.

Taking into account that customers still need education around their produce, we recommend that Farmhouse deliver this information via text. A quick photo and message will prepare customers for what to expect, and the text will broaden customers’ understanding of fragility of local farming.

Broccoli Text

The Cooking Poster: Prototype & Results

We worked with Farmhouse to develop simple cooking instructions to help customers cook any veggie in their bin. While there are many methods, we narrowed down the cooking options to saute and roast.

We also provided spice recommendations to help customers make their veggies even tastier.

We placed these posters in 22 bins and called customers to gather feedback the next day. Many of the customers said they “already knew this information.” One also remarked that size of the poster was too large — she was remodeling her kitchen and just didn’t have space for it.

While a cooking aid may not have been the most valuable, we also heard from multiple customers that they kept receiving produce they didn’t want and didn’t receive the veggies they really wanted. From this feedback, we realized that, more so than underdeveloped cooking skills, a lack of personalization was the true reason why customers did not use their full bushel.

To enable customization, we suggest that Farmhouse Delivery allow customers to indicate unlimited produce “super likes” and “dislikes.” As of now, customers can only choose three dislikes, and have no way of communicating what they really want.

Farmhouse Website Dislikes Farmhouse Website SUPER LIKES

The Customer Feedback Card

Lastly, through these most recent conversations with customers, we realized that there is no regular customer feedback mechanism. We suggest that Farmhouse include “customer feedback” cards in every bushel. These cards would allow customers to easily change their order size or frequency, and also communicate any issues or desires.

Change Bushel Card

Next Steps

We will be meeting with the CEO to discuss our findings and present our suggestions for the company’s future.

To see our full findings, prototypes, and process, please see our Design Brief here.