Is your family’s addiction to mobile bigger than an Ace Bakery breadblox?

Who: Ace Bakery and Mosaic North America.

What: The “breadblox,” a contemporary take on the breadbox designed to help consumers disconnect from their mobile device at dinnertime.

Made from glossy white polymer with bamboo accents, the breadblox possesses signal-blocking technology that ensures users won’t be able to hear notifications during family time. It can house up to seven “uninvited guests” (ie: phones).

When & Where: The breadblox is being sold for $39.95 and is available exclusively at The product sold out its first run of 50 within five days, and there is currently a wait-list for the next batch.

Why: Because we’re obsessed with our phones, of course. According to a 2016 research study from Dscout, the typical mobile user touches their device 2,617 times a day, while so-called “extreme” users touch their device more than 5,400 times.

Ace Bakery parent Weston Foods says that the breadblox is a reflection of its commitment to creating richer moments in consumers’ lives, a positioning it introduced earlier this year with its “Break for Great Bread” campaign (below).

“[W]e continue to hear that consumers are busy and time-starved,” said Nicole Pekerman, head of marketing at Weston Foods. “They feel pulled into multiple directions daily and while they value setting aside quality time, they know it requires commitment.”

The Ace-branded breadblox is a great example of brands and their creative partners coming up with ways to connect with consumers in evocative ways that go way beyond advertising. Nobody really needs to lock their mobile phone in a box at dinnertime, but everyone gets the idea.

How: In addition to promoting the breadblox via social posts, Ace has also enlisted author Catherine Price as the spokesperson for the initiative. Price is the author of How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-day Plan to Take Back Your Life.

“I’ve spent the past few years researching our habits — and yes, addictions — when it comes to our phones,” said Price. “The more I’ve learned, the more concerned I’ve become about the impact that our devices are having on our ability to relate to one another in real life. I think that breadblox is a creative solution to an increasingly urgent need. It’s not just a physical tool; it’s also a conversation starter.” 

And we quote: “It’s no longer enough to put our phones on silent or flip them over to block out distractions. In fact just having a phone within sight causes us to not be present for the moments that matter.” —Rachel Leung, senior brand Manager at Weston Foods.

Chris Powell