Modular systems are smart. They allow you to tailor a product, change it around and swap in and out individual components according to your individual want. It's customisation controlled by you. Think Lego, IKEA furniture or Dell computers.
Elsa Lambinet, applied the idea of modular experimentation to chocolate for her 2011 graduation design project. She collaborated with Swiss chocolatier Blondel to create this beautiful concept of customisable confectionery from interchangeable components.
Called “Sweet Play,” the project uses three types of chocolate and a range of toppings and fillings: dark chocolate has a platform for fruit, milk chocolate features indentations for nuts, and the white chocolate can hold liquids. All three have slots for receiving fillings such as wafers, nougat, and caramel. “Participants get to mix and match ingredients for hours and hours as they gorge themselves on custom confectionery goodness,” writes Lambinet. Its Wonka for grown-ups. See video here.
Last year, U.K. candy buisness, The Natural Confectionery Company, went modular with jelly sweets. In June 2011, they launched Guzzle Puzzle sweets, a DIY mix and match flavour exploration in a unique jelly form. The candies come in five flavours - lime, cinnamon, banana, orange, and raspberry - but in certain combinations they create three additional flavours: cola, bubblegum, and pink lemonade.
Whilst aimed at young consumers, the brand language was deliberately not so childish as to alienate the older audience. We all have our own 'inner child' and confectionery is naturally the platform to expose this.
But who can forget Jelly Belly, the pioneers of confectionery flavour modulation? With a massively loyal following, Jelly Belly consistently challenges its consumers to come up with new 'recipes' from individual sweet combinations, and then showcases them on their website. With 50 official flavours in the range the possibilities are almost endless.
Whilst 'modular' in confectionery is fitting for a category which is all about fun and exploration we believe that there is scope for modulation in food beyond confectionery. Watch this space...