Food & Drink

From the latest openings to new ingredients, a deep-dive into the landscape of food and drink

Need to Know
07 : 05 : 19

Transforming Australia’s bars into co-working spaces, Bumble uses AI to combat inappropriate content, and how the cult of wellness can affect our mental health.

Burger King’s new meals aren’t just for when you’re happy

#FeelYourWay, Burger King

US – The fast food chain has released a series of meals with the intention of raising awareness that no one is happy all the time.

In its latest dig at competitor McDonald’s, Burger King has released Real Meals, a range of meal boxes that come in various emotions and therefore sit in opposition to McDonald’s renowned Happy Meal. The chain is asking diners to order a meal based on their current mood, whether that is Pissed, Blue, Salty, YAAAS or DGAF.

The campaign is part of a collaboration with Mental Health America to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month. The brand’s accompanying film challenges the typically happy, ‘shiny’ ads produced by the fast food industry, instead portraying a more realistic view of American life and highlighting the full spectrum of emotions experienced by people daily.

Taking a Backlash Brands approach, Burger King is rethinking jovial fast food branding for an increasingly anxious and emotional generation.

My Hustle is turning bars into co-working spaces

My Hustle, Australia My Hustle, Australia
My Hustle, Australia My Hustle, Australia

Perth, Australia – By turning bars into workspaces, My Hustle is making use of space that would otherwise be empty.

Co-working spaces tend to require regular commitment and can be costly to run. However, My Hustle is hoping to change this, opening its first daytime co-working space in a small bar called Percy Flint. The co-working space offers an ad hoc membership plan that allows freelancers to book out co-working desks and meeting rooms for a half or full day. Part of the membership also includes discounts at local businesses.

According to founder Melissa Bowen, the partnership has advantages for both parties, with remote workers looking for a community and cost-effective, quiet spaces and bar owners benefitting from an additional revenue stream. Bowen hopes to apply the business model to more locations later in 2019.

As explored in our Experience 2020 report, brands are repurposing their physical space during down-time or after hours to offer more civic-minded services for the local community.

Bumble plans to use AI to blur explicit images

US – The dating app is using artificial intelligence to flag and detect nudity in a bid to stop explicit images from appearing in users’ personal chats.

The new feature, playfully called Private Detector, can reportedly recognise images of a sexual nature with 98% accuracy. When explicit images are shared, the system will blur the picture and flag it as inappropriate content. ‘From there, the user can decide whether to view or block the image, and if compelled, easily report the image to the moderation team,’ Bumble said in a statement.

After rolling out on Bumble in June, Private Detector will also launch on other apps Chappy, Lumen and Badoo, which has a stake in Bumble. ‘The digital world can be a very unsafe place overrun with lewd, hateful, and inappropriate behaviour,’ adds Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who is also lobbying Texas state lawmakers to draft a bill criminalising the sending of unsolicited nude photos.

In our Morality Recoded macrotrend, we consider how brands are re-evaluating the need for a moral code fit for the digital era.

Bumble Private Detector Bumble Private Detector

Dirty Grass is a CBD eau de parfum

Dirty Grass by Heretic Parfum

US – Natural fragrance brand Heretic has launched a new perfume infused with CBD.

Created to help wearers relax, Dirty Grass delivers the benefits of functional fragrance by harnessing the calming properties of CBD. Each 50ml bottle contains 500mg of full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD oil – which gives the fragrance a green, earthy quality – plus lavender and vetiver. Like the other scents in Heretic’s range, Dirty Grass is 100% natural and contains no synthetics, according to the brand.

Uniquely, the fragrance is meant to be absorbed by the skin. ‘I really wanted to create a new product that not only smelled incredible and had a really unique odour profile, but really ventured into the world of what we’re calling functional fragrance,’ Heretic founder Douglas Little told WWD. In a similar vein, our Psychoactive Scents microtrend explores the emergence of a new type of fragrance, which draws on neuroscience to invoke a physical response in the wearer.

Stat: Too much exercise can be detrimental to mental health

Researchers at Yale and Oxford University collected data about the physical behaviour and mood of more than 1.2m Americans for the study, with two notable takeouts.

The research, published in The Lancet, indicated that exercise is more important to mental health than economic status. The team found that people who exercise regularly feel ‘bad’ for 35 days a year, while non-active participants described feeling ‘bad’ for an additional 18 days.

However, they also found that too much exercise can be detrimental to mental health – the mental wellbeing of those who exercised for more than three hours a day suffered more than that of those who weren’t physically active.

Is the wellness bubble about to burst? Attend our upcoming Health & Wellness Futures Forum to discover how the cult of wellness will manifest in 2019 and beyond.

Thought-starter: What’s next for plant protein?

Food-tech companies are pioneering a new wave of plant proteins developed to better mimic animal products in taste, texture and nutritional profile.

With the global population expected to reach 9.8bn by 2050, our diets will change dramatically in the future. Plant-based foods have long been prescribed as a way to balance human health with environmental sustainability. The challenge, however, has been encouraging consumers to break free from the tradition of eating meat.

Promisingly, plant-based ‘meat’ and ‘dairy’ products are not only growing in popularity, they are also getting harder to distinguish from animal products. In turn, food industry upstarts continue to explore the potential for new protein sources, developing innovative alternatives to animal-derived foods.

The evolution of these new food technologies is often accompanied by higher costs for consumers and for brands. But with accessible nutrition being one of the biggest challenges facing the food industry today, innovators such as Motif Ingredients are aiming to democratise the next generation of plant proteins. ‘Motif will be key to propelling the next food revolution with affordable, sustainable and accessible ingredients that meet the standards of chefs, food developers and visionary brands,’ says CEO Dr Jonathan McIntyre.

Read the full Next-generation Protein microtrend here.

Impossible, US Impossible, US

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