US – The brand has expanded from sexual wellness products to celebrate the ritual of bathing.
The Bath collection is the first of its kind from Maude, which is known for its modern approach to sexual wellness, and includes massage candles, bath salts and a coconut milk powder. Designed to bring another layer of intimacy to bathing, it is intended for both solo and couples' use, and complements Maude's range of natural lubricants and sex toys.
Maude based the collection on a 2017 study which found that mood-setting was the number one thing people did to keep their sex lives active. Its founder Eva Goicochea believes that sexual wellness companies often fail in supporting longer-term, holistic intimacy. ‘Bathing, a ritual that provides health benefits including increased blood circulation and the release of stress-reducing hormones, sets the mood and provides an opportunity for intimacy beyond the bedroom,’ she says.
By showing how the ritual of bathing can provide a more intimate moment for couples and individuals alike, Maude is tapping into the rise of Conscious Deceleration.
Tilt Five melds digital and tabletop gaming
California – Tilt Five looks to bring augmented reality (AR) to board games with holographic lenses.
Suited to both single and multiplayer games, Tilt Five combines elements of video and tabletop games to create a new form of mixed-reality gaming. Launching on Kickstarter, the experience hinges on AR-enabled glasses, which project 3D, holographic images to create a virtual layer over the game board. This enables players to save and stream games, view the board from a private perspective to plan moves, and converse with other users when playing remotely.
‘We wanted to provide an amazing gaming experience that blends the things you love about video games and board games, and we wanted it to be just as fun when playing solo, together with your friends, or even when you're apart,’ says Jeri Ellsworth, co-founder and CEO.
As we explore in our Programmable Realities macrotrend, such mixed reality tools are facilitating an entirely new way of engaging with products.
Gene-edited avocados could survive climate change
Mexico – As rising temperatures disrupt supply chains, a team of scientists have found a way to map the DNA sequence of avocados.
With a recent study by scientists in California estimating that the climate emergency could reduce avocado production by over 40% over the next three decades, researchers are finding ways to protect the future of the avocado. The team at LANGEBIO in Mexico and Texas Tech University have done this by sequencing the avocado genome, including the popular Hass avocado.
The gene-editing technique hopes to boost productivity of avocado trees, improve disease resistance and create fruit with new tastes and textures. ‘There are avocados that grow in very hot places with little water, and there are avocados that grow more in rainy places,’ Luis Herrera-Estrella, a plant genomics professor, tells the New York Times. ‘If we can identify genes that confer heat tolerance and drought tolerance, then we can engineer the avocados for the future.’
Stat: Plain packaging could cost drinks brands billions
Alcohol brands stand to make considerable financial losses if plain packaging legislation comes into force. Research conducted by valuation consultancy Brand Finance predicts a loss of up to £350bn ($430bn, €392bn) for the global drinks sector.
Plain packaging legislation has already been implemented for tobacco products in a number of countries, prompting calls for this type of regulation to extend into the food and drink sector. According to Brand Finance, such legislation would not only jeopardise the business models of major brand-owning companies such Heineken, AB InBev and Pernod Ricard, but would also lead to losses in the creative industries, impacting roles in design and advertising, many of which heavily rely on FMCG contracts.
As consumers embrace moderation mindsets, brands have an opportunity to reposition alcohol and promote more positive drinking habits.