Knorr unveils 'Supercube' for fussy eaters

With a campaign by Weber Shandwick, Supercube aims to transform the 'bitter' taste of broccoli disliked by some into something more flavoursome

By Creative Salon

Knorr, Unilever’s largest nutrition brand, has unveiled a new concept product, the Supercube, made for a quarter of the population who are born with gene TAS 2R38. This makes certain vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach and cabbage taste especially bitter.

Whilst we all know someone who has struggled to eat their greens, most of us don’t know about the “supertaster” gene that might be responsible. Consequently, those born with this gene are often unfairly labelled as “fussy” or “picky” eaters.

“We wanted to help this significant portion of the population enjoy healthy vegetables. So, we found a new role for a household staple – the stock cube. This is a product that usually adds flavour. We believe The Supercube is the first stock cube made to actually reduce certain flavours – and the very first food product made specifically for supertasters and their families.” said James Nester, Executive Creative Director EMEA at Weber Shandwick whose own 11-year supertaster son also struggles to eat his greens.

“The Supercube is solving a real problem faced by a quarter of the population,” said Dr. Alessia Ermacora, who led the R&D process at Knorr. “It works by activating different taste receptors to change your perception of bitter flavours. Each of the natural ingredients work in combination to have a series of ‘micro effects’ on the way you experience bitter flavours.”

Sweden was selected as an initial test market, where Weber Shandwick conducted a study for a deeper understanding of life with gene TAS2R38. This revealed 73% of participants were unaware of having the gene. The study also found that 77% of Swedish supertasters experience stigma regardless of life stage, as a direct result of their sensitivity. So, one of the aims of the campaign is to also remove a bitter taste from society, by raising awareness of “supertasters”, which is a much healthier label than stigmatising phrases such as “picky” or “fussy eaters”.

Teams across The Weber Shandwick Collection in Germany, Sweden and the UK then developed the assets and activations to promote the new Supercube. These include a social film showing Swedish supertasters enjoying the foods they normally hate, made in partnership with Swedish filmmakers, Tally Ho.

To raise further awareness, influencers were sent supertaster taste test kits to see if they or their families had the supertaster gene. The public could request their own test kits via the campaign page. Stocks of the tests ran out within two weeks, with over 35,000 test strips sent out across Sweden.

After more testing, the Supercube was made available to wider public via a pop-up restaurant in central Stockholm, featuring the first ever menu dedicated to supertasters – an event that was promptly booked out. Reviews from the nation’s supertasters were positive.

“This is not only a potential new product – it represents an entirely new market segment that the food industry should cater better for. It’s a way to help make the good stuff irresistible for a quarter of the population,” Added Niek De Rooij, Global Masterbrand Director at Knorr.

If demand is high, Knorr hopes to bring the Supercube to market in 2025.


Weber Shandwick (Strategy, Idea, and Activation)

James Nester, Executive Creative Director EMEA | Concept & Creative Direction

Julia Götz, Vice President, Strategic Planning | Strategy & Research Lead

Joanna Prichard, EVP, Managing Director | Client Partner Lead

Ella Stork, Associate | Local Activation Lead

Jonathan Gustafsson, Junior Associate | Project Manager

Victor Grundén, Manager, Client Experience | Media Relations, Sweden

Arén Ester, Associate, Digital (Influencer) | Influencer Relations

Renée Lorenius, VP, Integrated Production | Producer

Peer Lebrecht, Senior Art Director | Design

Vanessa Bisky, Art Director | Design

Samantha Russell Stracey, Senior Project Manager | Project Manager

Sebastien Tieke, Director, Analytics | Analytics

James Clothier, Executive Vice President | Media Relations Lead

Kerry Norman, Senior Account Manager | Media Relations

Olivia Rickets, Junior Associate | Media Relations

Emily Coyle, Account Director | Media Relations

Tally ho (Film Production)

Nils Toftenow, Director | Director

Olle Toftenow, Director | Producer

Mullen Lowe (Campaign Counsel)

Alan Bell, Chief Integration Officer | Campaign Counsel

Carlos Rodrigues, Global Creative Director | Campaign Counsel

Knorr, Unilever (Client)

Nicky Neerscholten, Global Head of Digital & Masterbrand

Frederieke Koopman, Global Knorr Masterbrand Manager

Felix Sjolinder, Nordic Brand Manager

Alessia Ermacora, Global R&D Program Leader & Product Owner

Sandhya Forselius, Communications & Corporate Affairs

Magnus Rydberg, Chef, Unilever Food Solutions

Niek de Rooij, Global Masterbrand Director


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