CASE STUDY  |  SPOTIFY KITCHEN COMPANION FOR ZATARAIN'S
PROBLEM
Outside of New Orleans, Zatarain's is just another boxed dinner on the shelf.
SPARK
Zatarain's comes from a legacy where cooking is the event and eating is the celebration.
OUTCOME
A smart Spotify playlist that integrates cooking instructions with New Orleans music.
BACKGROUND
Zatarain's has been central to the New Orleans tradition of gathering around big pot food since it was established in 1889. Although they're the authority on Cajun flavors, they're getting lost in the sauce.
STRATEGY
When our team cooked Zatarain's together, somebody turned on "Big Chief" by Professor Longhair, and we realized just how inseparable the sounds of the New Orleans are from its food. We aimed to make this experience accessible from the bag itself.
OUTCOME
We repurposed Spotify's behind the music Genius feature to incorporate the voices of New Orleans chefs and historians who guide people through recipes. For the Spotify kitchen companion, Jambalaya or Red Beans & Rice are treated as the story behind the music.
Open Spotify, scan the code on the bag, and a playlist designed for each meal will open.
Next, cards accompanied by audio tracks walkthrough the basic recipe you would find on the box.
Throughout the playlist, culinary experts chime in to offer tips and tricks, and more cultural context about Cajun food.
It's more than a playlist for a boxed dinner — music doubles as a dinner bell and cultural experience.
SCALABILITY
Zatarain's was purchased by McCormick's in 2003. In fact, the early 2000s saw a lot of ethnic food going mainstream through similar acquisitions. In the process, so many brands have lost connection with their roots. Our aim was to restore Zatarain's in a way that would attract new customers without alienating existing consumers. In addition to our packaging redesign, we developed the Spotify Kitchen Companion to bring people back into the world of Zatarain's. The result is not just a playlist for a boxed dinner. For Zatarain's, the new Spotify Kitchen Companion served as a hands-free assistant, punctuated by the sounds of New Orleans. As McCormick's stocks soar, they may be open to taking new risks. Our approach could be scalable across many other McCormick's brands.
MY ROLE
Strategy
UI Prototyping
Interaction Design

TOOLS
Keynote
Photoshop
Sketch

AREAS OF INTEREST
Consumer Product Revitalization
Product Design

COLLABORATORS
Eliza Hadjis, Strategist
Clayton Notestine, Copywriter
Mike Rodriguez, Art Director
Jenn Root, Creative Brand Manager
Aaron Wacchstock, Experience Designer
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