The Ubservatory Blog pondering the universe of food, design, and creativity

How to Medal in Social Media

JoEllen Davis

In preparation for the Olympic games in Rio, the IOC debuted a list of social media rules that have had brands both laughing and scrambling to participate in one of the year’s biggest social media phenomenons a “legal” way. The rules, which are exceedingly detailed, do not allow brands to: use the word Olympic, mention{...}

Pro Bowler

Julia Rancone

Don’t let the title mislead you, I’m not talking about frames and strikes, but about people assembling and eating meals in a bowl. Yes, people eat their food in bowls every day – cereal, soup, ice cream to name a few – but this trend purposefully leverages bowl specific properties and forgets the plate altogether.{...}

Neutral Territory – the new kids and gender

JoEllen M. Davis

Two years ago as my husband and I prepared to become parents we made the decision not to find out the sex of our baby despite many opportunities to know. We went ahead with baby prep regardless of who might show up in our arms, taking a gender neutral view. We fashioned a room, buying{...}

Close up view of notebook planner with dates and colorful markings.

Take note! Analog planners and bullet journals

JoEllen M. Davis

The new year is the perfect time to get organized, hang up your new “LOLZ Cats” calendar and get everyone in your household in sync. But here in 2016 there are calendars, and planners and then there are PLANNERS. In 2015 we noticed a strong movement towards analog planners and journals that kept growing in{...}

Jerky…No Longer Dude Food

Julia Rancone

What do you get when consumer demand for high-protein snacks crosses paths with the desire for cleaner ingredient decks? You get a premium jerky craze, resulting in the fastest-growing category of the estimated $2 billion U.S. meat snacks category (source).{...}

Between the Lines of Adult Coloring

Julia Rancone

How do you decompress after a long day? Aromatherapy? Yoga? How about raiding a kid’s crayon box and coloring? The notion of adult coloring books has been picking up interest for about a year and signals a shift (or, maybe a hard right) towards adult playtime.{...}

Trash to table image of carrots with multiple stems.

Trash to Table

Julia Rancone

If you’re searching for the latest food trend, maybe it’s time you do a little dumpster diving? Food waste has people rethinking what’s acceptable to eat. Before you say eew try and dispel images of moldy fruit and insect-riddled vegetables.{...}