Convenience stores – and, most recently, drugstores – are the latest retail category to undergo a reinvention. We highlight an innovative concept that’s the result of an unusual partnership between France’s Casino Group and beauty giant L'Oréal: a new urban take on the convenience store.
Le Drugstore Parisien stocks everything from beauty and pharmacy products to healthy snacks and treats. It also provides free wi-fi, phone-charging points, water fountains, shoe-shine machines, parcel pick-up points, sinks and dressing tables, and even a “light therapy area”.
The target market of the new retail concept is the urban young, for whom “the lines between work, culture and fun are being blurred, creating a new way of living”, according to Jean Paul Mochet, chief executive of convenience banners at the Casino Group. Around 55% of products are priced at under €10.
The first two stores opened in late June in Paris on rue de la Chaussee d’Antin (360 sq m) and rue du Bac (150 sq m). A third is planned for the city, with a view to roll out the concept to other European locations and possibly even Brazil and Colombia, where Casino Group has subsidiaries.
Jean-Charles Naouri, chairman of Casino Group, hailed the launch as proof “that major companies are able to come together to invent and create unique, original places in line with contemporary lifestyles”.
From extreme colour to unisex make-up, the 2018 edition of annual cosmetics and packaging trade show MakeUp in Paris (June 21-22) highlighted strong beauty directions, with brands and formulators prioritising sustainability with sex appeal.
Here are the top five trends from the show:
Virtual reality (VR) is plunging consumers into multisensory environments, impacting industries from product development to entertainment. Now, Swiss scent and flavour house Givaudan has added scent to the equation with its new 'Smell-In-A-Box' technology.
Launching at San Francisco conference Food IT in June 2018, Givaudan has created a smell emitter that releases fragrances that align with visuals projected through a VR headset. The version showcased at the event placed wearers in a virtual kitchen, with the scent emitter releasing the smells of different ingredients as they appeared within the space. These included bananas, strawberries, onions and garlic.
This technology, which has scope for cross-industry impact, is exciting for several reasons. In terms of food and drink, it further validates thinking around VR-enhanced dining experiences and product development first put forward in our report Sensory Edibles. It could also be used in the entertainment space – allowing gamers and film viewers to become even more fully immersed in virtual worlds via the addition of olfactory stimulation.
For further examples of how product developers are using scent to enhance the consumer experience, see New Fragrance Worlds and Scented Cup Simulates Flavour. See also Tribeca Immersive 2018: The Art of AR/VR and CES 2018 x Retail: Emotion-Tracking VR Headset to discover more on the rapid and evolving growth of VR products across the industry spectrum.
Following the opening of Lush’s packaging-free store in Milan, the brand has pledged to further develop its eco-friendly range with an inclusive twist.
British naturals brand Lush is expanding its make-up line with vegan multi-tonal foundation sticks – set to launch in 18 countries. The compact Slap Sticks are available in 40 hues with cool, neutral or warm undertones. Hero ingredients Indonesian coconut oil, Turkish rose wax and Peruvian jojoba oil hydrate and brighten the skin.
The development of shade-inclusive collections is becoming the norm for the colour cosmetics industry, as savvy beauty brands acknowledge diverse consumer groups. Cult US companies ColourPop and CoverGirl are good examples – both have recently relaunched their foundation ranges with up to 42 hues.
In a bid to reduce plastic waste, each Slap Stick is housed in a biodegradable wax casing, encouraging wearers to forego traditional glass or plastic foundation bottles. This ‘unpackaged’ approach has been successfully implemented within the brand’s hair and bodycare ranges – currently, over 35% of Lush’s products are ‘naked’.
In addition, the sticks offer on-the-go usability. The easy-grip egg shape of the foundation stick – which resembles a make-up sponge – ensures consumers can apply the make-up with their fingers and blend the formula for an airbrushed finish, without the use of bulky applicator tools.
While currently a limited-edition run, if popular, they could be rolled out as a permanent feature, and inspire the brand to explore more packaging-free product development in other categories.
Convenience stores across the globe are undergoing a healthy transformation, becoming wellness havens that offer fresh, organic food and vegan alternatives. A new West Coast opening – The Goods Mart in Los Angeles – combines sustainability with activism.
Described as the ‘7-Eleven of the future’, organic home essentials are the key product at The Goods Mart – a convenience store that opened in May 2018 in Los Angeles.
