Need to Know
04 : 06 : 19

New Zealand’s wellbeing budget prioritises living standards, an app for niche interests and how e-commerce is evolving in Australia.

Gracias Madre rejects industrialised spirits

Gracias Medre, US
Gracias Medre, US
Gracias Medre, US

Los Angeles – The restaurant will only stock and serve agave-based spirits made using traditional production methods.

By rejecting industrialised and chemical processes, such as the diffuser process, Gracias Madre hopes to start a conversation about practices in the industry. To this end, its extensive menu of mezcals, bacanoras, raicillas and tequilas are also considered sustainable and traceable.

Signature cocktails include the Rocket Man, made with arugula, gention, fino sherry, lime, mezcal and aquavit, and the Tepache Junglebird, made with tepache, roasted pineapple, Campari, blackstrap molasses and reposado tequila.

‘[We] will no longer serve any products subject to the industrialised and chemical process known as diffuser production or support the distilleries that house these practices,’ says Maxwell Reis, beverage director at Gracias Madre. Bars such as The Hide in London are also reconsidering where its ingredients come from, sourcing locally and using this to start a dialogue with and educate customers.

A luxury skincare space for parents and children

Sturm, New York Sturm, New York
Sturm Mini Molecular Sturm Mini Molecular

New York – Dr Barbara Sturm has brought her aesthetic skincare products to Manhattan’s beauty retail market.

The doctor-founded brand, which has been cited as a favourite of celebrities such as Bella Hadid and Gwyneth Paltrow, was previously only available online as well as a selection of high-end retailers such as Net-A-Porter. With the brand’s first store, it hopes to bring elements of play and education to the luxury skincare experience.

The space will stock a range of Sturm’s cult products, including hyaluronic serums, acne solutions and anti-pollution drops, which will be available to test on a Discovery Table in the centre of the store. A miniature version will also allow children to play with the brand’s Baby & Kids collection, while Strum’s eldest daughter can be seen on in-store iPads, demonstrating how to use the products.

Sturm’s debut store comes at a time when the doctor’s surgery and the beauty spa are converging into a hybrid offering for aesthetic medical treatments.

New Zealand unveils first wellbeing budget

New Zealand – The country’s coalition government has announced its new financial budget, which prioritises the wellbeing of citizens over economic growth.

The initiative is based on the concept that the long-term impact of policies on citizens’ quality of life is more significant than short-term output measures. As such, New Zealand is the first Western country to create its entire budget based on policies designed to improve wellbeing. The budget’s five priorities for 2019 are creating a low-emission economy, supporting social and economic opportunities, raising incomes for Maori and Pacific communities, reducing child poverty and supporting mental health.

‘Growth alone does not lead a great country,’ writes prime minister Jacinda Ardern in her introduction to the budget’s outline. ‘Nor does it measure the quality of economic activity or take into account who benefits and who is left out or left behind.’ In recognising that economic activity does not guarantee improvements to living standards, New Zealand’s wellbeing budget reflects the country’s transition to a Post-growth Society, driven by new metrics of progress.

The Circle of Land and Sky by Phillip K Smith, 2017

TikTok owner launches a community app

Flipchat (Feiliao), China Flipchat (Feiliao), China

China – Flipchat, or Feiliao in Chinese, brings together instant messenging and community forums based around niche interests.

The app, which was launched by ByteDance, one of the most valuable start-ups in the world and creator of karaoke app TikTok, encourages users to create forums and chat groups centred around their hobbies in order to connect them with strangers.

While Flipchat has been compared to China’s most dominant app WeChat, which recently exceeded 1.1bn monthly active users, it will offer a more niche social experience without the e-commerce, messaging and payment functionalities of WeChat. Flipchat is an open social product, according to a statement given to TechCrunch. ‘We hope Feiliao will connect people of the same interests, making people’s lives more diverse and interesting.’

Increasingly, youths around the world are seeking digital tools that allow them to build a sense of community. Read our Big Idea to see how this movement has led to a boom in Facebook Groups.

Stat: Australian consumers prefer in-store grocery shopping

While e-commerce continues to grow across the global grocery sector, bricks-and-mortar stores still play a significant role in consumers’ shopping habits. Globally, fresh groceries remain the category most likely to be purchased primarily in-store, with 48% of internet users preferring to buy in-store, according to recent statistics from Nielsen.

In Australia, however, this figure is well above the global average, with 61% preferring to buy fresh groceries in a physical store. Of those surveyed, 23% said that while they are not currently purchasing their groceries online, they are considering doing so in the near future. The role of grocery stores will continue to evolve as this figure rises. For more, read our Prescription Supermarkets microtrend.

Thought-starter: Is the menopause overdue a rebrand?

Attitudes to the menopause are being transformed, and wellness companies, fem-tech and beauty brands are stepping up to champion this fundamental life stage.

The silence that once existed around the menopause has been broken. Now, women reaching this life stage are creating noise and fuelling platforms to share stories and learn from each other. ‘Confidence to talk about menopause is growing. We are removing the taboo – menopause is visible and in the everyday,’ says Andrea Davies associate professor at University of Leicester.

According to recent data from UK by UM, menopausal women are fed up of brands misrepresenting them. About one third (32%) have been offended by adverts that depict them as being mumsy or frumpy, while nearly half (42%) dislike being seen as out of touch with technology.

Seeking to expose the impact the menopause has on women, UK wellness chain Holland & Barrett hit the note early in 2019 with its Me.No.Pause campaign, spotlighting women’s experience of menopause, perimenopause and premature symptoms. Emphasising the impact of the menopause on women’s sense of identity, femininity and self, Me.No.Pause also positions Holland & Barrett as the go-to retailer for natural remedies and sincere advice.

For more, read our full Rebranding the Menopause report.

Rory, US
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