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Published: 18 Jun 2018

Ben & Jerry’s Tax Empowers Shoppers to Offset Carbon Impact

Ben & Jerry's

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.

Our reports Retail's Activist Brands and Reframing Sustainability discuss how other brands are supporting action on climate change or educating consumers on conscious consumption.

Published: 14 Jun 2018

Cocktails Evoke Shared Memories

Artisan Bar

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.

Published: 8 Jun 2018

PX+: the Festival for Hospitality Workers

This summer will see the launch of PX+ Festival in the UK (August 24-27) – the first festival solely for those working in and around the hospitality and food industry.

Other European hospitality-focused events include MAD (Copenhagen), Food on the Edge (Ireland), and Parabere Forum (various cities). But unlike PX+ Festival, these events are open to the public and are structured in a symposium format. PX+ attendees have to submit proof that they work in the industry – from farmers and vintners to chefs and bartenders – while non-industry guests can attend as a plus one.

"The people working in the hospitality industry need celebrating," said festival founder Katie Bone. "I wanted to create a moment to celebrate, to collaborate, and discuss ways we can drive change."

Held in Hertfordshire on Duchess Farm – a sixth-generation family business that produces Duchess rapeseed oil – the event will encompass chef dinners, bars, talks and live music. Participants include St John's Wines, chefs Dan Doherty, Clare Smyth and Chantelle Nicholson, sommelier Jennifer Docherty MW, restaurant manager Emma Underwood, and vegetable supplier Natoora.

"[It] will be a great opportunity to create and strengthen relationships between producers and restaurants – a connection which is easily overlooked in the fast-paced environment of the hospitality world," said Duchess farmer Max Ruddle.

For more on sustainability, tracing food sources and tackling waste, see Hotel & Hospitality Trends 2018, Food & Drinks Innovation, Reframing Rare and Feeding Tomorrow's Consumers. Also look out for our report on Sustainable Restaurants, publishing later this month.

PX Festival
PX Festival
PX Festival
Published: 30 May 2018

Edible Kombucha Packaging

Roza Janusz

Polish design student Roza Janusz has designed a new form of edible bio-packaging made from kombucha that can easily be produced by farmers to wrap their produce, allowing them to bring their products to market with zero waste.

The designer claims that the concept could turn packaging production into an enriching benefit for the environment, rather than damaging it.

Scoby (meaning the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is produced by adding sugars and other organic substances to kombucha, which is then left to ferment and develop a membrane skin on the top. This is removed after two weeks and forms the thin packaging sheets.

The resulting new material is vegetarian-friendly and completely biodegradable and has a long shelf-life thanks to its low PH. It has a light kombucha flavour on its own, but takes on the flavour of its contents when heated.

Janusz has suggested that the material can be used to package a variety of foods, including fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables, herbs, seeds and even instant meals.

For an in-depth dive into sustainable packaging innovations and solutions, see Packaging Futures 2017/18: Sustainability; Evoware: Packaging You Can Eat; Edible Banana Peel. See also Outside In: Living Materials for similar design solutions and material alternatives using living matter.

Laboratory-grown materials and solutions to our depleting material sources is an important theme in our upcoming Materials Focus S/S 20 story Augmented Space, publishing soon.

Published: 30 May 2018

Virgin Fitness Class Features CPR Training

Virgin Active has launched a new fitness class for its gym members in Thailand called CPRobic, which combines cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training with an intensive workout.

CPRobic teaches participants hands-only CPR movements that could prove life-saving in an emergency, while helping them exercise. Just 15 minutes of CPRobic can burn up to 165 calories and when combined with a Bosu fitness training ball, participants can burn up to 400 calories in 45 minutes. The class was added in March 2018 and is taught by CPR-certified trainers.

Virgin created the class after discovering only 6% of patients who require on-the-spot CPR in Thailand receive it before being taken to hospital, as most people have never had CPR training. Less than 1% of the population has a gym membership (IHRSA, 2017), while in countries like the UK, this rate is as high as 15% (LeisureDB, 2017). In order to attract customers, gyms in the region need to market innovative, multipurpose classes to entice more people to try them.

For more on the latest innovations in the fitness and active landscape, see our Active Lives Macro Trend and coverage of Elevate 2018.

Published: 24 May 2018

InterContinental Launches Audio-Book Service


InterContinental Hotels has collaborated with Amazon's digital story service Audible to create an audio-book library for its guests.