The bright space with clean interiors carries 300 all-natural products free from artificial colours, sweeteners, flavours and growth hormones. Partnerships with local businesses result in high-quality items at lower prices, including eco-friendly boxed water for $1.25, and misshapen fruit and vegetables for 50 cents. iPads at the checkout educate consumers on the provenance of products, responding to concerns about transparency in retail.
This is a smart business opportunity, with 68% of US millennials willing to pay premium for organic food (Matchbox, 2017). “The fresh, organic and plant-based movement is not a fad by any means,” says Laura Swain, assistant editor of Food, Beverage & Hospitality at Stylus. “It’s a major trend.”
The Goods Mart also dedicates space to community events and donates food nearing its expiry date to the homeless. Consumers are also encouraged to support local charities by leaving tips at the till.
Serving as a test store, The Goods Mart plans to expand nationally in 2019.
Now in its seventh year, Korea’s K-Design Awards celebrate the best in spatial, industrial and communication design. We share our three favourite packaging projects and the key learnings they illustrate.
Legal cannabis poses a clear threat to alcohol brands. Now, several companies are developing THC-powered, alcohol-free beverages that look and taste like beer, wine or spirits – positioning cannabis as a direct replacement.
Brands are vying to leverage the newly legal status of recreational cannabis in nine US states and Canada (Canadian legalisation begins in October, but edibles/drinkables will be barred for the first year). They're promoting alcohol-inspired beverages infused with THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) as hangover-free booze alternatives and an easy format for social cannabis consumption. Because the effects of conventional edibles are normally slow to kick in but can last for hours, some producers are also designing their products to mimic the response curve of alcohol.
As explained in A Budding Opportunity: Commercialising Cannabis, different strains of the plant naturally serve as alcohol alternatives for both thrill-seekers and their opposing counterparts, moderate millennials. In Canada, 41% of current/likely recreational cannabis consumers regard it as an alternative to alcohol, according to a new study from Deloitte Canada, which concludes that "all alcohol categories could be affected". A 2017 survey of Californian millennials by local cannabis producer OutCo found 34% would choose cannabis over beer, while 18% would favour it over wine.
We initially discussed this concept in Fluid Flavours, part of our Future of Flavour Industry Trend, pointing to drinks like the alcohol-free sauvignon blanc produced by Rebel Coast Winery in California. Here are five 2018 launches worth tracking:
Expect more alcohol brands to follow. Americans already believe regular marijuana use is less risky health-wise than regular alcohol consumption (Marist College, 2017). In the recreationally legal era, as cannabis comes to be perceived as a natural wellness product, products like these are likely to supplement or replace their alcoholic counterparts.
Deciphering the behaviour of all demographic groups is a vital part of our work, and the youngest generations – the connected consumers of the future – are the most crucial for brands to watch.
Aside from being the fastest to adopt new technologies, Gen Z (aged nine to 23) hold great purchase influence in their households. And in terms of personal and social diversity, they’re among the most open and accepting consumer groups we’ve seen.
We’ve just published 10 Youth Trends to Watch, which charts the impact these trends are likely to have on multiple industries. Looking at just three of Gen Z’s polarising behaviours paints a fascinating picture of an enterprising group who are resourceful, mindful and inventive – and looking for brands to support their development in relevant and meaningful ways.
This inspiring new generation of teens has an unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit; more than three-quarters (77%) of 14- to 21-year-old Americans already earn their own money. These tech natives are trading cryptocurrencies and turning their social media platforms into mini e-tail economies. And they’re looking for media outlets – like Teen Boss magazine and social network Maverick, both of which provide practical advice for savvy teenpreneurs – to help them build their own brands and learn start-up skills.
A mental health crisis is gaining public attention across generations. Alarmingly, despite the perception that Gen Z is socially connected, the Office for National Statistics has found that 16- to 24-year-olds in the UK are over three times more likely to be regularly lonely than over-65s.
We believe there’s a real need for compassionate brands to promote self-care through a number of initiatives like wellbeing apps and products, and community hubs that bring young people together in real life.
Further to valuing connection and commerce, Gen Zers seek new forms of self-discovery and ways to express their identity. The beauty sector in particular is responding well with teen- and tween-targeted products that promote creativity, experimentation and diversity – which is also prompting huge industry growth. Brands like Crayola are recognising young people’s self-confidence issues and responding with make-up that encourages them to explore and express their personalities.
