More and more Canadians are phoning it in at dinnertime, and Ace Bakery has come up with a solution.
The Weston Foods brand has introduced the “breadblox,” a breadbox-sized unit capable of housing up to seven “uninvited guests” (ie: phones) during dinner. The device uses signal-blocking technology so people can’t hear their notifications and be tempted to reach for their phone, which Ace hopes will lead to people being more present during dinner.
The breadblox grew out of Ace Bakery’s “Break for great bread” campaign from earlier this year, says Rachel Leung, senior brand manager at Weston Foods. It was developed by Ace’s agency partner Mosaic North America and the fabricator Wondermakr.
“We wanted to find a way to naturally extend our Ace Bakery purpose, to help create richer moments in consumers’ lives through a physical, real-world activation,” says Leung. “We want people to understand that Ace Bakery isn’t just great bread, we stand for something more powerful.”
The breadblox is being sold for $39.95 at AceBreadblox.com. Ace Bakery sold out the initial run of 50 within five days, while a waitlist for the next batch has already amassed dozens of names.
The breadblox is addressing what Leung says is a common problem: people unable to stop reaching for their mobile device during dinner. “The more research we did, the more we realized that it’s no longer enough to put our phones on silent or flip them over,” says Leung. “Just having them within sight causes us to not be present for the moments that matter.”
According to U.S. research from Dscout, the typical mobile user touches their device 2,167 times a day, while “extreme” users touch their device more than 5,400 times.
Ace Bakery has also enlisted author Catherine Price as a spokesperson for the breadblox. Price is the author of How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life.