London – Amazónico takes diners on a sensory journey through taste, touch and sight.
Newly opened in Mayfair, the restaurant is inspired by the culture and culinary heritage of the Amazon region. Its eclectic menu, which features a range of Latin American cuisines and contemporary fusions, includes everything from traditional Brazilian dishes to Peruvian sushi. This is complemented by live music, verdant décor and design that invites discovery.
With its tropical plants and use of natural materials, the design of the venue is intended to give the impression of a trip down the Amazon river. Nightly jazz performances will entertain diners in the restaurant, while a resident DJ programme will play Latin American music in the lounge and bar. For private occasions, guests can also hire a rainforest-themed private dining room.
‘Our mission is to make every visit unique and different, with Latin American emotion and passion at its core,’ says co-founder Marta Seco. For more on how restaurateurs are raising the bar with elevated eating and drinking experiences, read our Discovery Dining microtrend.
Microsoft trials successful four-day week in Japan
Japan – The technology giant has introduced a range of new flexible working styles in a culture known for its systematic approach to work.
Microsoft Japan trialled both a three- and four-day working week in Japan this summer, with a notable 40% rise in productivity among staff members. The Work Life Choice Challenge ensured all offices were shut for one day a week in August 2019 and that regular employees took paid leave. To encourage time and headspace away from work, Microsoft subsidised external eductional courses and expenses related to family trips and leisure activities.
As a result of its success, the company intends to officially implement a four-day week by summer 2020. As more people realise 12-hour working days are not sustainable, many are taking a more flexible approach not just to work but also to family and home life.
For large corporations such as Microsoft, however, there is a responsibility to adjust perceptions of work culture, particularly in regions like Japan and India where workers are known for their strong devotion to work.
Microsoft rebranding by Microsoft and Tendril
Hendrick’s targets bartenders with lower-abv absinthe
Hendrick’s Absinthe, UK
UK – The spirits brand is looking beyond gin as it moves into distilling absinthe for the first time.
While gin’s growth has been unstoppable in recent years – with Hendrick’s always sitting comfortably among competitors – the British brand is pivoting with a new product and unique selling point: flavoured absinthe. Its new spirit features rose and cucumber essences in a nod to Hendrick's gin, and is bottled at 48% abv – lower than most absinthes in the market, making it a more enjoyable spirit for mixing into cocktails.
The brand is targeting bartenders with the launch, repositioning the spirit in a bid to drive creativity in the drinks sector. ‘It’s all about creating a fresh, lighter liquid that’s aimed at being mixable,' says Ally Martin, global brand ambassador for Hendrick’s. ‘We’ve re-imagined absinthe as an incredibly complex, unique and interesting spirit.’
For more on how British spirits brands are innovating in a gin-saturated market, read our latest drinks market.
Stat: Consumers are losing interest in animal products
A new survey of US and UK consumers by Morning Consult suggests that leather producers could be in trouble as more people shun animal products. The findings reveal that 37% of people in the UK and 23% in the US think leather is an inappropriate material to use in clothing, indicating that the shift has already begun on the mass market.
Interestingly, over 20% of all respondents in both countries said they had changed their mind about the material in the past five years, which could be a result of better understanding of synthetic alternatives. A global boom in plant-based lifestyles is no longer solely fed from vegans and vegetarians, but also from the average consumer that is recognising the planetary and ethical issues that come with making such products.