Need to Know
19 : 07 : 19

Gin made from peas could reduce climate change, product design that combats loneliness and affluent consumers desire digital finance tools.

Foam Studio animates colour in the digital realm

Automotive Trend Visuals by Foam Studio for BASF

Berlin – For the second time, sustainable chemical company BASF has tasked the studio with creatively imagining future automotive colour trends.

Working with BASF’s Coatings Division, Foam Studio has established a visual concept around the fluidity of our social and technological realities. Acknowledging how the separation between the real and virtual realms is becoming less pronounced, the project explores the ‘merging of digital conditions and physical phenomena into a yet-to-be-defined space of its own’.

In order to visualise these abstract themes, the studio has created a global design toolkit for automotive brands, made up of various animations featuring architectural structures, organic textures and natural landscapes.

As we explored in our recent Design Direction Mirrored Realms, creative practitioners are defining a visual aesthetic that sits at the intersection of both the virtual and physical worlds.

The Helm redefines what it means to invest in women

The Helm The Helm
The Helm The Helm

New York – The venture capital firm for female-founded companies has launched an e-commerce platform dedicated to women-led beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands.

The Helm’s new e-commerce site will also publish editorial content highlighting female entrepreneurs both on the shopping platform and in the fund. To help consumers recognise the power of their purchases and further the fund’s mission of elevating female entrepreneurs, a portion of the profits from all sales will also go directly back into The Helm’s next round of venture capital funding.

‘For some people, investing in women means writing a five- or six-figure cheque,’ says Lindsey Taylor Wood, founder and CEO of The Helm. ‘For others, a more achievable entry point may be being a thoughtful consumer and purchasing the products and services of women-built-and-led companies. For more on how female investors are driving a female future, read our Women’s Wealth Market.

Gin of the future could be made from peas

UK – Researchers have discovered that alcohol fermented from peas could reduce carbon emissions.

The study, published in Environmental International, concluded that fermenting alcohol from pea starch instead of wheat could help to reduce the drink’s impact on climate change. This is because peas do not require nitrogen fertiliser, and the growing process involves less water and air pollution.

Although creating gin from peas would require 112% more direct land occupation, the protein by-product from the peas can be used for animal feed, which ‘more than offsets the carbon footprint of the gin’. According to the authors of the study ‘if successful, there is great potential to scale this innovation out to other alcoholic beverages such as vodka and beer, and to scale it up to industrial bioethanol (biofuel) production.’

As climate change affects how we ferment alcoholic beverages, the future bar could be made up of entirely new categories. For more, explore the rise of Displaced Drinks.

Photography by Jan Antonin Kolar

Furniture to inspire affection in old age

Filotea by Elena Tamburini, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan
Filotea by Elena Tamburini, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan
Filotea by Elena Tamburini, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan
Filotea by Elena Tamburini, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan

Milan – Italian designer Elena Tamburini has created a collection of furniture that encourages physical affection among the elderly.

The collection comprises a mirror, a brush, a table and a walker, which aim to facilitate connections with the self or between users. Tapping into the dynamics of affection, each of these objects is inspired by daily gestures, such as a touch or looking at yourself or your partner. The project’s title – Filotea – is a literary reference to the Greek goddess Philotes, who personifies affection, passion and sex in Greek mythology.

Created as part of her final project at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, with supervision from her tutor, Claudio Larcher, the objects target Italy’s ageing population. ‘Today in Italy, 30% of the population is made up of elderly people,’ says Tamburini. ‘We are dealing with an increasingly expanding target, and the demanding specifics of this range cannot be ignored, especially from the point of view of design.’

By approaching product design in this way, Filotea takes an analogue approach to the ideas we explore in our Neo-kinship macrotrend.

Stat: Wealthy consumers are stressing about money

Wealthy consumers want more personalised tools to manage their wealth, finds YouGov’s Affluent Perspective 2019 Global Study. The report found that 22% of affluents in 26 global markets are seeking digital tools to help them manage their finances.

Although they are financially stable, these consumers still stress about money. Some 12% of affluents find managing their personal assets stressful, and one in four in this group admit to spending beyond their means. However, according to the study, the use of digital tools and wealth management services could allow these consumers to gain better control over their spending and ultimately allow them to enjoy their wealth.

To see how brands can help the wealthy to think about their finances more holistically, download our new Fintech Futures Report.

Thought-starter: What’s next for specialist food and drink?

At the Summer Fancy Food Show, experimental flavours, cross-category combinations and better-for-you creations led the specialist products on display.

Across the annual food and drink event in New York, brands sought to elevate and refresh the soda category by offering consumers sophisticated flavours and lower-sugar options. In some cases, new takes on soft drinks were also positioned as alternative mixers for spirits.

Standout products included Donas new range of spice-based sodas. Brewed in small batches, the New York-based brand combines freshly ground spices, citrus, herbs and flowers to create fragrant and complex sodas.

Spurred on by consumer interest in plant-based lifestyles and functional foods with added health benefits, mushrooms were a star ingredient in a number of convenient, better-for-you products. Shrooms showed its range of mushroom-based snacks, including its thick-cut mushroom crisps, marinated shiitake and portobello jerky, and sweet-savoury snack bars.

Brands also continued to explore alcohol-infused snacks and treats. Leading the frozen desserts category, artisan ice cream brand Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams exhibited its Frosé sorbet. The Sangria-style frozen rosé is made with wine from Peregrine Ranch in Sonoma Valley and can be served with sparkling wine, a shot of tequila, or even more rosé.

Read the full listicle here.

Kombucha Syrup by Soda Press Co, Australia and New Zealand
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