Rounded Music Note (Black).png

Spotify Meal Mix

A partnership between Spotify and HelloFresh that pairs curated music playlists with meals

 My Role: Ideation, UX/UI Design, Visual Design, Branding, Prototyping, Testing


The Mission

Pick and underserved audience by Spotify. Suggest how they could improve their offering to this group.

The Opportunity

Apply the idea of using music to "stay in the zone" to another task.

Leverage Spotify's expansive music platform to provide a unique experience for users.

The Idea

What if Spotify could curate a selection of music to pair with a meal to help people stay more engaged while preparing their meals? 

Spotify Meal Mix

A partnership between Spotify and HelloFresh that pairs meals with music playlists that are uniquely curated for each subscriber and their tastebuds.

Core Features of Spotify Meal Mix:

  • Curated Music Playlists

  • Signature Artist Playlists

  • Sharing Playlists

The Situation

You're not just in the kitchen, you're in the zone!

The Ideal Match

A Partnership Made in the Kitchen

Spotify Meal Mix is a partnership between Spotify and HelloFresh that encourages you to stay in the zone while cooking by activating all of your senses.

Spotify Meal Mix takes your unique music preferences and matches those with the flow of a meal to create custom music playlists to accompany you while you cook.

Why HelloFresh?

HelloFresh is a popular meal service provider that encourages its subscribers to not just be in the kitchen, but be in the zone.

How Spotify Meal Mix Works

Crafting the perfect playlist


Enabling Spotify Meal Mix

Existing Spotify & HelloFresh Subscribers

For existing Spotify and HelloFresh subscribers, linking your two accounts is simple.

  1. Open the HelloFresh App

  2. Navigate to the Settings Tab

  3. Toggle the "Connect to Spotify" Switch

  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to enable the Meal Mix integration in the Spotify App

  5. Select your weekly meals as normal

  6. Jam Out!

New HelloFresh or Spotify Subscribers

Subscribe to either Spotify or HelloFresh individually. When creating your HelloFresh account you will be prompted to link your Spotify account with your HelloFresh account (if applicable)​ to enable Spotify Meal Mix.

Note: Enabling Meal Mix must be done in the HelloFresh application.

Playlist and Meal Curation

Selecting Your Meals

Your HelloFresh meals are selected normally according to your selected plan. Once your HelloFresh meal box arrives, you will notice that the meal cards have a slight change them.


At the top of the card, you will notice a Spotify Code. Spotify Codes are special QR codes that can be scanned in the Spotify App to open the meal playlist. This code can be found on the back and the front sides of the meal card. 

Scan the code in the Spotify App to start jamming out to your curated mix!

Regular – Front (V3).png
Back (V2).png

Signature Artist Playlists

Now, there are new meal types on the block! Certain meals are now Signature Artist Playlists. These meals are a combination of an artists favorite meal and their favorite meals (don't worry your preferences still get added into the mix). Listen to your favorite artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, and many more.

Signature Artist Playlists are marked with an all new black version of the regular HelloFresh meal cards.


Playlist Creation

Crafting the Perfect Playlist

Meal Mix Playlists are created in realtime. Once the Spotify Code on the meal card is scanned, your perfect playlist is created. This ensures that the best and newest music is always available for your cooking session.

The Perfect Playlist Recipe

Each Spotify Meal Mix Playlist is created by combining:

  • Your Music Preferences

  • Predetermined Meal Flow

  • Artists Preferences (if a Signature Artist Meal is selected)

Extended Playlist Duration

Each playlist is designed to be longer than the actual meal cook time so that you will have music to last you while you cook, while you eat, and even while you clean up afterwards.

Meal Mix Phone.png

Additional Features

Playlist Review

To ensure that playlists are matching your unique tastes. After each meal, complete a quick review to give us feedback on the playlist.

Sharing is Caring

Since each playlist is tied to a specific Spotify Code, now you can share your favorite recipe and your favorite music with the budding chef or audiophile in your life!

Rounded Music Note.png
Design Process - transparent.png


Research, research, and more research

To understand the best way to tackle our mission, we set out to understand the problem space more by figuring out


  • What is Spotify as Brand?

  • What makes a user underserved?

  • When do people listen to music?

  • What would make a Spotify user underserved?

We found the answers to these questions by researching, asking questions to various Spotify users, and sending our surveys on music habits.

Also, since neither my teammate or I were Spotify subscribers, we each downloaded the app and started using the program to further understand the ins and outs of Spotify.

Key Findings

  • Spotify as a brand is exciting and believes that music should accompany people throughout the day. Also have a high desire to partner with other platforms to achieve this goal (view example).

