Weak signals are trends which are tiny, hiding in small subcultures or social groups, which on the face of it seem downright odd when first explained. (But then again, there’s a famous futures quote from James Dator which says that “”Any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous.”) Is there a signal about the future hiding in the concept of word free food?
The concept is on a charming and modest website called tiny movement, and takes the form of a pledge to eat word free food for a month – provided a number of others also sign up. (They have). So what does ‘word free food’ involve? Well, eating food which doesn’t have any words on it, as the FAQ explains:
So, what does ‘food without words on it’ mean?
Going into a supermarket and buying food that has packaging with writing on it. Like Tesco value milk chocolate, ready-meal Chicken Tikka Masala with rice, bottles of Coke, Pilsbury Doughboy Oven Bake? Cinnamon Swirls…
It might mean a lot more vegetables, tap water, draught beer, going to the butcher, restaurant meals, fresh bread and milk in glass bottles.
What about milk?
You can get it delivered in glass bottles:
Or buy it at the Co-op and some corner shops.
Or you could buy a cow. Or a goat.
In other words – a weak signal about (over) packaged food and drink, and maybe also about branding as well.