The library, dubbed Stories of the InterContinental Life, was curated by Brendan Francis Newnam, executive producer of literary podcast The Paris Review. The collection pairs works of literature with iconic travel destinations – for example, Brick Lane by Monica Ali for London, Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote for New York, and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah for Paris.

Guests sign up to InterContinental's Novel Nights package, which gives them access to the library and allows them to download any one of the audio books for free using an Audible download card. The package also includes late checkout to allow guests to read later into the morning. If guests wish to listen to more than one book, they pay for it as normal.

Newnam will also host a podcast for guests that explores the stories of local people – including artists, chefs, musicians and designers – based in the hotel brand's various cities.

This new collaboration demonstrates how hotel chains are offering guests services that stretch beyond basic room service and tap into a deeper, more experience-led consumer need. For more on this shift, see Luxury Travel Developments: ILTM Cannes 2017 and Rebooting Room Service: Food, Fashion & Beyond.

Published: 18 May 2018

Top 4 Sustainable Beer Initiatives

Pioneering food and beverage brands are looking to waste and sustainability as an opportunity for savvy product development. The beer market is a key sector in this space, with companies tweaking production methods and harvesting surplus and 'waste' ingredients from unexpected places. Here, we round up the latest examples. 

  • Better Brewing Technique: AB InBev, the world's biggest beer company, recently announced a new patented brewing method that reduces CO2 waste and water consumption. Instead of bringing the liquid to boiling point at the end of the process to limit unwanted smells, the beer is brought to just below this temperature and injected with CO2 bubbles, producing the same result. This process reduces CO2 emissions by 5%, water consumption by 0.5%, and evaporation wastage from 5% to 1%.  
  • Leftover-Loaf Libations: Marks & Spencer has collaborated with UK brewery Adnams on a range of ales and fruit beers. The beverages use surplus bread crusts from Marks & Spencer's sandwich production line to replace some of the malt. The Use Our Loaf range includes a triple English hop ale, a raspberry fruit beer, and an Earl Grey pale ale.
Ab Inbev has developed a patented brewing process that reduces energy and water waste
Marks & Spencer X Adnans Brewery
  • The New Yoghurt Drink: Professor Sam Alcaine from Cornell University is in the process of creating a beer using leftover acid whey from New York's Greek yoghurt industry. The alcohol is produced by using multiple strains of natural bacteria and yeasts to break down the lactose. This creates a 2.7% volume beer with a sour and salty flavour similar to gose beer
  • Sustainable Six-Packs: Beer packaging is also an area ripe for a sustainable revamp. More than 100 million marine mammals are affected by plastic waste every year, according to the University of Plymouth (OGP, 2017). With this in mind, Scottish bio-tech firm Cuantec is using the remains of shellfish to create biodegradable six-pack rings, working with local brewery Jaw Brew, with a view to launch them to the market by 2020.

    Likewise, Florida brewery Saltwater Brewery has teamed with US packaging start-up E6PR to trial completely biodegradable six-pack rings made from barley and wheat ribbons left over from the brewing process.
Cornell University
Saltwater Brewery

For more on how brands are working to create sustainable solutions for the food and beverage market, see New Architecture of Taste, New Food Covetables and Packaging Futures: Sustainability.

For more specific examples, see Starbucks Launches Coffee-Waste Latte, Alcohol Made from Tofu Whey, and App Retails Unsold Restaurant Meals.

Published: 17 May 2018

Vodka Brand Launches Clean-Air Bar

Clean Air Bar

Dutch vodka brand Ketel One has teamed up with London bar No 29 Power Station West to launch the city's first clean-air bar. The space was designed to help Londoners escape from city pollution, and learn how house plants can improve living standards.

The bar is filled with plants that Nasa has found to be effective at removing toxins from the air, including aloe vera, weeping fig, rubber plants and Boston fern. All plants have been supplied by local London urban farm Patch.

Customers can choose from a range of Ketel One cocktails, with ingredients such as basil, mint and rosemary picked from a "living garnish wall". They can also customise the drinks to suit their tastes.

Meanwhile, food comes courtesy of UK chef duo Billy and Jack. Dishes are made from locally sourced sustainable ingredients, such as vodka-cured sea trout with smoked mayo and house pickles, and lamb skewers with labneh, dukkah, spiced date sauce, charred spring onion and spring leaves.

The bar will also host two urban gardening workshops by Patch in late May.

This is the latest example of brands catering for urban-dwelling consumers who are concerned about rising levels of pollution. See New Architecture of Taste (part of our latest Industry Trend The Future of Flavour), Pollution-Fighting Health Drink and Pollution Protection Update: New Formats & Formulas for further case studies.