In our Asian Beauty Now Spotlight Trend reports, we’re watching a wave of influence coming from the East in the form of clever teen sub-brands and new formats that cultivate inventive behaviour. From Shiseido’s teen brand Posme, with its addictive shareable make-up stickers of single-dose, multi-use colour for the eyes, cheeks and lips, to South Korean beauty brand Etude House’s in-store Color Factory for developing the ultimate in personalised palettes.
As July gets underway, we’re turning our focus to opportunities for engaging with an older market – ‘the middle-aged gap’. We’re also excited to continue building our psychographic landscape – the seeds of our next Consumer Zodiac. Watch this space.
Have a great month,
Chief Creative Officer
Waiting in line for limited-edition sneakers is ingrained in sneakerhead culture. However, not every enthusiast is in the city of the drop, or has the time to physically queue. Nike Korea has tackled this challenge by transferring the ritual to the digital realm – making it a global happening.
In April 2018 over the duration of two weeks, sneaker aficionados waited online using avatars in the first ever hashtag queue on Instagram to buy Air Max trainers.
Nike Korea decided to make use of Instagram’s latest feature, which allows users to follow hashtags, by creating #AirMaxLine as a digital waiting area. Fans were invited to visit a website to create and personalise an avatar using hundreds of exclusive characters and items inspired by Korean street culture.
To join the digital queue for the chance to buy, people were asked to share a picture of their avatar on Instagram with the hashtag #AirMaxLine – each avatar doubled as a ticket for an online draw. All avatars were displayed in chronological order on the Instagram feed, as if waiting in line.
More than 80,000 posts were uploaded to Instagram, generating over 15 million impressions, and the sneakers sold out within minutes. See also Monetising Social Media ’18: Five Trends to Watch to find out how to drive purchase via Instagram.
The sneakerhead phenomenon is far from cooling down with sneaker sales constantly growing globally. To get a better grasp of what it is, where it’s coming from and what it will evolve into, check out our spotlight trend Sneakerheads Unboxed.
Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about their social and environmental impact, and are on the lookout for brands that are active in those areas. To support its sustainability credentials, US ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s uses blockchain to enable fans to offset their carbon impact by paying an extra penny at the till.
Ben & Jerry’s has collaborated with Maltese non-profit organisation Poseidon Foundation on an ice-cream parlour spot in London. Using blockchain tech, the brand is able to calculate the environmental impact of producing and purchasing a cone of ice cream, and gives consumers the opportunity to rebalance their footprint and actively support action on climate change by buying carbon credits. Ben & Jerry’s has pledged to buy credits for each cone and invites consumers to do so too – when paying at the checkout, the cashier asks consumers if they’d like to add an extra penny to their balance.
Carbon credits are tradable tokens linked to projects which offset the greenhouse gases created by organisations and are usually only sold in massive quantities to corporations. Poseidon splits them up into micro transactions, making them accessible to consumers. Ben & Jerry’s credits are used to support a forestry conservation project at the Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru. Since opening in May, the ice-cream parlour initiative has been able to protect more than 1,000 trees – equivalent to an area the size of 77 tennis courts.
Fast-food chain Domino's is 'being a bit extra' with a roadworks initiative that ensures a safe final mile for its takeout pizzas – drawing branded attention to US infrastructure issues in the process.
On the Paving for Pizza campaign website, customers can witness what adverse road conditions can do to a pizza bouncing around in its box. To avoid such wasteful damage, they can then go on to nominate their own area for a visit from the Domino's road maintenance team, who will fill in potholes to create smoother rides for local deliveries.
"We can't stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get untopped, or your boxes get flipped," said Domino's press release. "So we're helping to pave in towns across the country to save your good pizza from these bad roads."
Prior to the official campaign launch on June 11 2018, the initiative had already fixed more than 50 potholes. In Burbank (California), Milford (Delaware), Bartonville (Texas) and Athens (Georgia), where the brand worked with local administrations to fill holes in the roads caused by holes in public infrastructure budgets. Collaboration with local communities is key to ensuring the brand's assistance is welcomed and well-executed.
In our review of the 2018 D&AD Awards, we highlighted how brands can cut through the content clutter on media channels by surfacing their own platforms around community issues and spaces. Paving for Pizza is a great case study for turning a consumer problem into a point of brand engagement.
The Artisan Bar at London's Langham Hotel has tapped into the increasing consumer desire for emotional connection by launching a crowdsourced cocktail menu that evokes memories of life's milestones.
