Need to Know
21 : 08 : 19

Childless couples share domestic duties, Frolo wants to connect single parents and plant-based proteins are driving industry innovation.

Turning to nostalgia to normalise EVs

Normal Now by Electrify America and Eleven
Normal Now by Electrify America and Eleven
Normal Now by Electrify America and Eleven

US – Electric vehicle (EV) charging network Electrify America has unveiled a playful digital marketing campaign to demystify EVs.

The campaign – Normal Now – is being rolled out across the US with an educational website, as well as online videos and advertisements across streaming platforms and social media. Tapping into Netstalgia, the humorous campaign uses dated design cues such as Comic Sans and a website visitor counter, with the aim of normalising zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) by drawing comparisons between consumers' current perceptions of EVs and how technological advances such as mobile phones, smart watches and online dating were once regarded.

‘A large percentage of the car-buying public cite functional concerns about EVs, like range anxiety, charge time and cost as reasons they wouldn’t drive electric,’ says Richard Steinberg, senior director of green cities, marketing and communications at Electrify America. ‘We believe that fear of change and lack of exposure to EVs in pop culture is making people view them as too different from what they’re used to, and therefore are striving to normalise EVs with this latest educational campaign.’

Statistics show that while the adoption rate of EVs is still relatively low, the market for these vehicles is gaining traction (sources: McKinsey & Co, IHS Markit).

A five-star hotel for holidaymakers’ plants

Patch Plant Hotel, London Patch Plant Hotel, London
Patch Plant Hotel, London Patch Plant Hotel, London

London – Online botanical retailer Patch Plants has created the temporary hotel for holidaying plant owners.

People worried about their plants’ health while they’re away can go online to book a free break for their flora and fauna, dropping their plants off at Patch Plants’ south London space, described as the ‘world’s first hotel for plants’. The facility has a range of environments to suit different plants, whether sun-seekers or shade-lovers. Plant food and custom-designed hydration spa treatments are provided to plants during their stay, with regular checks by specialists and Patch Plants’ in-house wellness team.

Freddie Blackett, CEO of Patch, says: ‘We all know the crushing disappointment when you return from holiday to find your plant has gone from green lusciousness to a burnt, dry bunch of twigs. We wanted to open the hotel to give a helping hand to the increasing number of plant parents.’

Research commissioned by Patch found that 67% of Londoners have bought a plant in the past year. Consumers are embracing biophilia – the need to be close to nature – in the home as a way to improve health and wellbeing. For more, read our Wellness Architecture market to find out more.

Childless couples share more household chores

Global – A study of households in 35 countries reveals that heterosexual couples without children are more likely to divide household labour fairly between them than couples with children.

Published in the European Journal of Population, researchers Laurie DeRose and Frances Goldscheider found that, among 76% of childless couples in Northern Europe, women put in equal or more paid hours than men, while men put in equal or more domestic hours than women.

The same could only be said of 45% of Northern European couples with children, however, where DeRose and Goldscheider say more ‘traditional’ roles were undertaken, with women cooking, cleaning and caring for the children far more than men.

Notably, however, men in countries that provide non-transferable paid paternal leave – such as Norway, Sweden and Japan – were more likely to take on domestic labour. ‘If the gender revolution is stalled or stalling because men are seen as ill-suited for domestic work, a paid benefit that makes their paternity leave more of a cultural norm may be the force that changes society’s perceptions and behaviour,’ DeRose tells Fast Company.

Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven

Frolo is a social network for single parents

Frolo, UK
Frolo, UK
Frolo, UK

UK – The new networking app aims to alleviate isolation among solo parents by providing a platform for them to connect with each other.

Frolo – a combination of ‘friend’ and ‘solo’ – will be launched in September 2019, allowing users to forge friendships with other single parents in their local area, as well as access support, guidance and advice on parenting. The app functions much like dating apps, with parents invited to upload their interests and children’s age, message other parents, and either join or organise meetings and trips. A newsfeed will also provide a space to post questions or updates.

Following her own experiences as a single parent, founder Zoë Desmond created Frolo to fill a gap in the market for services that cater for, and connect, single parents. The growth opportunity was further highlighted as the app started to build a social media following before it was launched in beta mode.

Explore our Parenting Market to learn how changing family structures and gender roles are disrupting childrearing.

Stat: Plant-based innovations are powering the food sector

The growth of the plant-based market is both disrupting and bolstering the food industry. According to FAIRR’s new Appetite for Disruption report, sales of plant-based foods in the US have risen by 31% over the past two years, compared to a rise of just 4% for general food retail sales.

In particular, plant-based proteins are driving change, and relatively new entrants such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are forcing more established industry players to innovate.

With the alternative protein sector expected to capture 10% of the meat market within the next 15 years, food-tech companies are continuing to pioneer new plant proteins to rival animal products in taste, texture and nutritional profile. For more, read our Next-generation Protein microtrend.

Thought-starter: Are brands ready for the un-influencers?

A growing number of young public figures are shying away from perfectly polished Instagram posts in favour of a more realistic online aesthetic.

Influencers are embracing canidid realism in their online content as they try to connect with followers on a personal level. Gone are the days of immaculately curated newsfeeds – now it's all about humourous, low-budget, prose-driven posts. Platforms such as Instagram are becoming tools of education and empowerment; in turn content creators are shunning the 'influencer' label in favour of terms such as ‘activist'.

‘If you have a platform and a voice and face inequalities for whatever reason, I think you should be transparent with these things and acknowledge them and not stay silent just because the world tells you that you’re ‘too much’ or ‘ruining things for yourself’,' says La’Shaunae Steward, one such un-influencer.

With social media users seeking more meaningful interactions from followers that represent their own experiences, Instagram is becoming home to highly personable yet honest personas.

Read the full listicle here.

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