Published: 11 May 2018

BrewDog Launches Cycle Club


Scottish craft beer brand BrewDog has launched its own global cycle clubs through San Francisco-based fitness app Strava.

Dubbed the BrewDog Chain Gang, cycling and beer enthusiasts around the world can join rides operating from their local BrewDog bar or affiliated pub, with the Strava app acting as an information hub for the times and locations of upcoming events.

Alongside this, the craft beer company has collaborated with London-based cycling apparel brand Milltag to create a line of BrewDog-branded cycling clothing and kit, including jerseys, bottles and jackets.

According to BrewDog's co-founder James Watt: "There has always been a natural crossover between craft beer fans and cycling fans. Both are driven by a passion for exploration, discovering the road less travelled, and are powered by hugely passionate communities. With BrewDog Chain Gang, we wanted to turn it up a gear by helping our community unite their two passions of beer and bikes."

This is a key example of how big brands are tapping into the active space to access cult communities, as discussed in our latest Macro Trend report 360 Sports Nutrition.

See also Protest Beer for Climate Change and Epicurean Escapism: The Foodie Traveller Opportunity for more on how BrewDog is extending its offering. See Brand Stretch: Elastic Food & Drink Development for a look at how brands are expanding beyond their original product and service remit.

Published: 8 May 2018

Red Bull Opens E-Sports Bar In London

Red Bull

Red Bull has opened an underground e-sports bar and events space in east London, complete with the latest gaming technology.

The Red Bull Gaming Sphere, which opened at the end of March, allows casual as well as keen gamers to play on the most up-to-date PCs, consoles and virtual reality headsets. The space will also host events with professional e-sports players, gaming workshops and weekly tournaments.

The bar also has a leader board system, enabling regular punters to compete against each other and rise up the ranks.

This is the latest foray into the e-sports space for Red Bull, which currently sponsors US e-sports team Tempo Storm, and also opened a similar gaming space in Tokyo in February 2018. It's a great example of how food and beverage brands are looking to e-sports as a key area for sponsorship and direct investment, and seeking to tap into key cult sporting communities.

For a deeper look at this emerging opportunity, check out our latest Macro Trend Active Lives, with a particular focus on 360 Sports Nutrition and Retail's Spirit of Adventure.

See also Nando's Opens In-Restaurant Recording Studio and Tomorrow's Wandering Workers for further examples of how hospitality spaces are diversifying to meet the needs and desires of an increasingly entertainment-focused consumer.

Published: 3 May 2018

Tooth-Mounted Diet Tracker

Tufts University, Massachusetts

Researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts have developed a tooth-mounted sensor that tracks everything you eat from inside your mouth.

The wireless sensor monitors data on the amount of sugar, salt and alcohol consumed and how the body reacts to it, which is then transmitted to an app on the wearer's phone.

The sensor is made up of two layers of gold. Sandwiched in between are biosensors that can pick up on physiological cues such as PH and glucose levels, and other biomarkers found in saliva. The gold acts as an antenna to relay the information.

According to researcher and project leader Fiorenzo Omenetto, the sensor can be implemented both in a medical context and by conscientious consumers seeking to monitor their own health.

"Sampling and monitoring changes in the oral cavity could help in a number of ways – from monitoring dental health, to monitoring physiological states such as fatigue, through saliva sampling," said Omenetto. "Obviously, the latter applications require device refinements in terms of sensitivity and specificity."

This is the latest in a series of developments targeting an increasingly discerning consumer base hungry for ways to monitor and track their own wellbeing, and ensure they are eating in the most healthiest and hyper-personalised ways possible. See New Food Covetables for an in-depth look into this consumer shift.

See also Ingestible Gut-Health Sensors, Highlights: Food Loves Tech and Ultra-Thin Wearable Monitors Health for further examples.

Published: 23 Apr 2018

Ikea Predicts The Future of Fast Food


Ikea's research and innovation lab Space10 has devised a menu of five fast-food dishes that tackle issues surrounding the predicted world food crisis, focusing on waste, obesity and scarcity.

Still at concept stage, the menu includes The Dogless Hotdog, made with dried and glazed baby carrots, beet and berry ketchup, mustard and turmeric cream, roasted onions, cucumber and a herb salad mix in a high-protein spirulina bun. Meanwhile, the Bug Burger patty is made from beetroot, parsnip, potatoes and mealworms and comes on a white-flour bun with relish, beetroot and blackcurrant ketchup, chive spread, and a hydroponic salad mix.

