US – Misfit Foods has launched a range of flavour-packed sausages that reposition the humble foodstuff for both meat lovers and flexitarians.
Available in three flavours – Kale Citrus Chimichurri, Sweet Potato Andouille and Squash Sweet Italian – the sausages are made of 50% humanely-raised, antibiotic-free, hormone-free chicken and 50% vegetables.
Previously known for its wonky fruit and vegetable juices, Misfit has launched products containing meat after learning that the average American eats 200lbs of meat a year. ‘The majority of Americans…want to eat less meat, but they’re not quite ready for a number of different reasons to fully give it up,’ explains Dave Betts, co-founder of Misfit. ‘It allows people to reduce their meat consumption significantly, but really doesn’t make people change their behaviour in a drastic way.’
With its range, the brand hopes to provide a tastier option for veggie-curious meat eaters, or those looking for sausages with health benefits, something explored by Carolien Niebling in her project The Future Sausage.
This app lets couples confront relationship issues
Global – LifeCouple has been developed to help couples monitor and address different challenges in their relationships.
The app invites partners to reflect on trust, communication, conflict, and intimacy within their relationship by analysing their individual data and offering tools to provoke meaningful conversations. The app utilises artificial intelligence and machine learning to adapt dynamic content to each couples' needs. Couples can take part in daily relationship challenges, ice breakers that prelude difficult conversations, and digital gifts. The app is not intended to be a cure-all, but has been designed to be used alongside traditional forms of couples therapy.
‘It’s not a replacement to therapy but it’s a complement to it,’ says founder Sean Rones. ‘I don’t think this can 100% solve your problem but it can give you the tools to solve your problems.’
Discussions around emotional wellbeing and its impact on relationships continues to grow, with brands such as LifeCouple innovating on traditional therapy methods to serve the needs of digitally-oriented consumers.
Gaming giants pledge to reduce their environmental impact
Global – Tech companies have stepped forward to form the Playing for the Planet Alliance with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of gaming through brand-led initiatives.
Twenty one organisations including Microsoft, Sony, and the companies behind Minecraft and Twitch made the pledge at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit. Microsoft plans to make 825,000 new carbon-neutral Xbox consoles, while game streaming platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, and Minecraft promise to spread sustainability messages to their audiences.
The next-generation PlayStation console, meanwhile, will dramatically reduce its power consumption. ‘I believe games and gamers can be a force for social change and would love to see our global community unite to help our planet to survive and thrive,’ said Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, at UN Summit. ‘There is an undeniable opportunity for leaders in the games industry to take a stand and support the UN Environment team.’
As the ethical implications of online entertainment come to the fore, a number of music platforms are also taking greater responsibility. Read the Sustainable Music Streaming micro trend for more case studies.
Stat: Consumers want food with functional benefits
Recent research by Tastewise has found that 37% of consumers are using food as a tool to achieve their health goals.
Utilising artificial intelligence to analyse millions of social media posts, menus, reviews, and recipes, the intelligence agency was able to determine which ingredients consumers are most likely to use to aid their health. Among the most popular foods are provolone cheese, maple syrup, CBD, pea protein, kefir and maca, which are eaten as aids for weight loss, easing depression, assisting sleep, and boosting gut health.
For brands, there is an opportunity to pivot their ingredients and messaging around food to serve the consumers' desire to make food consumption more aligned with their holistic wellness needs.
Read our interview with Tastewise founder Alon Chen for more on why consumer taste preferences are becoming more nuanced, and how brands can leverage data to get ahead of burgeoning flavour and wellbeing trends.