Chocolit is a sustainable solution to combine taste and play together to create a delightful daily life. Our target users are millennials, who are busy pivoting around their work, unable to spend time with themselves. We proposed bringing the idea of a surprise to our users because human brains find unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones. We also chose to provide chocolate in the box as something that is certain to the users because surprise works efficiently with certainty. In each box of the Chocolit, users will get a block in a random puzzle pattern that was selected from a collection of 12. Users could collect and play with the abstract puzzle bricks while enjoying chocolate. The toy is designed to play in multiple ways. They could create abstract sceneries, play simple stacking games, and complete the whole puzzle.
The chocolate is packed with its own shell. There are 430,000 tons of cocoa shells waste created per year. From our research, we found that cocoa husk, mixing with banana peel or coffee, could be made into food-safe and compostable bioplastic. Cocoa plastic could satisfy the requirements of chocolate packaging. Thus, we chose cocoa plastic as the material of the toys and the primary packaging. And use cocoa paper for the secondary packaging. We chose dark chocolate, banana, and coffee as the flavors of our chocolate for two reasons: 1. Shade-grown cocoa is a planting method that grows cocoa trees with banana trees and coffee trees together to provide shading that is needed by cocoa trees. This method has a positive effect on soil fertility and makes the farm environment more resilient to changes in weather. 2. Dark chocolate has a better impact on health.
To better understand the topic, we did a detailed Life Cycle Analysis of our benchmarking brand, Kinder, researching every step in their manufacturing process and the impacts of those processes. With the help of the Okala Score Tool (a sustainability impact assessment tool developed by Philip White, Louise St. Pierre, and Steve Belletire), we calculated the environmental impact and the carbon footprint impact scores as the baseline of our sustainable design. We used the same method to generate scores for the design of Chocolit, which turned out to be half of the impact compared to Kinder's Okala Score. It means our design significantly reduced carbon footprint and environmental impact on the world.
During our design process, we had several guests visit from the California Center for Algae Biotechnology - Center for Renewable Materials at the University of California San Diego, talking about bioplastics and new materials. We learned about how they manipulate bioplastics in their labs. From there we looked for scholarly papers about bioplastics and found cocoa husk, banana peel, and coffee waste-based bioplastics for our product's puzzle pieces as well as packaging.
To better design a playful experience, we prototyped our ideas in Gravity Sketch (a VR platform) for faster iteration and a hands-on design process. With the help of the VR design tools, we successfully came up with multiple solutions answering the question of "how to make it playful". We then printed the ideas out with a 3D printer and had multiple users testing the difficulties and playfulness of our designs of the puzzles. We collected feedback about scale, difficulty, and experience satisfaction, which was used to help us in our iteration phases.