Food & Drink

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

Need to Know
13 : 11 : 19

Pop-up gift stores inspired by lifestyle trends, coffee beans could provide a new source of plant protein, and 1.3bn orders were placed on Singles’ Day.

Boots turns data into curated gift edits

Bootiques by Boots

UK – Health and beauty retailer Boots has launched a series of curated gift edits called Bootiques as part of its Christmas campaign.

The Gift Like You Get Them campaign, which debuted with a 90-second film, is the result of research that shows UK consumers want to give fewer but better gifts this festive season. Inspired by different consumer lifestyles and today’s ‘multitude of new trends and tribes’, the Bootiques will appear online, in Boots stores, across social media and experiential channels.

The concept draws on data from the retailer’s Advantage Card loyalty scheme, tapping into what Adam Zavalis, Boots’ director of brand and communications, has called ‘mass personalisation’. Launching with six Bootiques online, shoppers can also use the ‘Build Your Own Bootique’ tool to create and share their online wish lists.

‘People’s ever-changing passions and interests can make it tough to buy for them at Christmas,’ says Helen Normoyle, marketing director for Boots UK and Ireland. ‘We have used that challenge as a source of creative inspiration.’ To learn more about how brands are looking to personalisation, read our Loyalty Market.

A 3D-scanned British chip shop lands in China

Scotts Fish & Chips, designed by Unknown Works, Chengdu Scotts Fish & Chips, designed by Unknown Works, Chengdu
Scotts Fish & Chips, designed by Unknown Works, Chengdu Scotts Fish & Chips, designed by Unknown Works, Chengdu

Chengdu – Design studio Unknown Works has 3D scanned a series of British fish and chip shops, transplanting their interior details to create a new, modern chip shop in China.

The Chengdu edition of Scotts fish and chips shop pays homage to its namesake British road-side restaurant – a popular dining destination for coach-riding Chinese tourists visiting the city of York. The unfolding façade of the new 33m² space uses white glass reinforced plastic, with integrated tables that fold out for patrons, framing the view of other diners.

Unknown Works used 3D scans of Scotts and other UK chip shops to capture details such as wallpaper textures, cornicing, salt shakers and other oddities. Tapping into the notion of ‘shanzai’ – the imitation brands or products often found for sale in China – the restaurant questions how cultures, dialogue and trade can be represented between the two nations.

As recently explored, such themed experiences are capturing the attention of Chinese consumers, with destinations like Scotts in Chengdu using Discovery Dining to serve a British experience to local customers.

Coffee beans are a novel source of plant protein

Texas – Green coffee beans are being explored as a new source of plant-based protein.

According to food innovation company Applied Food Sciences, its CoffeeProtein product boasts a number of benefits for both consumers and manufacturers. Not only is it vegan, caffeine-free and compliant with both paleo and keto diets, but as a whole-food protein, rather than an isolate, the product also retains natural phytonutrients and fibre.

‘We thought that consumer familiarity with coffee would be a really strong element with this product,’ says Brian Zapp, director of marketing at Applied Food Sciences. The Texas-based company says the protein’s sensory profile – from its smooth texture to its mixability – also gives it an advantage over other plant-based proteins. For manufacturers looking to add plant-based protein to their products, this means the innovation could lend itself well to a number of applications, such as high-protein, coffee-based beverages and snacks.

With protein in high demand among consumers, brands have an opportunity to reconsider narratives around the macronutrient to improve how they market plant-based proteins towards men.

Photography by Ozgu Ozden Photography by Ozgu Ozden

Stat: Singles’ Day continues to win shoppers’ hearts

This year’s Global Shopping Festival – aka, Singles’ Day, a shopping event that celebrates Uncoupled Living – has generated £29.8bn ($38.4bn, €34.8bn) in gross merchandise volume, according to organiser Alibaba.

In percentage terms, 2019 sales represented an increase of 26% compared to 2018, with 200,000 brands taking part, one million new products launched for the event, and 1.3 billion orders placed for delivery.

According to Alibaba, 15 global brands surpassed sales of £111m ($143m, €129m) in gross merchandise value, among them leading European and America companies such as Estée Lauder, Gap, H&M, L’Oréal, Levi’s, MUJI, Nike, The North Face, and Uniqlo.

This year’s Singles’ Day formed part of a month-long festival from Alibaba focused on driving purchasing among rural and coastal Chinese consumers, creating new business opportunities, and greener approaches to commerce. With greater connectivity transforming China’s rural regions and creating new consumer hubs, our interview with Xiaowei Wang, creative director of Logic magazine, forecasts what the future holds.

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