Food & Drink

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

Need to Know
21 : 04 : 20

Realtor.com reframes the meaning of home, Ideal opens a network of live-stream jewellery stores and status spirits retain growth despite economic uncertainty.

Covid-19: Realtor.com spotlights the changing role of home

#StayHome by Realtor in collaboration with Huge, US

US – The property listings website has released a new ad to emphasise how Covid-19 has changed perceptions of home environments.

Created by agency Huge, the #StayHome ad explores how homes have become sanctuaries during the coronavirus pandemic. Spending extended periods of time at home has forced people to rethink their homes as spaces for working, relaxing and exercising, among other activities. Realtor’s film also positions the home as a place that has saved lives.

The campaign started with a mini-festo that sought to address some of the emotional challenges faced by US consumers who are sheltering in place due to the country’s national lockdown. Crucially, the ad was not created to advertise Realtor.com’s services. ‘This was never to be about our business, but about our shared interest in the meaning of home,’ writes Andrew Strickman, the company’s head of brand and chief creative officer.

In a similar vein, our Sacrificial Advertising microtrend considers how brands are forgoing typical marketing messages in favour of campaigns that promote isolation.

Covid-19: Haus creates bespoke aperitifs to support restaurants

Haus in collaboration with nine US restaurants Haus in collaboration with nine US restaurants
Haus in collaboration with nine US restaurants Haus in collaboration with nine US restaurants

US – The direct-to-consumer brand of aperitifs has collaborated with nine US restaurants to create a range of bespoke blends.

Haus’ Restaurant Project aims to support restaurants forced to close due to Covid-19. Each aperitif has been designed to reflect the culinary approach of various restaurants, such as a smokey sipping aperitif inspired by Mister Jiu’s signature roast duck. The concept, which sees Haus pay the restaurant’s cut immediately, contributes to running costs and employee wages. As a result, customer purchases will have an immediate positive impact, before bottles are due to be sent out in May.

In a blog post about the initiative, the founders of Haus say: ‘E-commerce is a big opportunity for restaurants to make money while their doors are closed. By creating products for restaurants, we take on the hard part – supply chain, production, selling, shipping. They can focus on keeping afloat.’

As we explore in our Covid-19 Contingency Planning report, the food and drink industry – and particularly restaurants – are responding rapidly to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ideal turns in-store employees into live-stream broadcasters

China – Multi-brand jeweller Ideal has moved to a digital business model, creating virtual stores in response to physical shop closures.

The retailer’s initiative, Thousand People, Thousand Stores, turns its sales associates into live-stream broadcasters, with each managing their own ‘store’. While the jewellery industry has traditionally relied on bricks-and-mortar stores, Ideal was able to fast-track its plans to create virtual stores as an alternative to physical retail.

The project was in the works before the outbreak of Covid-19 and was planned as a response to Generation Z’s consumption habits, as well as competition from decentralised, direct-to-consumer jewellery brands. The digital initiative will enable greater localisation from sales associates, with training programmes educating staff on the needs of regional shoppers.

In our forthcoming retail macrotrend, which will be launched here on 23 April, we discuss how remote retail concepts are celebrating staff and creating direct lines of communication with consumers.

Thousand People, Thousand Stores by Ideal, China Thousand People, Thousand Stores by Ideal, China

Stat: Status spirits remain popular despite global crisis

According to a report by The IWSR, the global market for status spirits continues to show promise.

Despite the impact of Covid-19, status spirits – those that retail for £79, ($100, €90) or more – are one segment of the industry that tends to be resistant to current economic uncertainty. The established categories of cognac and Scotch, for example, are major drivers, but less developed categories such as US whiskey and tequila are also gaining momentum.

Mark Meek, CEO of The IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, says: ‘Although we conducted our study prior to the current Covid-19 situation, when we look at similar past events such as SARS and the 2008 financial crisis, luxury goods and status spirits in particular have always recovered to previous levels.’

As demonstrated by the rise of the British Spirits Market, this suggests there is likely to be more growth in the localised, high-end spirits sector in the near future.

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