In a more commercial project for the duo, which recently created a ‘whisky tornado’ with scientists at King’s College London and worked with phone brand Sony Xperia to create ‘the world’s most expensive jelly’ in the form of a robot last summer, the Heinz collaboration aims to create ‘the ideal sensory environment’ in which to eat the beans.
The ‘environment’ takes the shape of a bowl and spoon kit that aims to engage with all five senses. When not in use, these can be displayed in a bespoke Heinz-branded case, also designed by Bompas & Parr.
The stunt comprised the creation of a different ‘experience’ for each of the five flavours in the range – which includes Curry, Cheddar Cheese, Barbecue, Garlic & Herbs and Fiery Chilli.
Each is inspired by the ‘look, feel and taste of the different beans’, says Bompas & Parr. The Cheddar Cheese variant’s bowl, for instance, is formed from around 1.2kg of yellow wax, ‘based on the form, texture and colour of a traditional round of cheese’, according to Heinz; while the bulb-shaped Garlic & Herbs bowls were hand-assembled using 96 layers of 750 micron thick card, aiming to reference the ‘papery’ exterior layers of a garlic bulb.
As well as creating bowls, Bompas & Parr also designed a ‘musical spoon’ for each variant. These are fitted with an MP3 player loaded with specially composed soundtracks that can only be heard when the spoon is in the consumer’s mouth. When munching on the Curry variant, users will hear a composition based on Punjabi Bhangra music; while the Fiery Chilli flavour will be ‘enhanced’ by ‘up-tempo Latin samba’, we’re told.
Sam Bompas, Bompas & Parr co-founder, says, ‘Harry Parr has synesthesia and is using this alongside his architectural training to project himself (intellectually if not physically) into the Heinz Beanz Flavour Experience.’
He adds, ‘The project is geared to get people to look again at what is on the end of their spoons. As they eat their Beanz they can wonder at the world of flavours that contributes to everyday culinary sensation.’
While the beans themselves retail at a not-unreasonable 84p for a 390g can, the limited-edition promotional pieces will be sold for the more hefty sum of £57, available exclusively through London department store Fortnum & Mason, which first stocked Heinz baked-beans in 1886.