News 30.11.2022

Need to Know

Keia hints at a microdosing future, WWF urges UK PM to make nature a stakeholder and Black Friday highlights unwavering desire for discounts.

Keia hints at a microdosing future

Keia by Layer, UK
Keia by Layer, UK
Keia by Layer, UK

UK – Delving into the potential of therapeutic microdosing, British designer Benjamin Hubert’s studio Layer has conceptualised an edibles subscription service called Keia.

With a firm focus on the wellness market, the themes of nature and mindfulness are conveyed through packaging in muted, woodland-inspired colourways. The Keia service would offer a month’s supply of pastilles, wafers and teas treated with hallucinogenics. Some of the materials used in Layer’s packaging concepts are within the capabilities of mass production already, such as hemp and mycelium, but more innovative ideas include packaging made from wheat farming waste.

In the US, some states have already decriminalised psilocybin, while in Alberta in Canada, psychedelics will be legal for medicinal use from January 2023. As the decriminalisation of marijuana steadily spreads globally, the way forward for legalising psychedelics may run more swiftly, as we detail in our Psychedelic Wellness Market. In the meantime, designers and creative agencies are already planning for our tripped-out futures.

Strategic opportunity

Reframed psychedelics are becoming less niche and less alienating, leading to greater acceptance in the mainstream as a mental health tool – and lending a new aspect to the concept of mindfulness

WWF urges UK PM to make nature a stakeholder

UK – The World Wildlife Fund has pressed the UK prime minister Rishi Sunak to lead negotiations at December’s UN Biodiversity Summit (CBD COP15) in Montreal, Canada. The aim of the Summit is to agree on a new global treaty that would enshrine biodiversity protection into national plans and laws, essentially giving nature a say in government.

WWF-UK’s CEO Tanya Steele said: ‘Nature is our biggest ally in the fight against climate change and the source of our health, security and prosperity…As nature disappears, our leaders are playing for time we don’t have, risking catastrophic consequences for people, planet and the economy. We urge the prime minister to attend the summit and provide a lifeline for nature by driving forward a Paris-style global deal in Montreal – only then can we protect people and planet, and bring our world back to life.’

The NGO claims that, as one of the most nature-depleted nations in the world, the UK should show a willingness to help steer conversations at COP15. This statement comes as multiple brands have brought nature into their business as a stakeholder, most notably apparel brand Patagonia. We also explore how brands are moving towards being guardians of the natureverse in Nature Stakeholders.

Vestre and Note Design Studio at Milan Design Week 2021

Strategic opportunity

Brands and businesses must play a role in ensuring that nature guardianship moves into the civic space and becomes a global governmental target, helping to break The Paralysis Paradox

Black Friday hits record spending despite economic uncertainty

Lotte Department Store Dongnae, redesigned by BetwinSpace, South Korea Lotte Department Store Dongnae, redesigned by BetwinSpace, South Korea

US – This year, online spending by Americans rose by 2.3% on Black Friday, according to a report by Adobe Analytics, providing financial hope for those operating in the retail sector.

Given the context of the cost of living crisis, businesses were concerned about the success of this year’s holiday season – a time when spending usually peaks and enables some businesses to reach net profit. Pre-event predictions were pointing to slow spending, but analysts were proved wrong as customers delivered beyond expectations and previous records.

It had been expected that those who chose to shop might to do so in physical stores due to lack of accessibility to real-life destinations in the past few years, but e-commerce once again came out on top. Many Americans turned to their smartphones to do their shopping, with mobile shopping accounting for over 48% of all Black Friday digital sales in the US.

Events like Black Friday continue to highlight the emerging distinction between online and offline retail. While online is preferred for quick ticks, pre-planned purchases and fast browsing, stores are designed for meandering and spontaneous purchases, as well as service add-ons, all of which aren’t so suitable for Black Friday given its chaotic nature.

Strategic opportunity

Another year passes and Black Friday was considered a business success, but brands and companies cannot ignore the climate stress caused by such hyped events. They need to ensure their strategies are environmentally considerate and modest.

RSVP: Food & Drink Futures 2022 online event

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

Join our Food & Drink Futures online event, where we’ll be exploring the ever-changing meaning of nourishment in turbulent times, and discover the cultural rituals, flavour profiles and bio-hacks that are set to propel the food and drink market in unexpected directions over the coming decade.

The desire to eat and drink is a constant human need in a world in which change is inevitable. But food and drink are being redefined by global citizens who are pushing for positive impact on people, planet and profit. In 2022, we’ll take a closer look at how future-fit food systems and new technologies will transform the sector. As consumers continue to re-align their social beliefs to fit their dietary requirements, brands will need to respond, refocusing on niche communities, ingredients and experiences. Join us to uncover the next frontier for food and drink. You can buy tickets for just £80, or join The Future Laboratory Community and get inside access to our full programme of online events in 2022. 

Book your tickets now

You can now book tickets to our online event. RSVP by logging in to the platform here. Members of LS:N Global get access to The Future Laboratory Community and all online events for free

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