Need to Know
15 : 07 : 19

EasyJet offers children’s books on board flights, Perfect Day creates plant-based products that mimic dairy and legal marijuana is driving a boom in snacking.

Mirror Garden brings inconspicuous luxury to Beijing

Mirror Garden by Archstudio. Photography by Ning Wang and Qiang Hong, Beijing Mirror Garden by Archstudio. Photography by Ning Wang and Qiang Hong, Beijing
Mirror Garden by Archstudio. Photography by Ning Wang and Qiang Hong, Beijing Mirror Garden by Archstudio. Photography by Ning Wang and Qiang Hong, Beijing
Mirror Garden by Archstudio. Photography by Ning Wang and Qiang Hong, Beijing Mirror Garden by Archstudio. Photography by Ning Wang and Qiang Hong, Beijing

Beijing – The concept store has opened in Dongsi, one of the city’s few historic hutong neighbourhoods (an area comprising alleys and narrow streets).

Archstudio has transformed the small building into a multi-brand, luxury concept store that uses mirrors and yards to create space and a sense of surrealism.

With more and more ostentatious high-rise buildings appearing every day, the city of Beijing is experiencing a period of colossal change. However, its inner-city hutong districts – which once made up a large part of the city – are finally being recognised by brands for their historic charm. Mirror Garden has tapped into this mindset, creating something that looks like an inconspicuous residential house from the outside, but becomes a contemporary space for fashion inside.

Read our State of Luxury market to see how domestic brands are being informed by their Chinese heritage when creating new spaces, campaigns and products.

Gucci introduces gaming to its app

Gucci Arcade Gucci Arcade
Gucci Arcade Gucci Arcade

Milan – Gucci Arcade is inspired by vintage video games of the 1970s and 1980s.

Through the interactive games, Gucci is facilitating a new type of relationship between consumers and the luxury brand. The first two games to be launched are Gucci Bee, which follows a format similar to Pac-Man and centres on a bee trapped in a maze, and Gucci Ace, which focuses on the iconic sneaker of the same name. The game follows the history of the brand, with each level representing a new era of gaming, from 8-bit to mobile-first.

In the coming months, Gucci will add new games to its app, each displaying recognisable symbols and branding from the fashion house. The launch is another example of creative director Alessandro Michele’s playful approach to updating what was once a traditional luxury house.

As eSports culture infiltrates the world of fashion, Gucci demonstrates why luxury brands should not ignore this huge area of growth.

EasyJet launches on-board lending library

London – The airline has worked with publisher HarperCollins Children’s Books to offer child passengers books on board flights departing from the UK.

EasyJet’s summer lending library will be rolled out on 300 aircraft serving 20m passengers across Europe. Playfully called Flybraries, the on-board libraries feature popular children’s titles, such as Paddington Abroad by Michael Bond. The initiative, which also includes a reading area at London Luton Airport, follows research commissioned by the airline that showed that 59% of British children would choose being read a story over an extra 30 minutes screen time.

‘At EasyJet, we are passionate about creating family-friendly initiatives that make flying with us both fun and easier for parents. And as the summer holidays provide the perfect opportunity for some well-earned family time, we hope that the millions of passengers who fly with us this summer enjoy sharing a story or two from our unique in-flight lending library.’

Our Children’s Travel Market explores how brands are seeking to ensure children are entertained on holiday.

EasyJet Flybrary EasyJet Flybrary

Perfect Day is pioneering plant-based ice cream

Perfect Day Perfect Day

California – The brand has developed technology that uses fermentation to create plant-based protein, which is genetically identical to dairy protein.

To showcase this innovation, the brand has launched limited-edition ice cream in three flavours, allowing consumers to trial the animal-free dairy product in a familiar format. Perfect Day’s proteins are created by genetically modifying yeast to produce dairy proteins casein and whey, making it possible to create plant-based products that match the nutrition, texture and taste of conventional dairy products.

‘What we’re doing here is completely new to the world,’ says Ryan Pandya, CEO and co-founder of Perfect Day. ‘We wanted our debut to be under the care of our own brand, so that we could demonstrate the consumer benefits inherent to our protein, while starting a conversation about this new approach to making food.’

For more, read our Next-generation Protein microtrend.

Stat: Legal cannabis leads to a rise in snack sales

The legalisation of marijuana has led to a boom in snack sales in the US, according to market research firm Nielsen. As recreational cannabis becomes more mainstream, it is creating ‘big opportunities for the American food and beverage market – particularly for the snack and confectionery category’.

Nielsen data shows that sales of both salty and sweet snacks increased in the year ending April 2019. The research found that salty snacks reached sales of £23.6bn ($29.9bn, €26.4bn) and sweet snacks hit sales of £5.1bn ($6.5bn, €5.7bn).

Now legal in more than 11 US states, the cannabis market is not only booming, but is driving growth in the food and drink industry.

Thought-starter: Is conscious hospitality a new marker of luxury?

Inge van Weert, general manager at QO Amsterdam, explores how sustainable stays are fast becoming a luxury status symbol.

‘The QO Amsterdam is a luxury-conscious hotel,’ explains Van Weert. ‘It started when Xander Bueno de Mesquita – the visionary behind our building – came back from his travels in Asia and said things should work differently, that we should take better care of our planet.’

To achieve this, the building aims to be as energy-neutral as possible. ‘We created a living façade, with panels in front of the windows in each bedroom. If there are no guests in the bedroom, it closes and stays at 21°C, so you don't need to reheat or re-cool. About 80% of the building uses natural daylight, and we have biofuel machinery underneath it. The lighting is all LED. Our vision is leaving a smaller footprint and encouraging guests to leave the building in a better spirit than when they entered,’ says Van Weert.

While luxury consumers are used to certain comfort levels, Van Weert says the desire to be more sustainable is driving slow but steady change. ‘Luckily, a sustainable stay is moving higher up the list, but we need to make it more attractive for people to choose consciousness. I think the tipping point will be when Generation Z, the conscious generation, have the disposable income to spend on ecological products and services,’ she explains.

Read the full Q&A here.

QO Amsterdam QO Amsterdam
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