News 20.01.2022

Need to Know

An out-of-this-world dessert destination comes to Shanghai, a smart urine tracker for at-home healthcare and why economists are in agreement about inequality.

A café designed for sci-fi desserts

Black Star Pastry by Linehouse, Shanghai Black Star Pastry by Linehouse, Shanghai
Black Star Pastry by Linehouse, Shanghai Black Star Pastry by Linehouse, Shanghai

Shanghai Australian café and lifestyle concept Black Star Pastry is opening a space-themed dessert bar in Shanghai, to mark its first foray into China. Created by design studio Linehouse, the space is designed to evoke the feeling of being in a spaceship, with an anti-gravity theme that is evident throughout the café.

Floating cakes, for example, are achieved with magnetic levitation, while stainless steel shelving holds thousands of meteorites to further elevate the space theme. The ground floor stirs up the incredible sensation of being aboard a spaceship,’ explains the team at Linehouse. Such design cues allow this experiential and futuristic destination to uphold Black Star Pastry’s reputation for having social media-worthy desserts.

As the Indulgence Market evolves, many audiences are seeking dessert destinations that elevate the experience of eating treat foods. Elsewhere, we’ve explored how next-gen dessert bars such as Pudu Pudu are creating hangout spaces to target Generation Z.

Strategic opportunity

Leisure and hospitality venues should look beyond early Instagram aesthetics and include futuristic or surprising elements to add intrigue

Selfridges introduces NFTs to the department store

Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely NFTs at Selfridges, UK Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely NFTs at Selfridges, UK
Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely NFTs at Selfridges, UK Paco Rabanne and Fondation Vasarely NFTs at Selfridges, UK

London – Merging digital assets with physical displays, department store Selfridges is combining bricks-and-mortar retail with NFTs. Teaming up with French designer Paco Rabanne and artist estate Fondation Vasarely, the department store is launching a pop-up shop called Universe that brings together fashion, art, theatre and digital collectibles.

The collaboration builds on creative director Julien Dossena’s spring 2022 collection, which featured the work of French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely. Now, the artist is getting the metaverse treatment, with a series of Paco Rabanne NFTs inspired by his work.

Priced between £2,000 ($2,727, €2,405) and £100,000 ($136,339, €120,243), the NFTs will be available for purchase without the need for cryptocurrencies, widening access for non-crypto-carrying consumers. Interested in learning more about the premium opportunities in the metaverse? Explore our article on luxury’s NFT opportunity.

Strategic opportunity

Draw from the past to make the concept of the metaverse more accessible to consumers. An understandable frame of reference will make everyday groups more willing to engage in this space

CES 2022: Vivoo uses urine analysis to democratise health

Las Vegas – The start-up is empowering consumers to take greater control of their health with the launch of a wellness tracker that uses urine analysis to offer healthcare advice. By using an at-home urine strip, consumers can see their personalised nutritional and health advice using the Vivoo app, accessing information about everything from their pH level to detecting UTIs and assessing liver and kidney health.

Through this innovation, Vivoo is allowing people to more easily monitor their health without relying on doctors' appointments. Miray Tayfun, co-founder of Vivoo, says: ‘We have built the necessary technology and partnered with qualified doctors, dieticians and nutritionists to help people live fuller and healthier lives.

At a time when home testing is more commonplace due to the long waiting lists created by Covid-19, such innovations point to a future when At-home Analysis becomes an everyday healthcare ritual.

MBJ Wetware: Intelligent Assistance by Marija Bozinovska Jones, installation at Somerset House, London MBJ Wetware: Intelligent Assistance by Marija Bozinovska Jones, installation at Somerset House, London

Strategic opportunity

Beauty, health and wellness brands should create products and services that empower consumers to monitor their own wellbeing. Create accessible solutions that avoid expensive technologies or reliance on healthcare professionals

Stat: The issue of inequality transcends the political spectrum

Doug Wheeler installation at David Zwirner, New York Doug Wheeler installation at David Zwirner, New York

Throughout history, economists of different political persuasions have been known to disagree on all kinds of fiscal policies. But a new report by Weber State University suggests that there is growing consensus among the financial thinking class. Indeed, the number of economists that wholly or somewhat agree that the distribution of wealth in America should be more equitable has grown from 68% to 86% over the past 21 years.

Conducted once every decade, the study asks members of the American Economic Association whether they agree on key propositions such as the desirability of universal health insurance or the economic impact of raising the minimum wage. This year, the survey found that inequality is a major concern for the majority of economists, with 85% of those surveyed agreeing that corporate power is too concentrated. Another notable change was the growing consensus on the importance of economic activism, as respondents outlined a greater need for government intervention in economic policy.

In an increasingly polarised world, it is striking to see growing consensus between economists from all sides of the political spectrum. As American economists sound the alarm about the importance of economic activism, readers can revisit our piece on Affirmative Banking to find out how to redistribute wealth.

Strategic opportunity

Companies that can afford to should use sliding-scale cost structures for products and services, recognising that wealth is unevenly distributed

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