Poland – Graduate student Roza Janusz has developed a biological alternative to plastic packaging, developed from the natural yeast and bacteria disc used in the fermentation process of kombucha.
With similar properties to the animal tissue used as a casing for cured meats such as chorizo or salami, Janusz has re-imagined the material – known as scoby, or Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast – as a natural wrap for food produce, that can later be cooked with or dissolved. The initial taste of the scoby resembles that of kombucha, but as it absorbs the flavour of the food content, a different taste is formed. The longevity of the packaging also varies depending on what it is wrapping. For food products such as nuts, which have a more acidic pH value, Janusz predicts a longer scoby shelf life.
The UK government’s environmental strategy to reduce plastic wasteover the next 25 years highlights the need for brands to reconsider the use of plastic as a packaging material, something Marin Kurian also addressed in a recent project that involved re-engineering ecological materials such as rice starch to create alternatives to plastic.
2. Velux highlights the toxic effects of life indoors
The Indoor Generation by VELUX
Global – Window manufacturer Veluxhas launched a new campaign, The Indoor Generation, that brings to light the negative effects of air pollution and artificial lighting in the home.
Through a series of platforms, including a micrositeand a short film, the brand illustrates the negative health impacts of closed, indoor living. Highlighting issues such as the lack of daylight and air-borne toxicity of toys in a child’s bedroom, Velux emphasises how, by opening windows and letting fresh air and natural light in, families can enjoy a better quality of life.
‘It's important for all of us to rethink the way we live indoors. From individuals to architects, from companies to governments, we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to make sure our homes are healthy places to live and grow up in,’ the brand states on the microsite.
Despite businesses and brands increasingly addressing the impact of pollution on daily living, much of the conversation is still centred on the toxicity of air outdoors. As Velux highlights, there is also a need for organisations to understand the implications that indoor pollution can have on a person’s health and wellbeing.
3. A non-alcoholic beer for office drinking
Japan – Suntory, best known for its portfolio of soft drinks including Ribena and Lucozade, has announced a new non-alcoholic beer targeted at office workers.
Known as All-Free All-Time, the drink marks Suntory’s effort to expand the non-alcoholic beer market beyond social environments. Instead, the drink is designed as a refreshment for office workers. Infused with the taste of beer, the drink is colourless and packaged in a clear plastic bottle, thus avoiding the appearance and stigma of drinking in the workspace.
With more consumers shunning alcohol in favour of low- or no-alcohol alternatives, brands are exploring ways to enhance the flavour and customer experience of these products. For more on how alternatives to alcohol are developing, see our Party-totallerstribe.
All-Free All-Time by Suntory, Japan
4. Cartier targets duty-free with exclusive watches
Discover Santos de Cartier With Deng Chao by DFS and Cartier, China
China – Luxury jewellery house Cartier has collaborated with travel retail specialist DFS on a collection of luxury watches available only through airport retail.
Highlighting the potential to capture Chinese luxury consumer spend at duty-free locations, the Santos de Cartier watch collection is supported by a campaign film featuring popular Chinese actor and comedian Deng Chao. The ad follows the star around San Francisco – a destination that welcomed many Chinese immigrants arriving in the US in the 19th and 20th centuries – capturing moments of his day with flashes of the Santos timepieces.
In our Chinese Duty-Free Retail market, we take a closer look at growth in the travel retail sector in Asia-Pacific destinations.
5. Africans develop a taste for beer
While consumers are generally becoming more health-conscious, resulting in a decline in alcohol consumption in some regions, new research from Nielsen shows that beer is one particular FMCG category demonstrating significant growth.
This growth is particularly prominent in countries on the African continent, which Nielsen suggests has emerged as a result of changing tastes among consumers. Elsewhere, brands are increasingly challenging the traditional manufacturing of beer by exploring new flavours and brewing processes.
6. Thought-starter: Can brands help detoxify masculinity?
With movements such as #MeToo, the meaning of ‘masculinity’ is coming under more scrutiny than ever. Foresight writer Peter Maxwell explores how brands can help to shape a positive, future narrative.
The assessment of what masculinity has become needs to be conducted on a system-wide level. As such, author Kiese Laymon has called for men who know better to do better. Do enough men know better, and if not, how can they be made more self-aware? And for those who do, are they equipped with the right tools to do better in a substantive way? These are the first crucial steps on the road to becoming better allies, and they are steps that brands can play a core role in helping men achieve.
Advertisers and marketers have invested billions in constructing an image of successful manhood as being indelibly defined by power, domination, strength and aggression. But this condition is much more endemic than simply colouring the way brands market. It touches every part of every industry, from workplace culture to corporate strategy, product development and pricing.