Also on the menu are meatballs made from mealworms and root vegetables, a hydroponically grown salad served with day-old bread to minimise food waste, and an ice cream made with microgreens such as mint and sorrel to create a frozen treat that is low in sugar and calories.

For more on how brands are developing alternative products that play to the issues surrounding population growth and the environment, see Feeding Tomorrow's Consumers and Culinary Consciousness.

See also Creating Shared Value: Sustainability Marketing, Packaging Futures: Sustainability and Retail: Reframing Sustainability for more on how brands are targeting environmental issues in a wider context.

In June, Carla Cammilla Hjort, Founder & Director of Space10 will be joining us at our upcoming London Summit, Decoded Future. To hear what she has to say on how to design agile eco-systems for the digital world, book your tickets, click here.

Published: 20 Apr 2018

The Reimagined Aeroplane Cargo Hold

Airbus X Zodiac

Global aeroplane manufacturer Airbus has collaborated with French aerospace equipment and systems supplier Zodiac Aerospace on new designs that reimagine the cargo hold as a usable space beyond luggage and freight.

The designs, which are intended to be integrated into the cargo holds of some of Airbus's long-haul A330 aircrafts, incorporate facilities such as sleeping quarters, conference rooms, lounges and children's play areas.

The new cargo cabins are designed to be changed from day to day, using the modular technology announced in early 2017 – as covered in Airbus Develops 'Swappable Modules' Jet Concept.

Alan Joyce, chief executive of Australian airline Qantas, also recently suggested the idea of utilising the cargo area in its planes. The additional space could be used for passengers wanting to sleep and exercise on its non-stop 20-hour flights between the UK and Australia. See also Hospitality's Heightened Fitness Focus for more on how airlines are keeping passengers active through the clever use of plane space.

For more on how airlines are enhancing passengers' in-flight experience, see Agile Airlines Reshape Travel, as well as Tomorrow's Wandering Workers and Travel for the Agile Elite. And to discover how this extends to before and after the flight, see New-Wave Airports.

Published: 16 Apr 2018

Probiotic-Fortified Fresh Fruit Snacks

Probiotic Apple Snacks

Researchers at the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain and Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil have developed a new technique for fortifying fruit with probiotics to boost gut health.

To create the probiotic fruit, scientists saturated apple pieces with a probiotic strain called Lactobacillus casei and then dried them at different temperatures using a variety of techniques, including ultrasound and conventional air drying.

Their experiments revealed that drying the fruit at 60 degrees allowed the probiotics to survive within the fruit and qualify as a probiotic product.

The study's co-author Juan Andrés Cárcel, doctor of food engineering at Universitat Politècnica de València, said: "[Probiotics] contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. They have anti-inflammatory potential and protect against colitis, among other benefits." We've seen the gut-health food market explode in the past year, with a plethora of new product development taking the spotlight – from start-up brands to established food and drink companies. For an in-depth look at this topic, see our recent report Going With The Gut.

See also New Architecture of Taste (part of our Future of Flavour Industry Trend), US Speciality Food Trends 2017 and Food Influencer Round Up: United States for more key examples.

See also Ingestible Gut Health Sensors and New Food Covetables for exciting tech developments that help consumers to monitor and control their gut health.

Published: 12 Apr 2018

Bobbi Brown Launches Wellness Collection


US beauty innovator Bobbi Brown has entered the wellness market by launching a range of dietary supplements and drink powders under the brand Evolution_18.

The collection includes Overnight Vanilla – a powder enriched with collagen, hyaluronic acid and coconut oil that is designed to increase skin hydration and elasticity. Strengthen dietary capsules contain keratin and biotin for stronger hair and nails. Probiotic quick-melt sachets boost gut health, while Afternoon Chocolate is a chocolate-flavoured protein powder with additional cacao, vitamins and minerals to encourage increased brain function.

Launching on US shopping channel QVC in April, the range will cost between $35 and $60.

Brown stepped down from her eponymous makeup line in 2016 and has since redeveloped a boutique hotel in New Jersey called The George Inn, which opened its doors in January 2018.

For more on new brand developments in the nutraceuticals market, see Top Trends: Indie Beauty Expo 2017, Beauty 360 and Health & Nutrition Vitafoods 2017.

Additionally, look to Brand Stretch: Elastic Food and Drink Developments and Retail's Elastic Brands for more inspiration on how to diversify your brand.