Need to Know
05 : 06 : 18

05.06.2018 Food : Technology : Wellness

Punchy provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic variants of rum punch, Katz’s Deli reaches those outside New York with monthly delivery, Scout FM considers users’ preferences with new podcast service.

1. Katz’s Deli goes out of state with subscription service

Katz Deli Summer Packages, US Katz Deli Summer Packages, US
Katz Deli Summer Packages, US Katz Deli Summer Packages, US
Katz Deli Summer Packages, US Katz Deli Summer Packages, US

US – New York’s Katz’s Delicatessen has announced the launch of a subscription service that offers a monthly package of the delicatessen’s best products for the whole of America.

The seasonal service, which is delivered on the second Thursday of each month, contains a full meal for four to six people for £113 a month ($150, €128). Packages are themed according to the month. The June package acknowledges Father’s Day with a whole pastrami, one pound of sliced juicy pastrami, one quart of pickles, one loaf of rye bread and one pound of deli mustard. The remaining summer packages celebrate 4 July with all the barbecue essentials and August with the best beach food.

As part of the back story of New York City, the deli often fails to reach customers outside the state. The brand hopes to reach a wider consumer base with its new subscription service as well as share the essence of the Lower East Side. For more on how brands are using food to provide more authentic experiences, see our Culinary Diplomacy microtrend.

2. Scout FM offers personalised podcasts

Scout FM, US

US – Scout FM is a curated podcast service that provides personalised content based on the user’s listening preferences.

Designed for use on smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa and Echo, the app is launched on the command: ‘Alexa, open Scout FM’. Then the user must choose from one of three types of talk radio stations: daily news, brain food or true stories, and answer a set of questions that better refine the results. The chosen podcast will start with a short introduction and users will be provided with the option to skip or to continue listening. In time, the service will adjust to the listener’s preferences, removing those that tend to be skipped or ignored.

Following a shift in the music industry from ownership to access, brands are realising the potential of subscription services, playlists and online radio stations for podcasts. Scout FM reflects a new generation of devices that aim to revolutionise the way people listen to talks. See our feature on Audioburst for another example.

3. MIT students explore impact of sleep on creativity

Massachusetts, US – A team of MIT students have developed Dormio, a system that uses sleep-tracking devices to access the semi-lucid sleep state of hypnagogia in a bid to boost creativity.

The project explores ways to enhance human creativity by extending, influencing and capturing dreams in the sleep state between wakefulness and unconsciousness. Since most creativity comes from the absence of directed attention, sleep provides an opportunity to spark the imagination. By accessing hypnagogia, the state in which people begin to dream before we fall fully unconscious, the team were able to influence, extract information from and extend hypnagogic microdreams.

As people’s desire to reach optimal performance increases, the project could present possibilities for brands to bring similar concepts to the consumer product market, which would benefit particularly from growth in the calming and sleep market.

Pillow Talk Pillow Talk

4. Punchy caters for a spectrum of drinkers

Punchy, UK Punchy, UK
Punchy, UK Punchy, UK

UK – Drinks start-up Punchy has launched the first spiced rum punch that is available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variants.

One version of the ready-to-drink product has an alcohol content of 4% abv, just below the average alcohol percentage of most ciders and beers. Alternatively, for those seeking alcohol substitutes, the drink is also on sale at 0% abv.

With the alcohol industry continually evolving, entrepreneur Paddy Cavanagh-Butler recognised the need to adapt the traditional sugar-heavy Caribbean spirit to provide a healthier option for today’s consumers. As well as appealing to vegans, the punch contains just 20kcal for the 0% abv drink and 46kcal for the 4% abv drink. Enriched with peach and ginger, the product doesn’t compromise on flavour and offers lower sugar content than traditional Caribbean drinks. At 4.4g per 100ml, the products pass under the sugar tax threshold.

Punchy will be sold at Farmdrop, an ethical grocer, and Light Drinks, which specialises in low-calorie, alcoholic and alcohol-free drinks.

5. British men call for change in male stereotypes

As the concept of masculinity evolves, a new awareness is emerging of the need for media and brands to provide examples of manhood that go beyond restrictive and outdated stereotypes. In a new study commissioned by new media brand The Book of Man, 79% of men agreed that old masculinity has to change. The research also reveals that despite 65% of respondents saying they believe stereotypes are dangerous to society, 52% still feel the need to conform to them.

As social pressures continue to cause anxiety among men, brands need to take a leading role in tackling some of society’s most pressing issues. For more, read our Lessons in Manhood microtrend.

6. Thought-starter: How can brands encourage male body positivity?

With men still portrayed by advertisers as overwhelmingly slim, tall and muscular, there is an increasing desire to see new representations of the male physique that embrace diverse shapes and sizes.

A 2017 study conducted by Axe and Unilever found that, when asked what they would change about their appearance, nearly half of men said their weight and body shape. ‘There is now an opportunity for brands to change this, with brands using advertising to more fully identify with the average man, using regular-shaped models in their campaigns, as well as emphasising the important practical and emotional role he plays in the home,’ says Jack Duckett, consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel.

This new mindset is now being championed through the launch of several collectives, including The EveryMAN Project. Created by Tarik Carroll, it aims to create a safe space in which men can be ‘liberated from self-hate’ by re-imagining iconic 1990s fashion advertisements.

With this shift in mind, brands are also changing their marketing efforts. In April 2018, menswear brand Bonobos launched its Project172 campaign, hiring 172 models of varying shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities to promote its offering of 172 trouser size and fit combinations.

Read the full microtrend here.

Glassbook by The Every Man Project, photography by Tarik Carroll Glassbook by The Every Man Project, photography by Tarik Carroll