Need to Know
04 : 05 : 18

04.05.2018 Retail : Food : Technology

The Future Laboratory explores how brands can save physical retail, Jambo! elevates African cuisine, Facebook creates new VR experiences.

1. The Future Laboratory unveils Storefront Salvation

Storefront Salvation by The Future Laboratory, visuals by Max Guther

London – The Future Laboratory hosted its Retail Futures Forum yesterday at our Spitalfields HQ, where we unveiled the retail trends shaping the landscape into 2019, such as Grocery AI-sles and Accessible Premium. We launched our latest retail macrotrend, Storefront Salvation, that explores how retailers can save physical retail in the age of Amazon.

Bringing the macrotrend to life, we worked with developers Deeply Digital to create the Storefront Salvation game. Players must open their own shop and see if they have what it takes to keep it afloat during the retail apocalypse. Have a play and see if you are a future-fit retailer. For a preview of our 2019 retail trends, download our free summary report here.

Our next Futures Forum will be hosted at The Corinthia Hotel on 12 July, and will focus on health and wellness. Tickets are now available in The Future Laboratory Shop.

2. New Jambo! design interprets the spirit of Africa

Jambo! by NB Studio, London Jambo! by NB Studio, London
Jambo! by NB Studio, London Jambo! by NB Studio, London
Jambo! by NB Studio, London Jambo! by NB Studio, London

London – Food delivery service Afriigo has rebranded Jambo! with a fresh redesign by NB studio that aims to raise the profile of African cuisine.

Working with restaurants to deliver African food, the delivery start-up’s new name translates as ‘Hello!’ from the African language Swahili. The design agency’s mission was to capture the spirit of Africa while avoiding clichés. ‘The outcome was an energetic and conversational brand that encourages people of all ethnicities and demographics to ‘Say hello to African food’, explains Sam Pittman, a designer at NB Studio.

In an effort to reposition African food as mainstream, Jambo! hopes to translate African culture in a simple way that resonates with consumers, while making African food more accessible through delivery services. For another example of a brand elevating African cuisine, read about the opening of high-end West African restaurant Ikoyi.

3. France wants a new language for vegan ingredients

France – The European country is looking to prohibit the use of meat terms when referencing plant-based food.

In similar context to the European Court of Justice’s 2017 ruling that soya and tofu products cannot be marketed as milk or butter, the French government wants to represent the true value of products by developing new terms that fairly describe meat-free foods.

By using terms such as ‘burger’ or ‘chicken’, brands can often mislead consumers to believe something may contain meat, unless clearly stated. With veganism continuing to rise, there is no longer the need for meat references, as consumers have become more aware of products that these manufacturers offer. Brands can now begin to adapt the language they use to describe these foods in order to celebrate the true source of the ingredients.

Crossroads Impossible Burger, US Crossroads Impossible Burger, US

4. Facebook launches independent VR headset

Oculus Go by Facebook

US – During Facebook’s F8 Develop Conference on Wednesday, the technology brand announced the release of Oculus Go, the first stand-alone device for virtual reality (VR).

The new headset connects to wi-fi and is able to do all of its processing on board without the need to pair with a mobile phone or a PC. Despite the short set-up, which requires the Oculus app, users can enjoy the experience without having to own any other devices, unlike Samsung’s Gear VR, which requires connection to an Android phone.

Although predominantly used for gaming, the device offers many other possibilities. Users can also enjoy educational experiences, live sports and music, as well as tv, photos and social connecting when the company launches its new apps, Oculus TV, Gallery and Oculus Go.

As our online and offline worlds continue to converge, consumers expect brands to push the possibilities and create experiences that affect their everyday lives in media, work, education, social interaction, travel and retail. With the Oculus Go’s price point set at £199 ($269, €225), VR technology will become more mainstream and will push these expectations even further.

5. Young tea drinkers adapt their flavour palates

A new report from Mintel suggests that tea manufacturers should look beyond traditional black tea to more experimental flavours that appeal to the younger generation. The rise in specialist teas offers brands an opportunity to adapt these to meet the tastes of these consumers. The report lists new dessert flavours that have been introduced by tea brands, including Teapigs Jelly and Ice Cream Tea and Tetley Chocolate Mint tea.

The market research firm also identified that consumers were relying on dessert tea as an alternative to sugar-laden drinks, with 49% of UK consumers viewing flavoured tea as a good substitute.

6. Thought-starter: How can brands protect the polar regions with sustainable travel?

A rise in accessibility to the Arctic and Antarctica is offering consumers new ways to experience the polar regions, with innovative hospitality brands focusing on responsible tourism.

Travel to the Arctic and Antarctica, with their stunning nature, wildlife and potential as extreme experience destinations, is on the rise. Much of this is being fuelled by the accessibility offered by cruises. Luxury French cruise line Pontant is tapping into this with the launch of two expedition ships later this year to better accommodate travellers. The vessels will enable guests to fully embrace harsh weather conditions through their submerged cameras and will include an underwater observation lounge and vibrating ‘body-listening sofas’ that transmit sounds of the sea.

As a result of this boost in tourism, a new wave of luxury hotels are also opening. Sheldon Chalet in Alaska offers a luxury experience at 6,000 feet, where the public can engage in experiences and opportunities that would have traditionally been reserved for mountaineers and well-seasoned travellers.

Increasing tourism can come at an environmental cost. But with this challenge also comes an opportunity for hospitality brands to show their sustainability credentials in such a fragile environment.

For more, read the full report here.

Sheldon Chalet, Alaska Sheldon Chalet, Alaska