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14 : 08 : 23

Rare Birds targets the neurodivergent community with a new inclusive clothing line, Taco Bell’s playful billboard campaign and why consumers abandon the plant-based meat category.

Rare Birds launches inclusive clothing line for neurodivergent community

Rare Birds, UK
Rare Birds, UK
Rare Birds, UK
Rare Birds, UK

UK – Rare Birds, a pioneering brand, has unveiled its debut collection tailored to the needs of the neurodivergent community. With an estimated one in seven people in the UK being neurodivergent, and 73% of individuals with autism using clothing for sensory regulation, the Rare Birds range is designed with features like soft seams, deep pockets, elastic waistbands and wide neck holes. Founder Clementine Schouteden and creative director Kerry Brown, who identifies as neurodiverse, engaged with over 200 people and conducted focus groups to craft the brand’s inclusive designs.

Rare Birds has taken an innovative approach, offering a sensory ‘find your fabric’ swatch pack for £1 ($1.27, €1.16), enabling customers to feel the textures before purchase. In addition, the brand is a corporate partner of the National Autistic Society, contributing £2 ($2.55, €2.32) of every sale to the charity. The collection, combining utility with style, showcases Rare Birds’ commitment to building an Inclusive Fashion Market catering for the neurodivergent community. Our market report, America Puts the New in Neurodivergence, also looks at how inclusivity is no longer optional and how mainstream US businesses are adopting accessibility strategies tailored to the neurodivergent community.

Strategic opportunity

Being more inclusive is not only expected of brands but is also financially rewarding, increasing reach to previously underserved consumers and building brand respect

Taco Bell's playful campaign hides cuss words in plain sight

Taco Bell, UK Taco Bell, UK

UK – Taco Bell is serving up a spicy twist on traditional advertising with its latest UK campaign by mixing a reference to a cuss word and its famous Taco Tuesday deal. The fast food giant has rolled out billboards featuring the phrase 'See You Next Tuesday.' Beneath the seemingly innocuous greeting, a definition reveals it as a discreet method of delivering an offensive slur (c*nt), essentially spelling out 'C U Next Tuesday.'

Crafted by independent creative agency The Or, the campaign aims to turn a negative phrase into a positive one. The company hopes the tongue-in-cheek approach will encourage Britons to associate the term with uplifting experiences, like spa days or Taco Tuesday deals.

Taco Bell's Lucy Dee stated: 'Life can throw all sorts of curveballs at you, and we all deserve something to look forward to.' The billboards are strategically placed across major UK cities, including London, Leeds, Edinburgh and Birmingham. The campaign also extends to social media, aiming to engage a broader audience with its quirky wordplay.

The campaign turns a potentially controversial term into a fun and memorable advertising moment by taking a lighthearted stance on language. As explored in our Elastic Brands macrotrend, it is also an opportunity for Taco Bell to stay culturally relevant, grow social media engagement and invest in memorable branding simultaneously.

Strategic opportunity

Pay attention to cultural nuances and humour that resonate with your target audience. Taco Bell's campaign taps into British humour and idiomatic phrases that make it more relatable to Britons despite being an American business selling Mexican-inspired food

Stat: Mintel report finds US consumers are abandoning plant-based meat category

Air Protein, US Air Protein, US

US – A new report from market research company Mintel has found that plant-based meat alternatives (PMBA) sales have fallen in the US as consumers shift to less expensive proteins due to inflation and rising costs of living.

The report finds that budget-sensitive consumers are less likely to take risks with their food shop, with only 20% of 1,400 adults surveyed indicating a reduction of meat from their diets in 2023. Some 53% of surveyed consumers claimed that inflation makes them less likely to try new foods such as PMBAs.

The study also found that consumers in 2023 are less likely to claim they are flexitarian (8%), vegetarian (4%) or vegan (2%). These figures contrast with 10%, 5% and 4%, respectively in 2022. The questionnaire also found that 48% of total consumers cited taste and flavour as major concerns, while 35% said meat was a better source of nutrition.

The frozen PBMA category remained relatively resilient but for the meat alternative market to attract and retain new customers it needs to turn towards new product innovation such as synthesised meats, as discussed in our Innovation Debrief 2023–2024 report.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses in the PBMA industry must ensure their products have value in the market, whether through elongating shelf life or through value-added nutritional properties

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