Need to Know
20 : 07 : 20

Edible instant noodle packaging, touchless testers for hygiene-first retailers and Britain’s chains face a bleak future.

Dissolving ramen packaging for conscious eaters

 Dissolvable ramen packaging by Holly Grounds, London
 Dissolvable ramen packaging by Holly Grounds, London
 Dissolvable ramen packaging by Holly Grounds, London

London – Product design student Holly Grounds has created dissolvable ramen packaging that turns into sauce.

Replacing the plastic sachets that usually accompany instant noodles, the packaging solution is an eco-friendly, flavourless biofilm made from potato starch, glycerin and water. Once heated, the film keeps dry noodles from going stale, but its properties allow it to instantly dissolve in boiling water. The packaging itself includes herbs and flavourings, allowing it to form a sauce for the noodles.

‘While other bio-based alternatives to plastic claim to be compostable or biodegradable, from a consumer perspective it's not always that simple,’ explains Holly Grounds. ‘Many of the emerging bio-based films only break down in an industrial composter at 50°C, so they often end up in the wrong place without the consumer really knowing that they caused damage to the planet.’

With consumers increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of plastic, brands are turning food by-products from produce to packaging.

Nike Rise is a data-powered retail playground

Nike Rise, China Nike Rise, China
Nike Rise, China Nike Rise, China

China – Nike’s latest concept store Nike Rise has opened in Guangzhou, providing members with a data-driven shopping playground.

Using insights that members have shared with Nike, as well as responding to real-time sports moments in the city, data will power the consumer experience in Nike Rise. That includes how a Nike member engages with the Nike app in-store, and how the store looks, feels and flows throughout the shopping journey.

‘Whether members are connecting through the Nike app or  joining in-store , they’re invited to experience a digitally enabled journey at this Nike Rise door that links them to the energy and activity of the city, and unites communities across Guangzhou through the power of sport,’ states Cathy Sparks, vice-president and general. manager of Global Nike Direct Stores & Services.

Data-driven stores are becoming an integral part of bricks-and-mortar retail. For more, explore our microtrend Data ID Stores.

Touchless testers for tentative beauty buyers

US – Meiyume is addressing the hygiene concerns of beauty retailers and customers with touchless testers.

Maintaining a high level of shopping experience is one of the main challenges of the post-Covid-19 beauty industry. In order to help maintain a sensory experience in-store, Meiyume is offering a series of touchless sampling testers for skincare products and fragrances.

The beauty company's new sampling testers are powered by battery packs or AC power and can dispense any type of fragrance or liquid skincare product. Its mechanism uses existing products, so brands won’t need to design new tester packaging or change the current supply chain.

The company expects its touchless testers to launch in stores in the next few months, allowing shoppers to continue the experience of physically testing products in-store.

Beauty retailers have been especially hit by the need for increased hygiene standards amid Covid-19. In Recuperative Living, we discuss the importance of Touchless Beauty.

Meiyume, US

Stat: Commuter chains buckle under remote working shift

Pret A Manger, UK Pret A Manger, UK

With much of the UK ditching their commute for remote working, coffee chains that previously relied on commuter trade are struggling.

A BrandIndex study by YouGov outlines some of the losses of key British chains, including a 74% decrease in sales year on year for Pret A Manger. The chain recorded a drop in its Current Customer score by 3.9 points from March (4.9) to June (1.0). Similarly, Starbucks’ score dropped by 4.9 points and Costa Coffee fell by 12.2 points in the same period.

While Britons have been told by the government to work from home whenever possible, businesses that rely on commuters and office workers have seen their customer base decimated over the past few months, leading to business closures nationwide.

As remote working becomes increasingly normalised, and customers remain anxious about shopping and dining in city centres, brands that previously relied on Convenience Culture will need to rethink their offering.

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