News 27.07.2018

Need to Know

The be.come Project launches a workout app, energy drinks turn to the natural buzz of matcha and Carlo Ratti creates a modular pavement.

The be.come Project is a body positive fitness app

The Be.come Project by Bethany C Meyers, photography by Victoria Matthews
The Be.come Project by Bethany C Meyers, photography by Victoria Matthews
The Be.come Project by Bethany C Meyers, photography by Victoria Matthews
The Be.come Project by Bethany C Meyers, photography by Victoria Matthews

US – Social media fitness influencer Bethany C Meyers has launched an app that celebrates inclusivity in the fitness industry.

Each week, Meyers will release one 25-minute total body workout routine for users of The be.come Project app, which is designed to be repeated daily over seven days. With only one workout a week and no archive available to return to older routines, Meyers has better control over her clients’ fitness journeys, making the digital experience, which costs £27 ($35, €30) a month, feel more like a boutique fitness class.

Meyers encourages users to feel confident in their body shape, suggesting users even take the at-home classes in their underwear. This more inclusive approach to fitness is evident in the project’s corresponding campaign, which shows men and women of all sizes working out in their underwear, challenging the idealised visions of fitness with which the industry has become synonymous.

An energy drink powered by matcha

MatchaBar Hustle, US MatchaBar Hustle, US
MatchaBar Hustle, US MatchaBar Hustle, US

New York – MatchaBar has released the first sparkling matcha energy drink in a bid to disrupt the market.

The brand, which stocks matcha products in more than 1,000 US retailers, has released its Hustle drinks as a natural, clean alternative to the typically sugar-laden beverages. The cans are available in regular or sugar-free options, and contain 120mg of caffeine, which is on par with a Red Bull, and significantly higher than regular matcha teas that tend to contain only 80mg of caffeine.

‘MatchaBar offers a sustained, focused energy, setting it apart from the jolt and crash associated with coffee, espresso and energy drinks that are now on the market,’ explains co-founder Graham Fortgang.

The energy drink category is going through major changes, prompted by growing concern over high-sugar content and its negative impact on our health. With the natural energy drinks market experiencing 16.2% year on year growth (source: SPINS), a new wave of wellness-focused alternatives are emerging.

Smart beer fridges enter the workplace

Boston – Online alcohol retailer Drizly and brewer Anheuser-Busch are bringing connected beer fridges to offices across the US.

Using smart sensors and wifi connectivity, the Office Bud-e fridges automatically re-order beer for businesses when stocks are running low. The fridges are stocked with Anheuser-Busch products and are designed to be placed in a workplace’s kitchen or common space. Using Drizly’s database of local alcohol retailers, the smart fridge can restock quickly. Free alcohol is becoming common in offices, with brands such as WeWork incentivising workers with complimentary beer on tap.

As explored in our macrotrend Subconscious Commerce, the Internet of Things is allowing retailers to occupy the spaces we frequent the most, whether this is our car, workplace or home.

Office Bud-e by Anheuser-Busch

Carlo Ratti imagines our future streets

The Dynamic Street by Carlo Ratti Associati and Sidewalk Labs The Dynamic Street by Carlo Ratti Associati and Sidewalk Labs
The Dynamic Street by Carlo Ratti Associati and Sidewalk Labs The Dynamic Street by Carlo Ratti Associati and Sidewalk Labs

Toronto – The architecture and design firm has joined forces with Google-owned Sidewalk Labs to create a modular, more adaptable paving system.

The Dynamic Street is designed to make our streets safer and more accessible for everyone, using features like embedded lights to communicate crossing and pick-up zones as an alternative to the use of kerbs and painted lines.

The installation at Sidewalk Labs in Toronto comprises more than 300 modular hexagonal paving slabs, which can be quickly picked up and replaced throughout the day to cause minimal road disruption. This could make it possible for a street to create an extra lane for cars during rush hour, before becoming pedestrian-only in the evening.

Brands such as Google are taking over from governments as architects of the future metropolis. Read more about how we can create a city that works for all in our Branded Cities report.

Stat: Open-plan workspaces are stifling interactions

According to a new study by Harvard Business School, open-plan offices – which were originally designed to foster creative collaboration among workers – are failing to serve their purpose. Not only are employees spending 73% less time interacting with their colleagues in person, but email and instant messaging increased by over 67%, suggesting that workers are replacing face time with purely digital communication.

The results build on research from Auckland University of Technology, which found that workers become less productive and friendly when the number of people in their office increases. For more on how to encourage a healthy workplace, see our Brand Culture 2020 report.

Thought-starter: How will the next generation of girls address wellbeing?

Foresight writer Rhiannon McGregor lists the young feminists who are empowering the next generation of girls to improve their physical, mental and sexual wellbeing.

Nadya Okamoto is the co-founder of Period, a non-profit-making organisation working to destigmatise the conversation around menstruation. As well as fighting the tampon tax and lobbying for sanitary products to be provided in public places, Period delivers women’s health packs to those in need.

23-year-old Eileen Kelly, who runs Killer and a Sweet Thang, addresses topics such as sexual wellbeing in a way that is relatable to young people, with proactively visceral images and articles such as What Does Consent Look Like? Kelly explains that the platform aims to give teenagers access to ‘the sex ed they never got’ at school.

Young people are also leading body positivity. Chidera Eggerue, 23, is an activist better known by her Instagram handle, theslumflower. Author of the soon-to-be-released self-care guide What a Time to Be Alone, Eggerue rose to prominence for instigating the viral hashtag #SaggyBoobsMatter.

Read our Big Idea to find out how Generation Z are improving female wellbeing.

Nadya Okamoto, co-founder of Period
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