The bar asked 500 people what flavours they associated with particular events such as birthdays, moving out of their parents' house and retiring, as well as more abstract concepts such as falling in love, reflecting, and discovering who you are. The resulting 17-drink Artesian Moments menu includes First Bike Ride (gin, citrus, gangnam tops, lavender and iron sorbet), Going Travelling (rum, papaya, noni, cardamom and monoi) and Retirement (Grey Goose vodka, melon, geranium and absinthe blanche).
Artisan's head bartender Alex Kratena said: "Our wish with Artesian Moments is to create a deeply personal menu for our guests; one that can be enjoyed collectively, but still inspire an individual memory. It was our customers' experiences and memories that helped create these drinks. You could say they were there all along – we just had to ask."
This is a great example of how alcohol brands and hospitality providers can reach consumers on a deeper level – particularly millennials and Gen Zers, who are drinking less and are looking beyond the buzz when they do decide to imbibe. See Alcohol's Healthy Future and Marketing Alcohol to Millennials for more on how alcohol brands are targeting this health-conscious and experience-hungry demographic.
See also Vodka Brand Launches Clean Air Bar, 360 Sports Nutrition and Mood-Boosting Cocktails. For a wider industry perspective on how nostalgia, memory and connection can play into your marketing and branding strategy, see Retro Reboot.
Following a number of microbead bans in the cosmetics industry, consumer demand for sustainable beauty has increased. Is eliminating environmentally damaging wet wipes the next mainstream solution?
Green beauty brands are creating eco-friendly wet wipes, responding to consumers’ concerns about the toxic impact of water pollution.
Estimates suggest that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by weight (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). The beauty industry is a major contributor to this. In the UK alone, there has been a 700% increase in the number of wet wipes found along the coastline over the last decade (Marine Conservation Society, 2017).
Stylus explores two innovative products looking to tackle the problem:
Save Your Wardrobe, a London-based app launching in beta in June 2018, encourages consumers to document their wardrobes and build personal databases to help shape future purchases. It provides users with visibility of all the clothes they own, using AI to recommend personalised looks based on calendar events and wearing history.
To set up the digital dashboard of clothes, consumers have a choice: they can photograph each item with the app’s vision tech, identifying the style and brand, or they can opt-in to share digital receipts including style, colour and size information.
Inspirational personal lookbooks, categorised into clusters such as dresses, outerwear and tops, are generated by AI. Users can connect the app with their calendars to receive personalised playlists of outfits – such as a summer holiday playlist.
Besides wardrobe management, Save Your Wardrobe features shopping opportunities. Through a partnership with US shopping platform ShopStyle, which has a database of 1,400 brands, users can shop specially curated mood boards via affiliate links. It’s free to use for consumers, while brands pay for the insights, including preferences that can influence design strategy.
The app features services such as dry cleaning, repairs, resales and alterations, creating an opportunity for brands to extend product lifecycles and customer relationships. See also After-Care Commerce.
Another goal is to help consumers make better shopping decisions – UK consumers have £10.5 billion of unworn clothes in their wardrobes (Weight Watchers 2017). See Reframing Sustainability for eco-conscious brand initiatives.
For another retailer’s foray into personal wardrobe management, see Echo Look: AI-Informed Style Advice.
Walmart’s start-up incubator Store No. 8 has launched new concierge service Jetblack in select New York City neighbourhoods. Jetblack fuses chatbot shopping with same-day delivery, allowing customers to order items from Walmart and rival retailers such as Sephora and Saks via text message.
Targeting affluent and time-strapped urban parents, the membership-based service ($50 per month) includes gift recommendations, free wrapping, speedy delivery and easy returns. To request an item, users send a message and then receive product recommendations (culled from Walmart and other retailers) via text. The option to shop across multiple retailers using only one interface and delivery partner differentiates the service from ‘one-brand-only’ suppliers.
Deploying artificial intelligence, Jetblack learns what consumers are buying and – if applicable – sends out push notifications (messages) to alert them when they are running low. The same technology in partnership with human experts is used for personalised gift recommendations. For instance, when texting “I need a gift for my 10-year old daughter’s birthday party”, it will respond with a curated product selection via text.
Founded by Jenny Fleiss, the co-founder of US clothing rental start-up Rent the Runway, the service is currently available in Manhattan and Brooklyn for consumers who live in buildings with a doorman. A US-wide roll-out is planned for later this year.