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04 : 11 : 20

A future glance at food grown from bacteria, Rudy’s vegan butcher lands in London, and Covid-19 fuels the pursuit of wellness across sectors.

Made mixes media for a phygital furniture showroom

 MADE.COM, Amsterdam

Amsterdam – Homeware company Made.com is launching its first phygital showroom, bringing together VR and audio guides for a multimedia shopping experience.

Set up as a ‘virtual apartment’ in Amsterdam, the shoppable VR experience spans four rooms filled with the brand's latest products. The space invites shoppers to move freely around the rooms, clicking on items such as bed frames and lighting for more information. A complementary audio guide led by Made's design director Ruth Wassermann is also available, sharing product stories and inspiration.

Originally opened as a physical shopping space for 2019, the Amsterdam-based concept has been replicated in the virtual realm to allow shoppers to connect with the brand and space remotely. Jo Jackson, chief creative officer at Made, explains : 'Our virtual apartment enables us to maintain a dialogue with our customers across the globe, while introducing our brand to a much wider fan base beyond what a physical space can offer.’

With increasing demand for phygital retail touchpoints amid global lockdowns, brands such as Made are innovating to connect with consumers in the virtual realm.

Bacteria-based dishes point to our food future

Plurality_Now by Marek Glogowski, The Netherlands Plurality_Now by Marek Glogowski, The Netherlands
Plurality_Now by Marek Glogowski, The Netherlands Plurality_Now by Marek Glogowski, The Netherlands

The Netherlands – Marek Glogowski’s project Plurality_Now posits that our future eating habits will be centred on serving and supporting our bodies' microbiome.

With Plurality_Now, the Design Academy Eindhoven masters student's ambitions are two-fold. The first part of the project presents two alternative futures: food automation or food metabolisation. The second part is a dinner experience – dubbed a 'metabolised restaurant' – whereby every dish has been created using different fermentation techniques.

With the aim to transform beliefs about bacteria and biology, Plurality_Now encourages participants to become more in tune with their internal invisible bacterial components in order to improve their mental and physical health. ‘We usually think of bacteria as pathogens that we are as war with, but most microbes are neutral or beneficial for us,’ explains Glogowski.

In a similar vein, our new food and drink macrotrend Total Tastes explores how the food-as-medicine movement is being rebranded to positively support consumers’ physical and psychological states.

London gets a permanent meat-free butcher

London – Camden Market’s meat-free junk food destination Rudy’s Vegan Diner is opening London’s first permanent vegan butcher in Islington.

The butcher will serve a range of meat- and dairy-free foods, including dirty burgers, seitan chick’n, and a vegan Christmas 'turkey'. Rudy’s will also sell plant-based charcuterie – including 'mock meats' such as ham, salami, pepperoni and pastrami. Available both in-store and online, Rudy’s can also deliver its plant-based meats nationwide to UK customers.

Taking inspiration from the success of its sister diner, the online service also offers DIY meal kits to allow people to recreate their favourite junk food dishes from the menu. Comprising plant-based takes on comfort foods such as Reuben sandwiches and chicken caesar salad, Rudy’s is targeting both familiar customers and flexitarian eaters who will appreciate the novelty of a vegan butcher.

As the adoption of veganism becomes more widespread, the importance of marketing fake meats is increasingly important to ensure the success of new products.

Rudy’s Vegan Diner, London Rudy’s Vegan Diner, London

Stat: Consumers prioritise wellness across all sectors

Cyan Skincare, US Cyan Skincare, US

Brands, no matter their sector or focus, must integrate wellness into their purpose, according to new research by Ogilvy.

The agency's Wellness Gap report finds that 73% of consumers consider wellness an essential strategic element for businesses. Participants in the study also believe there should be a cross-sector approach, with 52% expecting categories like cars, banks and airlines to offer wellness options. Meanwhile, amid Covid-19, 76% of respondents agree that the pandemic has affected the importance they place on wellness.

In turn, Ogilvy highlights the wellness gap – a profitable opportunity to achieve double-digit growth for brands that meet consumers' wellness expectations, especially during the pandemic. ‘Every brand can be a wellness brand now,’ says Marion McDonald, global health and wellness practice lead at Ogilvy. ‘Wellness is, in many ways, the more tangible benefit of purpose; we think this is very good news for brands.’

An emphasis on health, hygiene and wellbeing has swelled during the pandemic. In our health and wellness macrotrend Recuperative Living, we examine how Covid-19’s aftermath will result in phygital rehabilitation.

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