US – Design agency &Walsh has taken inspiration from fast food restaurants in a visual identity update for vertical farming company Plenty.
Helping the salad brand to stand out from traditional green clichés, the rebranding includes a bright colour palette reminiscent of McDonald’s and a sans serif font that aims to make the produce it grows more appealing to a mass audience. This aesthetic extends to Plenty's website, social media platforms, packaging and new merchandise line to unite its messaging and create a friendly persona.
‘Fast food companies often use red and yellow colours in their branding, which have been shown to make people feel hungry, [so] why not use this technique for healthy foods?’ says Jessica Walsh, founder of &Walsh. Deviating from the typical green visual cues of other healthy food brands, Walsh adds that ‘we wanted to create a friendly and happy brand that also stood out on the shelf from the competition’.
Plenty’s rebranding will capture consumers tired of overused design tropes that feel inauthentic or worthy. Discover more food brands taking visual cues from junk food in our macrotrend Total Tastes.
SEEN’s skintelligent shampoo won’t clog pores
US — SEEN is a new haircare brand designed to be non-irritating or pore-clogging for skin on the face and back.
Developed by Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr Iris Rubin, the brand considers the impact that residue from shampoo and conditioner can have on people's skin post-shower. While something most haircare brands overlook, SEEN recognises the importance of formulations that are created similar to skincare.
Launching with a shampoo, conditioner, a blow dry cream and a curl cream, the products are made without harmful ingredients like sulphates, silicones and parabens, while fragrance-free options are offered for people with sensitive skin or fragrance allergies.
In this way, SEEN is placing dermatology at the core of its offering. ‘Aspiring to be more than just a beauty company, SEEN’s mission is to build people’s confidence by promoting great skin and great hair – without compromises,’ explains the brand in a press release.
In our Skintellectual Haircare microtrend, we consider the ways that skincare rituals are informing people’s hair routines, while SEEN takes this a step further by focusing on the impact of haircare residue on overall skin health.
Unilever’s digital factories localise manufacturing
Global – Unilever is trialling a hyper-local manufacturing model that can operate from a 40-feet shipping container.
The FMCG company has created its small-scale operations with the aim of creating flexible production lines around the world. Now being piloted in The Netherlands, these nano-factories are designed to respond faster to local market changes or can be used to create goods for product trials. The ease with which the containers can be moved or reformatted means Unilever can also tailor production to specific areas or locations.
Transforming raw materials to packaged goods, the internal space is fully digitised, operating via a platform eco-system (PES), whereby sensors inside the container continuously report on relevant data, allowing adjustments to be made remotely.
Using this system for trials links up with Unilever’s larger sustainability goals as it diverts from mass manufacturing, reducing material waste as a result. ‘This reflects a new dynamic model where thousands of nano factories could be run from a central system, allowing us to have flexible production lines wherever, and whenever, needed,’ explains Olivera Trifunovic, engineering manager at Unilever.
In a similar vein, Fast Fabrication explores the shift towards shorter supply chains that utilise local materials and automation in the fashion sector.
Stat: Generation Z research brands before buying
Coreva biodegradable denim by Closed
Generation Z consumers are increasingly led by their values when it comes to engaging with brands.
A study by Forrester reveals that over half (51%) of Gen Z aged 18–23 will always research a company to make sure it aligns with their views on corporate social responsibility (CSR) before making a purchase. Meanwhile, reflecting shifting attitudes towards brand alignment, the percentage of Gen Z who said that 'it’s cool to be associated with a brand on social media' fell to 46% in 2020, from 52% in 2019.
The study also describes this generation as ‘truth barometers', reporting that 54% of teenagers have moved away from a brand because of its ethics. Forrester highlights that, while Gen Z expect brands to take a stance on issues, organisations can risk being seen as ‘performative’ by this generation.
While young consumers are especially conscious of CSR initiatives, a wave of Post-purpose Brands are pushing back against tokenistic efforts to focus instead on long-term betterment.