Design Sprint, UI/UX, Rapid Prototyping
Pasta Mancini, a humble company producing a disruptive quality product from their own ancient wheat, wants to elevate pasta to same class of consumer awareness and attention as wine, tea, and coffee.
Already a staple pasta provider for 3 Michelin Star chefs in Italy, Massimo Mancini, the company's charismatic founder and spokesman, is looking to find the right foothold in entering the US market. They asked us, with the help of Jake Knapp and Italia Innovation, to tackle this challenge in a week-long design sprint in Verona.
Mancini's factory is nestled amongst vast, stretching fields. When we arrived after a 5 hour drive from northern Italy, we were mesmerized by the dappled fields of sunflowers that are used as cover crop as part of Mancini's Buona Pratica Agricola.
The highlight of the trip was listening to Massimo's story and vision, to create a market where consumers would gladly accept a high-end 7 euro pasta and to one day sell pasta in New York.
Through subsequent conversation we took as many notes as we could about Mancini's business model, brand philosophy, and the US & Italian pasta ecosystem.
MAP & SKETCH
On day one of the sprint, we mapped out the problem space along with the customer journey, ultimately choosing to tackle the Pasta Mancini discovery experience for chefs.
Pasta Mancini should reflect the quality of their brand not just in their pasta, but in their interactions with chefs.
Chefs need to not only engage with the product, but the Mancini story: the founder's vision, the immaculate grain, the bronze die/low temperature process.
We prototyped an pop-up dinner with courses that showcase the ancient Turanicum wheat at every stage of the production process.
Alongside Massimo, the courses themselves flavor the story of Mancini quality from wheat berry, to flour, to pasta, highlighting the unique position Mancini wields by being both farmer and producer.
Testing this concept with local chefs and the folks at Italia Innovation, we garnered some feedback to incorporate into the next iteration:
1. Mobile invitation process was thorough and felt exclusive, however a more personal reach-out is required
2. Chefs appreciated tasting the process/story (instead of simply hearing it)
3. Chefs are excited to discover Turanicum wheat when it’s being presented by a peer
Clearly there is more work to be done on this concept, but in 4 short days we had a solid and bold direction in positioning the Mancini brand in the States.
With Antonio, Huachao, Morgan, Fernanda, Jake and Italia Innovation