News 27.06.2019

Need to Know

WellSpoken boosts trust in wellness influencers, Goodee offers ethical e-commerce and consumers are still confused by plant-based cooking.

A futuristic brand identity for a Greek pharmacy

Placebo Pharmacy branding by Luminous Design Group, Athens
Placebo Pharmacy branding by Luminous Design Group, Athens
Placebo Pharmacy branding by Luminous Design Group, Athens

Athens – Placebo is a modern pharmacy that has recently undergone a sci-fi-inspired rebranding by the agency Luminous Design Group.

The pharmacy’s building has become iconic for KLab Architecture’s circular design, perforated metal details and celebration of natural light, which give it a contemporary feel. In this vein, Luminous Design Group’s new visual identity plays on the idea of modernity through optical illusions.

The monochrome design features circular shapes and bold, graphic logos, deviating from the warm, welcoming and wellness-focused aesthetic healthcare practitioners have typically gravitated towards. With metallic colours and foil textures, the branding brings playful elements of science fiction to the pharmacy sector, helping to ensure that the industry remains relevant in the future.

As more pharmaceutical brands choose to bypass the pharmacy completely and go direct to consumer (DTC), pharmacies are becoming more creative in their aesthetics in a bid to reach modern consumers.

Cannes Lions 2019: Lovot is an emotional robot that tackles loneliness

Lovot by Groove X Lovot by Groove X
Lovot by Groove X Lovot by Groove X

Tokyo – The robot has been developed for the sole purpose of providing companionship.

Japanese start-up Groove X, which brought Lovot to Cannes Lions, created the robot as a partner for humans. Using advanced technology – dubbed Emotional Robotics – which includes touch sensors throughout its body and a six-layered eye display, the robot differs from other devices in that it does not complete tasks for its owners.

In a country populated by increasingly high numbers of hikikomori, Lovot combats loneliness by recognising its owner and begging for attention. ‘A robot normally aims to improve productivity in order for us to have less work to do. But improved productivity is not linked to increased happiness. That’s why I found a way technology could contribute to happiness,’ says Kaname Hayashi, founder of Groove X.

Rather than carrying out tasks to save us time, Friend Bots offer a way for people to find everyday companionship in the domestic space.

WellSpoken introduces training for wellness influencers

London – Following the launch of its independent accreditation for wellness brands, the UK-based start-up is now introducing a voluntary register to verify influencers’ content.

Amid growing concerns about the legitimacy of claims made by public figures in the health and wellness space, WellSpoken wants to implement industry-wide standards, which includes a training programme to ensure things like transparency about their advertising work.

The initiative, which has been undertaken in partnership with The Health Bloggers Community, was born out of joint research showing that 74% of consumers identified social media as the least trustworthy source of health and wellness information.

‘The current lack of industry-specific legislation has meant that consumers and other stakeholders have been active players in holding influencers accountable,’ says Sarah Greenidge, founder of WellSpoken. ‘Our training and framework will ultimately raise existing industry standards.’ There is growing demand from consumers for wellness products and services that can demonstrate their efficacy, an idea that is explored in-depth in our macrotrend Certified Wellness.

Summer 2019 Yoga Collection by Nike, US

Goodee is a marketplace for purpose-driven brands

Goodee, Canada
Goodee, Canada
Goodee, Canada

Montreal – Spearheaded by the designers Byron and Dexter Peart, Goodee is an e-commerce platform that combines aspirational design with ethical values.

All of the brands included on the site have been hand-picked by the duo for their commitment to making a social or environmental impact. Featured brands include: EcoBirdy, which recycles plastic toys into children’s furniture; Haeckels, a grooming brand that creates its all-natural products from sustainable resources; and Skagerak, a sustainable design company from Denmark.

‘Our viewpoint is that conspicuous consumption has reached an unsustainable point,’ says Dexter Peart. ‘We believe that many people, especially younger generations, are searching for better tools to consume ‘less but better’ products.’

In line with the launch, the twins are also creating a series of pop-up events that will allow customers to interact with the brands in a bricks-and-mortar environment. As explored in our macrotrend Uneasy Affluence, there is now a desire among luxury consumers to spend their money in a more meaningful manner, devoid of conspicuous consumption.

Stat: UK consumers lack confidence with plant-based ingredients

Despite the growing interest in vegan and flexitarian diets, a recent survey by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s found that more than a third of those polled were lacking in knowledge when it comes to cooking plant-based foods. This is despite the fact that Sainsbury’s has recorded a 65% increase in the sale of plant-based products this year compared with 2018. ‘While we are seeing a huge climb in sales of our plant-based foods, we know from conversations with customers that there is a sense of trepidation about cooking with them,’ says Sainsbury’s buyer James Hamilton.

The brand therefore launched a pop-up meat-free butchers where it showcased products like chorizo-style shroomdogs and veggie ribz to educate customers about how they can be incorporated into meals. With consumers becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of food, there are opportunities for brands to take a leading role in educating people not only about the provenance of ingredients but also about how they can be used in everyday life. For more, see our Educated Eating report.

Thought-starter: Will aperitifs disrupt cocktail culture?

The traditional aperitif is being re-invented, tapping into moderation mindsets and a slower, flavour-led style of drinking that is infiltrating cocktail culture, says foresight writer Alex Hawkins.

As consumers explore ways to reduce their alcohol intake, the aperitifs category is enjoying a surge in popularity. Traditionally, these lower-strength spirits and wines, many of which have roots in Italy and France, were served to stimulate the appetite with their dry or bitter flavours. Now, brands are re-interpreting aperitifs for modern drinkers, creating both low-alcohol and non-alcoholic alternatives.

‘There’s huge demand from people who want serious, complex alternatives to alcohol,’ Paul Mathew, founder of The Hide bar in London, tells LS:N Global. Catering for the 61% of UK consumers who want better choices when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks (source: Distill Ventures), Mathew recently launched Everleaf, a non-alcoholic bittersweet aperitif inspired by his background in conservation biology. ‘I really wanted Everleaf to have a very positive impact on the people, plants and eco-systems that the ingredients come from,’ he says.

And for those seeking an aperitif with alcohol, California-based Haus is modernising the aperitifs category with a low-abv product targeted at health-conscious Millennials.

Explore the rise of New Wave Aperitifs here.

Æcorn Aperitifs
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