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News 20.09.2023

Need to Know

La Vie unveils plant-based ham in France, Pinterest launches plus-size inclusive AI tool, and US consumers move away from second-hand shopping stigma.

La Vie unveils plant-based ham to win over French palates

La Vie, France

France – Known for its plant-based bacon and viral marketing campaigns, La Vie is venturing further into the market with a new plant-based ham. In France, where ham sandwiches are a beloved national dish, this move is significant – and ambitious.

The iconic ‘jambon beurre’ sandwich, comprising ham, butter and a baguette, is a staple in French bakeries. La Vie’s plant-based ham is aimed at vegans and those reducing their meat intake, offering them a taste of this French classic. More than 1.2bn jambon beurre sandwiches are reportedly consumed annually in France.

La Vie’s plant-based ham was developed over four years and comes in regular and smoked flavours, and boasts just seven ingredients, with 90% pea protein as the base. Notably it is nitrite-free, addressing concerns about any links with cancer. Each serving provides 19.5g of protein and only 0.7g of saturated fat, outperforming conventional ham and showcasing the benefits of value-added alternatives, as discussed in our Innovation Debrief 2023–2024.

With 2.5m products sold in the past 18 months and partnerships with over 3,000 restaurants, La Vie is making waves in Europe’s plant-based market, which is undergoing drastic shifts – a topic we track in our forthcoming Meat Market report.

Strategic opportunity

As consumers are choice-fatigued, it is important that businesses consider how they can move beyond offering value-added nutrition, instead making the product an indispensable element of local culture, as in the case of the jambon beurre

Pinterest launches plus-size inclusive AI tool

Global – Pinterest has introduced a new body type technology that will identify a range of body sizes across the 5bn images on the platform in an effort to make feeds and search results more representative.

Using shape, size and form to identify various body types, the tool will enhance understanding of visual content through computer vision technology. Pinterest hopes that when users search for ‘date night outfit inspiration’, they will see results that include all body types.

The plus-size inclusive AI tool follows Pinterest’s earlier innovations enabling users to refine results by skin tone range and hair pattern. It has also integrated skin tone ranges into its make-up try-on AR tool.

‘With the powerful addition of our new body type technology to our suite of inclusive AI efforts, we have improved representation of different body types on the platform by five times across women’s fashion-related searches in the US,’ said Pinterest’s chief product officer Sabrina Ellis in a company blog post.

By embracing the AI Optimism Market, Pinterest is working to undo some of the damage caused by the recent revival of Body Hostility and exploring innovative ways technology can drive the Inclusive Fashion market.

Pinterest, US

Strategic opportunity

Inclusive sizing isn’t enough when it comes to fashion. People of all body shapes and sizes should be able to see how clothes might fit them. Use AI tools to ensure your customers see themselves reflected in your campaigns and product imagery

Roblox envisages platform as a place for adults to find love

Photography by Polina Tankilevitch Photography by Polina Tankilevitch

Global – Roblox, the popular online platform, is aiming to expand its user base to include adults looking for love. During the Roblox Developers Conference, held on 8, 9 September 2023, CEO David Baszucki predicted that thousands of adults would form real-life relationships on the platform over the next five years.

Roblox has been making strides to create an environment conducive to adult interactions. It recently introduced experiences restricted to users aged 17 and older, ensuring age-appropriate interactions. In the coming year, Roblox plans to unveil an AI-powered tool allowing users to create avatars that closely resemble themselves, enhancing realism. In addition, the forthcoming Roblox Connect video chat feature will enable users who establish connections to engage in video calls, fostering deeper connections.

This ambitious move signals Roblox’s intention to diversify its user base beyond children and teenagers, instead transforming into a platform where adults can meet and date. It is also a departure from the space that traditional dating apps occupy, and shows how new app formats will go beyond endless swiping, as revealed in Five Apps Introducing the Next Generation of Dating.

Strategic opportunity

The Gen Z dating market prioritises mental and sexual wellbeing, so to attract users, businesses must innovate novel formats to facilitate real connection that goes beyond just swiping

Stat: US consumers move away from second-hand shopping stigma

By Rotation, UK By Rotation, UK

US – In its 2023 Recommerce Report mobile resale marketplace OfferUp has revealed that 76% of surveyed respondents believe the stigma associated with second-hand shopping has eased. More than half of respondents (57%) cite affordability as the main reason for this, followed by changing attitudes about waste (55%).

The report painted a picture of a thriving resale market, expected to reach £152.2bn ($188.5bn, €176.2bn) by the end of 2023 and £222.8bn ($276bn, €258bn) by 2028. Of the 1,500 American consumers surveyed, 85% said they had bought and/or sold used items in the past year, a 3% rise on 2022, with over a quarter (27%) saying they had bought second-hand for the first time.

The study also indicated that 69% of sellers used resale money to pay for bills and everyday expenses, with 39% saying reselling has helped make ends meet, highlighting the importance of the resale market during an economic downturn.

Resale Redux is slowly but surely beginning to replace The Overconsumption Mindset. Initially driven by eco-conscious Gen Z consumers, innovative resale platforms and financial anxieties are leading to changing attitudes to the circular economy of re-commerce across the American market.

Strategic opportunity

Consider launching a resale programme that enables customers to trade in used items for store credit, resell to other consumers or partner with an existing resale platform to provide discounts or points for customers selling old clothes. These sustainable initiatives will foster customer loyalty, drive repeat business and appeal to eco- and cost-conscious consumers

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