Described as a "celebration of a fruit's perfect design," the
Smithsonian blog, Designer
Decoded, has a seven-part article on the Cutie - a
seedless, easily peelable mandarin designed specifically to be
kid-friendly. We're not talking about genetic modification,
rather a design and marketing approach almost as intense as what
created the iPhone, As the blog says:
"While more obviously designed objects are constantly examined
to better understand how they've achieved market dominance, we
rarely consider the sequence of intentional decisions that push one
agricultural product into our shopping basket instead of
Over the next month, we'll map that process. We'll look
at decades of experimentation in plant genetics geared toward
improving the user interface of the mandarin; the novelty of
marketing fresh fruits and vegetables; the rise, fall, and comeback
of graphic design in the produce aisle; and growers' ongoing battle
to keep bees from trespassing and pollinating their seedless crops.
Nature may be the original designer, but much human ingenuity is
responsible for optimizing the mandarin."
The success of Cuties to-date bears testimony to how well the
process worked. Welcome to the future.