What's going on in the above images? I've discovered a phenomenon called 'shopdropping'. Excerpted below is an explanation from

SHOPDROP: To covertly place merchandise on display in a store.  A form of "culture jamming" s. reverse shoplift, droplift. *As defined by Ryan Watkins-Hughes


is an ongoing project in which I alter the packaging of canned goods

and then shopdrop the items back onto grocery store shelves. I replace

the packaging with labels created using my photographs. The shopdropped

works act as a series of art objects that people can purchase from the

grocery store. Because the barcodes and price tags are left intact

purchasing the cans before they are discovered and removed is possible.

In one instance the shopdropped cans were even restocked to a new aisle

based on the barcode information.

Well, what if branding and packaging designers used the shopdropping method to more practical ends? We always want to know in advance: how do consumers react to more artistic, risk-taking packaging? Brands are scared to break away from the sameness, but taking some

risks with design can be a very powerful way to impact sales. I think shopdropping as a research method (for those without focus-groups and big market research budgets) can make a lot of sense. Armed with video footage of consumer reactions to shopdropped product, a designer can make the  case for that riskier, but stronger design.

I realize the concept might be flawed, because how can you really measure the reaction. Either way, it's better than working in a vacuum and I think it could be a fun learning experience.

Can grocery staples be beautiful, so much that people will want to buy them and leave them on the kitchen counter? It's possible, and it's a new year. No time like now to take a chance and help brands make the changes they've always (secretly) wanted to make.

In-DepthYael Miller