Need to know
07 : 09 : 17

07.09.2017 Fashion : Food : Finance

In today’s daily digest: Bulk Market eliminates packaging waste, KFC provides a service with a smile, gender fluidity in the sex toy market and other top stories.

1. Sense Familiar is a scented print publication

Sense Familiar, London Sense Familiar, London
Sense Familiar, London Sense Familiar, London
Sense Familiar, London Sense Familiar, London
Sense Familiar, London Sense Familiar, London

UK – Stylist Isabel Bonner has collaborated with photographer Alec McLeish and florist Timothy Dunn to create a multi-sensory zine that offers both an olfactory and visual experience.

The magazine profiles six creatives – Assa Ariyoshi, Pete Sharp, Charlie Boxer, Logan Hill, Eve Miller and Niko Riam – each of whom is accompanied by a scratch-and-sniff sticker containing a fragrance that relates to their persona or work. ‘Sense Familiar came from the desire for something more in the ways I was viewing and consuming fashion,’ Bonner told It’s Nice That.

Faced with an uncertain future, print publishers are increasingly innovating in a way that feels genuine rather than gimmicky and adds value to their offer. For more on this read our Opinion piece.

2. Ruby is the first new type of chocolate in 80 years

Zurich – Developed by Swiss chocolate and cocoa manufacturer Barry Callebaut, ruby chocolate is the fourth member of the chocolate family, which includes dark, milk and white chocolate. Made from the ruby cocoa bean, the confectionary is described by the brand as having a ‘berry-like fruitiness and luscious smoothness’.

Ruby chocolate is the first new type of chocolate since white chocolate was first produced by Nestlé in 1930, and Barry Callebaut CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique believes that the unique colour will attract consumers in China, which has so far resisted the efforts of major chocolate manufacturers such as Hershey’s.

To find out more about the most important developments in the sector, purchase a ticket to our forthcoming Food and Drink Futures Forum here.

Ruby chocolate by Barry Callebaut Ruby chocolate by Barry Callebaut

3. KFC introduces smile-to-pay feature in China

Smile to Pay by KFC and Alibaba, China Smile to Pay by KFC and Alibaba, China

China – The fast food restaurant chain has launched a new payment method at one of its Hangzhou locations, which aims to make the purchasing process more seamless. Developed by Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba, the technology is integrated into the eatery’s self-service machines.

After the customer has placed an order their face is scanned by a 3D camera to verify their identity. ‘Smile to Pay can effectively block spoofing attempts using other people’s photos or video recordings to ensure account safety,’ says Jidong Chen, director of biometric identification technology at Ant Financial.

The store is designed to appeal to ‘young, technology-savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations’, explains Chen.

For more on the interfaces of the future, read our Interface Market.

4. Bulk Market offers zero-waste food shopping

Bulk Market, London Bulk Market, London
Bulk Market, London Bulk Market, London

London – The new supermarket in Hackney enables customers to bulk buy products and avoid accumulating packaging waste. Founded by Ingrid Caldironi, Bulk Market stocks a variety of food and drink items, from fruit and vegetables to beer and wine, and customers are required to bring their own receptacle with which to carry their items home.

While Bulk Market is not the first brand to adopt this model – In:gredients, the first packaging-free supermarket in the US, was launched in 2011 – it is part of a growing movement to push the practice into the mainstream. ‘Companies don’t make it easy for people to avoid waste,’ says Caldironi. ‘Bulk Market was born to fix this.’ See our Waste Warriors Tribe to learn about the early adopters of this emerging consumer behaviour.

5. Tap water across the globe contains plastic microfibres

Tap water in countries around the world is contaminated with plastic pollutants, according to a new study by Orb Media, with water in the US containing the highest number of contaminants, followed by water in Lebanon and India. These plastic microfibres are released by synthetic fabrics when cleaned, with some making their way into the world’s oceans. A single fleece jacket can shed up to 250,000 synthetic microfibres per wash, according to researchers from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California Santa Barbara. Read our Smog Life series for more on the growing awareness around the negative effects of pollution.

6. Thought-starter: Should sex toys be gender neutral?

The sexual wellness market is going from strength to strength, driven in part by the expansion of the female sex toy market. Junior journalist Rhiannon McGregor explores whether, as female sexual pleasure becomes less taboo, brands that specifically target women risk alienating members of Generation Z.

For Generation Z consumers, traditional signifiers of identity such as gender are becoming less relevant, particularly among younger consumers who want to define their own place on the gender spectrum.

According to a 2016 study by JWT, 56% of 13–20-year-olds in the US said that they knew someone who identified themselves using gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they’ or ‘ze’, compared to 43% of 28–34-year-olds.

As members of this generation approach their teenage years and early adulthood, the conversation is moving beyond toys and clothing towards an exploration of sexuality through sexual health products.

How can brands that use taglines such as ‘an online shop for rebellious women’ and ‘think with your vagina' hope to connect with consumers who do not identify as female.

Read the full Opinion piece here.

Maude, US Maude, US