Sweden – The country’s tourism board is working with Michelin-starred chefs to encourage visitors to cook a nine-course menu in the wild.
Branded as The Edible Country, Sweden is being pitched as a 100 million-acre gourmet restaurant. Created by Visit Sweden, seven wooden tables have been placed across the country with ready-to-use meal kits and cooking utensils, with the aim of showing how accessible healthy food can be. Tables are free of charge to use and can be reserved via Bookatable.com.
According to Visit Sweden, the country is 96% uninhabited, making it an ideal destination for wild dining. ‘Our nature is filled with edible ingredients and we want to invite the world to enjoy them, and at the same time wind down in nature like us Swedes do,’ says Jennie Skogsborn Missuna, the tourism board’s chief experience officer.
Sweden is a leader when it comes to finding new ways to brand its country and appeal to tourists. In 2017, Visit Sweden listed the entire nation on Airbnb. For more on the future of placemaking strategies, book a dedicated presentation from The Future Laboratory.
This storytelling app empowers female sexuality
Dipsea, San Francisco
Dipsea, San Francisco
San Francisco – Dipsea is a tech company and story studio that aims to destigmatise female sexual curiosity and arousal.
Its first product is an app featuring an ever-growing library of audio content, created to support and empower women sexually, and ranging from five minutes to 20 minutes in length. By focused on a mind-first approach to sexual wellness, the library utilises a technique called mental framing, reported to better arouse women by conjuring up sexual scenarios.
'For far too long, sexuality has been defined by men as physical, rather than mental,' Gina Gutierrez, co-creator of Dipsea, tells Bustle. 'And we’ve heard so many women question whether something is wrong with them because they don’t get spontaneously horny, or because things need to feel really right for them to access their sexual feelings.'
New York – Pensa Systems is launching a grocery retail tracking service that uses drones to monitor stock levels in real time.
Aimed at eliminating retail's $1 trillion blind spot around in-store inventory, the system uses small drones to scan shelves and inform retailers of where replenishment is needed. Pensa's fleet of drones boast computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to ‘see’ what is on shelves, reporting real-time, actionable data to employees.
While smaller than drones used for leisure or filming, the devices will roam the aisles after hours or during quieter store times, in order to avoid disturbing customers. Eventually, Pensa hope that the system will be able to predict low stock before items run out.
As explored in our microtrend Grocery AI-sles, we have previously seen retailers use robots to manage their inventory, however Pensa's system is potentially more scalable and shows how humans and AI-driven devices can work together.
Drone Interactive, Grenoble
Loop wants to normalise reusable FMCG packaging
Loop, New Jersey
New Jersey – A new circular shopping platform will allow consumers to buy popular products from leading FMCG brands in reusable packaging.
Created by New Jersey-based recycling company TerraCycle, Loop is transforming the packaging of everyday essentials from single-use and disposable, to reusable and durable. Through Loop, consumers will be able to purchase Häagen Dazs ice cream, Ariel detergent and Crest mouthwash, delivered in reusable containers and collected, cleaned and refilled once the product is used up. The concept takes inspiration from glass bottle milk delivery and reimagines it for a wider range of household goods.
Set to launch in spring 2019 in the US and France, Loop aims to address waste at the root cause – something recycling is not able to achieve. From hotels to supermarkets, brands are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of single-use packaging. For more on how packaging is changing for FMCG brands, look out for our upcoming Refined Refillables microtrend.
Stat: Mobile devices to lead internet use in 2025
As the price of smartphones continues to fall, three quarters of global internet users will access the web solely via their phones by 2025. While this accounts to nearly 3.7 billion people, just 1.3 billion will continue to use both a laptop and smartphone to access the internet.
The forecast by GSMA Intelligence also shows that five countries are expected to account for half of all growth in mobile users – Indonesia, India, China, Nigeria and Pakistan. With these nations ‘leapfrogging’ the West to become mobile-only, technology companies are entering these markets with hyper-local services. Last year, Google rolled out a social network called Neighbourly exclusively for the Indian market.
Thought-starter: Can EQ training boost luxury hotel service?
Natalia Perez, brand director at Crowne Plaza, on the company’s quest to boost colleagues' emotional intelligence with a little help from The School of Life.
‘We're finding it's ever more important to deliver a far more emotionally engaging experience to our customers,’ Natalia Perez explains.As a result, the hospitality brand has partnered with School of Life to create a six-part internal training programme that places emotional intelligence (EQ) at the heart of its customer service.
According to Perez, Crowne Plaza sees an opportunity to establish better connections with its customers, many of whom are stressed or anxious business travellers. ‘What they want from a hotel is not just a purely functional experience, but an experience that understands those moments of anxiety with service that helps alleviate some of those worries,’ she explains.