Need to Know
05 : 03 : 19

A new streaming service for Brits, Grammarly encourages its employees to get musical and why adaptive apparel represents untapped opportunities.

A Hangzhou suburb gets a futuristic whisky bar

Way2 whisky bar designed by PIG Design, photography by Wang Fei, Hangzhou
Way2 whisky bar designed by PIG Design, photography by Wang Fei, Hangzhou
Way2 whisky bar designed by PIG Design, photography by Wang Fei, Hangzhou

Hangzhou, China – Way2 is a whisky bar that brings sci-fi futurism to the leafy suburb of Changhe.

The neighbourhood, located twenty minutes' drive from central Hangzhou, has become known for its affluent residents, making it an ideal place for a luxury whisky bar. Way2 is located at Jiangnan Art Park, a large mixed-use complex, and invites customers to embark on an experiential journey, beginning with a futuristic doorway installation.

The bar itself, which design studio PIG Design describes as a decadent ‘leather chamber’, features an extensive selection of whisky from around the world. According to JingDaily, sales of spirits are soaring in China, with multi-brand alcohol producer Diageo reporting a 20% year-on-year sales increase in the country in the second half of 2018.

Brands hoping to reach Chinese luxurians should consider how whisky can be reframed to meet local expectations or preferences. For more on the rapidly growing whisky sector, read our Global Spirits Market.

Motif Ingredients is creating next-generation plant proteins

Motif by Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston Motif by Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston
Motif by Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston Motif by Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston

Boston – The new food ingredients company will use biotechnology to recreate proteins from dairy, egg and meat in order to create sustainable foods.

Powered by Gingko Bioworks’ platform for biological engineering, Motif Ingredients will leverage biotechnology to provide consumers with alternative sources of plant-based protein. Consumer demand for meat substitutes and plant-based beverages grew 17% in 2018, according to the company, but obstacles remain when it comes to creating products that equal the taste and nutritional profile of animal-based equivalents.

In order to meet these evolving food preferences, Motif is pioneering the use of biotechnology and fermentation, rather than animal agriculture, to engineer plant-based foods at accessible prices. ‘Motif will be key to propelling the next food revolution with affordable, sustainable and accessible ingredients that meet the standards of chefs, food developers, and visionary brands,’ says Jonathan McIntyre, CEO of Motif.

For more on the potential of biotech, read our interview with Cristina Agapakis, Gingko Bioworks’ creative director.

A new streaming platform for British tv content

UK – UK broadcasters The BBC and ITV are joining forces to create a new streaming service offering the largest collection of on-demand British tv content.

The service, known as BritBox, will provide UK audiences with a collection of BBC and ITV boxsets and original series, including new commissions created specially for the platform. ‘BritBox will be the home for the best of British creativity – celebrating the best of the past, the best of today and investing in new British-originated content in the future,’ says Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV.

Having debuted as a streaming service in North America, BritBox will launch in the UK in the second half of 2019. As consumer demand for streaming grows, there is increased desire for British content, according to research commissioned by ITV. With Netflix now committing to a higher quota of regional content across the EU, BritBox reflects new market opportunities for entertainment platforms that cater to local audiences.

Britbox, UK

Grammarly’s new office features a music room

Grammarly office designed by Balbek Bureau, Kiev Grammarly office designed by Balbek Bureau, Kiev
Grammarly office designed by Balbek Bureau, Kiev Grammarly office designed by Balbek Bureau, Kiev

Ukraine – The writing assistant company’s new Kiev office features versatile recreational spaces for employees, including nap pods, a library and a soundproof music room.

Designed by Ukrainian architects Balbek Bureau, Grammarly’s Kiev office joins the company’s bases in San Francisco and New York. It diverges from the typically corporate nature of other local workspaces by allowing staff to take time out to relax and re-energise alongside their working hours.

Although the space includes nap pods, a concept previously implemented by Silicon Valley offices, it also offers a library and soundproof music room, which can be used to watch films or play musical instruments. ‘We use the space to rehearse for events and celebrations, to take creative breaks during the day, and as a place to appreciate and play music with our colleagues,’ a representative from Grammarly tells LS:N Global.

Workplaces are finding new ways to celebrate their employees beyond their day-to-day roles, and encouraging musical play is another innovative way for brands to do this.

Stat: Adaptive apparel represents untapped opportunities

Adaptive apparel, which encompasses clothing and footwear designed to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities or health conditions, is a growing but underserved global market. Coresight Research estimates this market will grow from £218.8bn ($288.7bn, €254.7bn) in 2019to £265.1bn ($349.9bn, €308.6bn) by 2023.

More than 40 million US consumers have disabilities, according to the US Census Bureau, and many have specific clothing needs that have not been previously met. Despite the fact that more brands – from Nike to Tommy Hilfiger – are beginning to consider adaptive clothing needs, there remains a significant gap in the market for brands and retailers who offer more inclusive apparel, while considering how adaptive consumers prefer to be marketed and advertised to.

To this end, in a recent Opinion, we questioned whether the inclusivity movement in fashion and beauty has become too tokenistic.

Thought-starter: What’s next for craft coffee?

The rise in coffee connoisseurship is creating new opportunities in a competitive market, says foresight writer Alex Hawkins, with brands exploring emerging markets, new product categories and bean-to-brew experiences.

As coffee shops become popular destinations for work, socialising and convenience, the industry has continued to evolve its cultural proposition. According to the British Coffee Association (BCA), 80% of people who visit coffee shops do so at least once a week, while 16% visit on a daily basis.

‘In the last decade we have gone from a country of tea sippers who enjoy the occasional instant coffee, to a nation of seasoned coffee connoisseurs exploring a large variety of roast and ground blends,’ says Chris Stemman, executive director of the BCA. ‘Coffee consumption has boomed across the UK and with so many choices on offer, both at home and on the high street, this increase is not surprising.’

But the risk of market saturation presents coffee brands and vendors with a new set of challenges. As a result, many are recognising the need to elevate their offering, launch new products or explore emerging markets.

To discover more, explore the future of the coffee sector here.

Starbucks Roastery, New York
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