  • Users can be underserved by access, content, and much more

  • People generally listened to music when they wanted to stay focused, to tune out their surroundings, or to feel a certain mood.



Running in The Wrong Direction

With this, we decided that to Spotify an underserved user is someone that is not utilizing their Spotify subscription to listen to music throughout their entire day.

In deciding this, we ventured out leverage Spotify's expansive music catalog to help people focus during their workouts.

However, we soon realized that the fitness market was entirely oversaturated with offerings. In addition to this, we learned that Spotify already had a fitness offering, Spotify Running, that had been discontinued (may it rest in peace). Figuring that Spotify would rather partner with existing fitness platforms such and Nike Training Club, we decided to head in a new direction.

press to zoom
press to zoom

Keep Calm, and Stay in the Zone

Seeing a nugget in the fact that music can be used to as a method to help people stay in the zone and maximize their results, we sought to find another application of this discovery.

With a new direction (and a very intense brainstorming session), we landed on the idea of using music to keep people in the zone while they prepared their meals.

To further explore this idea, we surveyed people on their cooking habits and if cooking to curated playlists would be something they would utilize.

Creating the Personas

The personas were created to match two of the core themes that we noticed in our survey and by talking to people. The first is that some people are apprehensive about cooking and try to find ways to ease their nerves.Usually, these people were apprehensive because they do not have as much cooking experience, or are new to cooking for themselves. The other is that some people enjoy cooking and look forward to this time of the day. These people are empowered by cooking and love every bit of the cooking experience (even cleaning the dishes 🙃).

When creating this concept, we wanted to keep both of these two types of people in mind to further discover how Spotify could help them become more immersed in the cooking experience.

Persona #1 Journey Map Copy.png

Searching For the Perfect Partner

Having realize that Spotify has an affinity for partnering with other brands, we wanted to find a company that aligned nicely with that of Spotify's. We found this partner in HelloFresh. HelloFresh is a popular meal service provider that understands that not everyone is a chef, but everyone can be a chef with their easy to prepare meals.

Insider Tip: I actually subscribed to HelloFresh (I also fell in love with HelloFresh)


Working Within Two Brands

By having both Spotify and HelloFresh to work with, we wanted to incorporate both design systems into the designs of Spotify Meal Mix so that neither would take away from the others platform. In having deliverables that were already created (ie the Spotify App and HelloFresh Meal Cards and Packaging). We wanted to integrate Meal Mix in a way that would not be intrusive to current users schemas on how these to platforms operated.

We first noticed areas on HelloFresh's packaging where the Spotify Codes could live that would not detract from the core design.Suspecting that the Spotify Codes feature may not be known to most users, we tested this theory to ensure that the code scanning was a easily discoverable task.

We tested each iteration of the new meal card by giving random people the card and asking them to "open the playlist". Through testing we were able to arrive at the final version of the meal card which includes more iconography, the Spotify Code on the front of the card, and the code on the back of the card.

Front of Meal Card

Back of Meal Card



Regular – Front (V3).png

Version One

Back (Vesion One).png
Front (V1).png

Version Two

Back (V2).png
Regular – Front (V3).png

Version Three

Live Cooking with Spotify

After creating the deliverables, we knew that we wanted to test our Meal Mix idea to find out if music would actually enhance the cooking experience and if our approach could help achieve this goal. To do so, we set up a mock cooking trial.

The trial included all of the makings of a HelloFresh Box, including ingredients to make a meal and our new meal cards (with a curated playlist included). We invited three guests to my apartment, gave them a scenario, and had them actually cook a meal in front of us.

Testing this way, gave us the necessary insights on how music actually made the cooking experience enjoyable for the people tested.

Insider Tip: The recipe used in the trial was Cauliflower Mac N Cheese. After the trial, we had Mac N Cheese to last us the entire week! Get The Recipe


Dear Diary...

Working with a brand to create a new extension of the brand was an exhilarating process. It was interesting to understand a brand fully in order to deliver a great experience to their audience.

Working with Spotify was fun as well because it gave me a chance to work with music (which I love) in order to help others have a better experience.

My Role

I collaborated with my teammate on researching and creating the strategy and concept, and testing for Spotify Meal Mix. Individually, I worked on the UI/UX of the review process, the UI/UX for connecting the two accounts, the UI/UX meal cards, and the visual design of the deliverables. 

Tools Used:

Sketch, Illustrator, Photoshop,  Invision

The Team (All Experience Designers)

Jimmy Krahe and Jeremy Stokes (that's me!)

Rounded Music Note.png