Need to Know
04 : 03 : 19

Recess moves into physical retail, Sidewalk Toronto to reignite the Canadian logging industry and why representations of travellers must diversify.

Nordstrom focuses on luxury individualism

An Open Mind Is the Best Look, Nordstrom by Droga5

US – The luxury retailer’s latest campaign views the sector under a more human lens, highlighting the importance of being yourself.

The ad, entitled An Open Mind is the Best Look, is made up of slice-of-life scenes featuring a unique collection of individuals. The cast is primarily includes non-professional actors, including a sign-language interpreter, a teen karate expert and swimming teacher assisting an elderly man.

Created by Droga5, the campaign aims to reverse the haughty elitism associated with luxury brands and retailers by featuring a diverse range of citizens. ‘[It] pushes the boundaries that have been the norm in the fashion retail category for decades by moving the focus from clothing and product to a more story- and humanity-led approach,’ reads Nordstrom’s press release.

Luxury brands can no longer rely on narratives of excessive wealth, as consumers increasingly associate their consumption habits with guilt. For more, read our macrotrend Uneasy Affluence.

Day-glo decor elevates this CBD drinks store

Recess, New York Recess, New York
Recess, New York Recess, New York

New York – Online brand Recess, known for its CBD-infused sparkling beverages, has opened its first brick-and-mortar store.

With sunset-toned colour ways and curved interior details, the brand hopes to translate its online identity into a physical experience. ‘We created a space to take all the ideas, feeling and experiences we created online and put them back into the real world,’ reads a statement from Recess.

In addition to selling its range of drinks promising to keep consumers ‘calm, cool and collected’, the company will host community events within the photogenic space. Shoppers are also encouraged to relax and socialise in a dedicated lounge area.

By recognising the benefits of creating inspirational spaces that enable consumers to experience a brand on a deeper level, Recess joins the clicks-to-bricks movement as another example of a digital-first brand expanding into physical retail.

Shrooms is a new line of mushroom-based snacks

Pennsylvania – The new brand is transforming mushrooms into a convenient, better-for-you snack.

Shrooms Snacks is a venture from South Mill Champs, one of North America’s largest mushroom growers. The line launches with four product ranges with a combined 14 flavours, from Spicy Jalapeño to Honey Chipotle Shiitake.

Crispy Mushrooms are made from thick-cut mushrooms, while Mushroom Jerky is made from a combination of marinated shiitake and portobello caps. The remaining two categories include Splits Jerky, a hybrid product combining dried mushrooms and grass-fed beef, as well as two mushroom-based snack bars that mix sweet and savoury ingredients.

Tapping into consumer interest in functional foods and plant-based lifestyles, the brand is positioning mushrooms as an accessible superfood. ‘Mushrooms are experiencing a surge in popularity as people from all walks of life get smart about snacking,’ says Lewis Macleod, CEO of South Mill Champs. As we explore in our Sleep Eats microtrend, other brands are using mushroom extracts to create snack-based sleep aids.

Snøhetta’s timber neighbourhood for Sidewalk Toronto

Sidewalk Toronto Sidewalk Toronto
Sidewalk Toronto Sidewalk Toronto

Toronto – As part of the Sidewalk Labs redevelopment project, Quayside will be an affordable urban neighbourhood that draws on Canada's logging heritage.

Architects Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio have released designs for the new neighbourhood, which will be populated with timber buildings. To supply enough wood for the buildings, Sidewalk Labs has plans to build a tall-timber factory in Ontario, a sustainable initiative that ‘could create 4,000 new jobs in manufacturing, sawmill, transportation and logging sector,’ says Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs. ‘Sidewalk Labs would help jumpstart this next-generation Canadian industry.’

The housing in Quayside will also be affordable, with housing for low-income renters comprising 40% of the development. The neighbourhood will provide more purpose-built rental options for single people and senior citizens as well as families.

All eyes are on the Sidewalk Toronto project as brands and governments seek out a model for sustainable, technology-driven future cities.

Stat: Emerging markets are driving domestic tourism

Emerging markets are driving Airbnb’s growth, according to a new report by the home-sharing company. Currently, more than 30% of listings on the site are located in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and Latin America. The report also cites UNWTO’s prediction that Ecuador, Vietnam, Colombia, Peru and Nepal saw the fastest growth in arrivals in 2018.

Buoying this growth is a significant rise in domestic tourists. In China, 91% of Airbnb guest arrivals were domestic travellers in 2018, while in India this number sat at 78% and 61% in Mexico. While mainstream representations of travellers tend to rely on stereotypes of white, privileged Westerners, these voices will no longer be representative of world travellers as demographics shift. For more, read our microtrend Empowered Travel.

Thought-starter: Are traditional spirit categories outdated?

A wave of new start-up distilleries are creating category-defying spirits that shirk the traditional rules and regulations of liquor-making.

Regulations in the spirits industry exist partially to protect consumers from poor quality and counterfeit alcohol, but rules of what can and not be a liquor – such as the EU rule that a neutral spirit base must be 37.5% to classify as vodka – has consequently limited the industry in terms of creativity.

‘Historically [spirit] categories would have been much more fluid, but regulations became tighter to improve quality,' Matt McGivern, co-founder of small-batch brand Rebel Rabbettells LS:N Global.

McGivern and his co-founder Dylan Bell launched their limited-edition series Rebel Exile Spirits to challenge these categories, by creating two new spirits that meld techniques and flavours. The first, RES1: The Holy Trinity uses brewing, whisky distilling and gin rectification to create a spirit that blends botanicals such as cassia bark, quince and liquorice with triple-distilled New Make Spirit.

Read the full Post-category Spirits microtrend here.

Matchbook Distilling Co, New York
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