Helping Bizerba bring tech to the produce department

We love when a client comes to Design Central and asks, “What if…?” Bizerba, a leading provider of weighing and slicing technologies, approached us with this question: What if a self-service scale could be modern, multi-functional and uniquely integrated into the retail grocery environment? So we helped them ideate and strategize the next generation of self-service produce weighing equipment. The process led to the freestanding MC II 500 Pro, a Red Dot Design award-winning scale now found in Whole Foods and Meijer stores nationwide. Weighing your produce (or bulk food items) has never been this fun, easy—and, yes, tech-friendly.

  • Bizerba
  • Commercial
  • Strategy
  • Research
  • Product Design
  • User Experience

Objective: Ideate possibilities for a modern self-service food scale with a stand-alone design and unique tech capabilities.

Research lays groundwork for collaborative brainstorming

What happens when you place round produce on a flat scale? What are the pain points or roadblocks that might prevent you from making a purchase when weighing your bulk foods? And what new features might make these experiences memorable? Our team took to the grocery store to understand the environment for self-service scales. We analyzed the competitive landscape online. We also created a format for dissecting what the client knew about the current market. Armed with knowledge, we brought key players from Bizerba into one room. Together, we sparked conversation around how they could innovate, brainstormed ideas, and sketched in real time to generate excitement and get a feel for initial design concepts.

Design meets needs of user—and much more

We were conceiving something that really didn’t exist before—a sophisticated scale made for the average user, as opposed to one made for a trained professional behind a deli or bakery counter. Each detail needed to reflect our deep-rooted understanding of user experience. That’s where the bowl-shaped tray comes in, to keep items from rolling off. After weighing, the scale generates a label so the consumer can get the actual price before checkout, speeding the process up for them and the store. The color touch screen offers promotional videos and clear information about products, and it can communicate with inventory databases, offering valuable insight on stock and waste. These features and more helped the client push the self-service scale experience into the digital sphere.