Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Customer-designed food

A number of food companies (Haagen-Dazs, Stonyfield Farm) now have customers choose their new flavors. What's next? Design your own breakfast cereal?

Well, actually, yes. It hasn't hit this country yet, but a German website called MyMuesli.com lets you customize your mix of grains, nuts and dried fruit that are the components of muesli. Not to tease you, since we can't do it yet in this country, but some of the options for a customized muesli include 5-grain flakes, mango and Brazil nuts (and, inexplicably, gummi bears).

So MyMuesli isn't available yet, but there seems to be some momentum in the area of customized, made-to-order food. For example, a little mom-and-pop (actually mom-and-son) company called YouBar makes customized nutrition bars. For $40 (plus shipping) you get a dozen bars that you design yourself on their website.

And then there are personalized M&Ms. Not food, of course, but still part of the trend. For $48, you get four 7-ounce bags of M&Ms printed with two different messages of your own design. Or, if you only want to order specific colors, it's $24 for 4 bags.

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