League of Meals: weeknotes #5 - getting closer to social and business ROI
Posted on 18th June 2012 by Johanna Kollmann -
It's been a while since the last League of Meals weeknotes, and a lot has happened!
Food Revolution Day, "multi-variant flyers" and newsletter
On the occasion of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day, League of Meals got together with the People's Kitchen at Passing Clouds and the Best Before Project to organise a community event at St Mary's Secret Garden.
Eating outside in the garden. We couldn't have hoped for better weather!
We cooked, we socialised, we ate!
It was interesting to see our 'pioneers' cook with volunteers from other groups, and the event was a great success, with more than 80 people stopping by. We used it as an opportunity to learn more about people's cooking habits through conversations, and by launching a survey that we also shared online. We had built up a lot of assumptions about how often people cook, how they plan their meals, and how the number of people you cook for affects this. The survey not only returned interesting data (some of my assumptions were certainly wrong), but also helped us find people for the next round of customer development interviews. We simply put "Thank you very much! If you would be up for a 15-minute interview about your cooking habits, please leave us your email address" at the end of the survey.
As Lane Halley puts it: "Surveys are good for screening leads, not gathering insight."
We also started publishing a weekly newsletter to test what content people are most interested in (thank you MailChimp analytics), and keep the engagement going. At the event, we handed out a flyer about League of Meals, and cards with food ideas. Each had a different way to sign up to our newsletter, so we could see which generated more signups. "Multi-variant flyers". Small efforts like that will help you learn!
A pivot towards a business model we're excited about
It has been fascinating to see some our cooking session participants (including ourselves!) change, become more adventurous, more confident, and more familiar with spices and vegetables they hadn't come across before. People who said that they 'can't do much' are now making amazing dishes, and are embracing experimentation - it's ok to risk something unusual, it will get eaten, and we learn from and get inspired by our mistakes.
The 'social return of investment' we are aiming for:
- improve eating habits
- encourage creativity & learning
- reduce household food waste
- digital inclusion
- social inclusion
How can we turn all of our learnings into a sustainable business that is different to what's out there already? We jotted lots of ideas down on index cards, sorted them to understand how they were related, and used the business model canvas to think our top three concepts through in more detail.
Step 1: Ideastorming via modified KJ method. Step 2: elaborate prioritised ideas via a business model canvas.
We decided on one of them, which we pitched at the Independence Matters programme event. The feedback from investors was useful, and we know what information we need to bring to future conversations.
I won't give away what the concept is exactly, but I believe we have found a way to take the experience we've created offline, scale it, and make it digitally accessible to a wider audience.
We need to nail which elements of the proposition matter most to the customers we have in mind and validate the value proposition through more qualitative interviews, while developing the product further. Our riskiest assumptions are about food content production and the sourcing and delivery of the physical products involved. For this, we need to talk to a food business person, and ideally a chef with teaching experience. If that is you, or if you know anybody who we should talk to, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.