Do it yourself

The frugal and self-reliant mind-set of the recession still prevails amongst consumers, who increasingly seek ways to create from scratch and combine products that meet their own needs – acquiring new skills and knowledge along the way

How is this sub-trend evolving?

How it was

Paring back to manage financially, including learning skills from the older generation

In the UK Waitrose has added offal to its ‘Forgotten Cuts’ range of meats as a flavourful and affordable staple from the past.

How it is

Creativity in finding your own solutions to problems – both a strategy for economising and a leisure pursuit. A mindset of frugality and thriftiness prevails following the recession, but what was once seen as paring back and sacrificing certain things is now an enjoyable challenge for consumers, who value learning old skills which are very new to them.

In the midst of the busy and tech-driven Manhattan island is the Natural Gourmet Institute, who are now offering DIY butchery courses, for busy urban-dwellers who want to fully engage with and learn about meat in all its forms.

How it will be

DIY as an essential way to reconnect with lost skills, flex creativity and make new social connections.

Farm to Table in Brazil allows a group to re-connect with food and nature by becoming ‘farmers’ for the day – harvesting their own food from an organic farm

In-market examples from around the world

WhatYou paint, we pour. This popular Shanghai event morphs cocktail bars into art galleries and vice versa, as guests socialise, drink and create artwork and cocktails together – consuming their cocktail creations and taking away their DIY artwork at the end of a productive night!
Why: Tapping into people’s desire to be curators and creators of their own entertainment, YpWp combines classic social pleasures with creativity and collaboration – a winning formula.
What: Repair Cafes give people a meeting place where they can bring broken items to be repaired for free in an informal, social, collaborative setting. The café provides the tools and materials, and users have a go (with the guidance of expert volunteers) at fixing their belongings!
Why: Looking for ways to cut down waste, as well as upcycle their own belongings, people are looking for solutions that empower them to do better and do more. These cafes provide people with all the tools they need, including human expert knowledge, all in a comfortable and educational setting.
What: Raw Living sell fruit, vegetables, herbs, and importantly seeds that allow and encourage people to eat better and more consciously, and to take control of their diets.
Why: The packaging and communications of Raw Living are what make the idea interesting. Existing brands for growing your own vegetable garden don’t appeal to the younger generations, but the clean and easy to navigate comms around Raw Living make Millennials see DIY as “cooler and more accessible” (Johannesburg Streetscaper)
WhatOoooby in New Zealand connects farmers with consumers directly ensuring that they receive fair reward for their contribution to the process.
Why: A significant opportunity for food and drinks brands lies in becoming a facilitator of these tangible consumer-producer connections and value creation -whether through platform or product, helping consumers feel more sense of choice and reassurance around how they shop for food.
What: The German breakfast cereals start-up lets you choose the ingredients of your muesli from a list of 80 online, then delivers to your home, and is one of the most successful and publicly quoted newcomers in the German food market.
Why: Personalisation and health-consciousness meet in MyMuesli’s offer, where consumers a re reassured by the organic certification of the ingredients, and exciting by creating their own unique breakfast blend.
What: The Skip Garden is a portable vegetable garden made up of interlocking skips and beds that can be removed and reconfigured. It is currently based at King’s Cross, a busy central London location.
Why: In the middle of a hectic urban space, The Skip Garden is an oasis where visitors can plant, prune and get right back to nature. A small café even sells produce grown there.
What: ‘The Whisky Blender’ is a UK website that allows customers to create, personalise and bottle their own liquor.
Why: Upon entering the site, the customer is invited to build her/his blend in The Lab. The customer can then choose their packaging and name their bottle with a personalised label.
What: Family Beer is Barcelona’s first 100% DIY beer brewer’s supply shop, selling equipment for brewing beer at home.
Why: Home brewing has become more than a niche trend in Barcelona as consumers look for different, new and premium drink tastes and flavours that they make themselves.