News 04.07.2018

Need to Know

Netflix commits to diverse storytelling, Creator's first restaurant is run by robots, Instagram Lite launches to better serve those in developing countries.

Netflix celebrates the black film community

A Great Day in Hollywood, Netflix

US – Showcasing its commitment to producing original content by black voices, the streaming platform has produced a video featuring 47 black leads and creatives from over 20 Netflix shows and films.

Inspired by the 1958 photo A Great Day in Harlem, which featured prominent jazz musicians of the time, the spot brings together actor and creators including Ava DuVernay, Laverne Cox and Lena Waithe, to celebrate blackness and black storytelling on the platform. To accompany the video, Netflix has also launched a new twitter account @strongblacklead to support the black community.

With the launch of new programmes like Dear White People and the She’s Gotta Have It reboot, the platform is gradually becoming more reflective of the diversity of its viewing audience.

Burger-flipping robot opens its first restaurant

Creator robotic restaurant, San Francisco, US
Creator robotic restaurant, San Francisco, US
Creator robotic restaurant, San Francisco, US
Creator robotic restaurant, San Francisco, US

San Francisco – Food tech start-up Creator has unveiled the first restaurant that uses robotics to autonomously prepare burgers.

Unlike Flippy, the robotic arm that flips burgers, Creator can make a burger from start to finish. Once customers have placed their order via a tablet, a compressed air tube pushes a freshly-made bun onto the conveyor belt where the rest of the ingredients can be added. It is cut in half by a vibrating knife before being toasted and buttered. Additional add-ons such as measured sauces and spices, pickles, tomatoes, onions and cheese are automatically placed onto the bun depending on the order. Finally, the machine adds the burger, which is produced from strands of meat that are hung vertically and are lightly pressed together to form a patty.

Despite using quality ingredients, each burger is aimed at the fast casual market, with a cost of £4.55 ($6, €5.15). ‘This is the kind of burger you would get for $12 to $18 at an upscale restaurant, and it’s $6,’ says Alex Vardakostas, co-founder and CEO at Creator. The restaurant is able to offer the meal at a reasonable cost due to its savings on labour.

Creator is another example of how robots are transforming the hospitality sector.

Instagram downsizes in a new app for developing countries

Global – The social platform has quietly launched an extension of its app that takes up less space and data. The new platform, Instagram Lite, is designed to better serve those in emerging markets, where mobile coverage is poor, and data is expensive.

At just 573 kilobytes, which is 1/55th of the size of Instagram’s main app, users can download the app quickly and save memory space on their phones. Although Instagram Lite doesn’t yet allow direct messages or video sharing, users are still able to filter and post photos, watch stories and browse the explore section.

The launch comes at a time where brands are exploring how to make e-commerce and digital applications more accessible and efficient to consumers in these markets. Google recently adapted its new search app, Google Go, to work on 2G networks and use 40% less data when displaying search results. Elsewhere, Tinder expanded into a desktop application to streamline the service for users.

Instagram Stories

Vybes updates the visual language of CBD products

Vybes, US
Vybes, US
Vybes, US

US – Drinks start-up VYBES is introducing a new flavour to its CBD-infused beverage collection. Inspired by youth and nostalgia, Strawberry Lavender combines the fresh taste of hand-picked strawberries with a subtle pairing of Lavender floral notes.

The brand, which launched in December 2017, taps into the contemporary cannabis market with a range of drinks products that embrace the mind and body healing powers of CBD. The drinks are branded under a minimal aesthetic, dismissing cliché pot leaf motifs and instead creating credibility and desire for the products by using a clearly labelled glass bottle.

With cannabidiol now available in a variety of forms, drinks brands are adopting a more sophisticated and nuanced aesthetic to CBD product packaging to reflect its shift into mainstream.

Luxury consumers demand quick delivery

In an era of on-demand culture, consumers have high expectations for delivery, particularly when purchasing gifts. A new report by the delivery service, Drop Off revealed that luxury shoppers are increasingly abandoning slow delivery estimates in favour of same-day delivery.

‘Consumers who plan to spend more than $100 per gift are 26% more likely to purchase from retailers that offer same-day delivery’, says Sean Spector, CEO of Dropoff. In addition, two-thirds of consumers say they have avoided a purchase due to slow delivery methods, which was up 16% from 2017.

Thought-starter: Can beauty brands reinvent self-tanning?

Negative associations with reality tv stars and unpredictable results have limited the market scope of fake tans, but new innovations in texture, scent and finish are attracting new fans.

Self-tanners have historically been something of a hard sell. Jacqueline Burchell, global marketing and product development director at St Tropez Tan, says that the expression ‘fake tan’ is banned in its offices, ostensibly because it undermines the luxury air it is trying to cultivate.One way that brands can make their tanning offerings palatable is by using the language, ingredients and textures from the world of skincare.

Consumers are well versed in skincare, and therefore will see the tanning product as an extension of their routine, rather than as something additional, like the St Tropez Self Tan Sheet Mask. Brands are fusing the line between make-up and tanning with smoothing body bronzers such as Vita Liberata Body Blur and tinted body sprays like Alleven.

In a culture that favours convenience, beauty brands are also exploring a number of innovations that will help make tanning products easier to apply. Tan-Luxe and Isle of Paradise were first to market with their tanning waters, which have a lightweight, spray-on texture, as well their innovative Tanning Oil that offers full hydration and full colour, unlike gradual tanning lotions that hydrate but build a tan more slowly.

For more, read the full feature here.

Alleven, London
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