News 16.03.2021

Need to Know

Postmates’ satirical recipe book, Apple and Malala’s production partnership and why US parents recognise the power of gender representation in children’s toys.

Postmates’ anti-cookbook combats kitchen fatigue

Postmates Don't Cookbook images by Lizzie Darden, US
Postmates Don't Cookbook images by Lizzie Darden, US
Postmates Don't Cookbook images by Lizzie Darden, US

Los Angeles – The food delivery service has launched an ironic ‘cookbook’ to ease home-cooking burnout during the pandemic.

The Don’t Cookbook takes the form of a conventional recipe book that acts as a teaser for food delivery outlets. Each ‘recipe’ includes an ingredients list, tongue-in-cheek directions, and a QR code directing readers to respective delivery pages on Postmates. Available as a limited-edition run, the hardback cookbooks engage consumers through satirical food visuals and activities for users to complete while waiting for their food order.

‘We’re a year into quarantine, and we’ve tried every food trend from sourdough to whipped coffee,’ notes Kevin Byrd, creative director of Postmates at Uber. ‘If it has taught us anything, it is that we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and our increasingly complex and often exhausting relationship with cooking at home.’

While we previously identified the culinary experts simplifying quarantine cooking, this campaign offers a refreshing perspective for consumers now experiencing cooking fatigue.

Umamicart is a one-stop shop for Asian cuisine

Umamicart, US Umamicart, US
Umamicart, US Umamicart, US

US – Umamicart is a specialist online supermarket that curates and delivers hundreds of Asian products and ingredients to consumers' doors.

Customers can browse for Asian and Asian-American foods, as well as occasion-specific cooking kits and tailored product bundles created to encourage consumers to cook popular recipes. The marketplace prioritises Asian-American and immigrant-led businesses in addition to popular East Asian heritage brands.

Born from a dissatisfaction with ethnic aisles in traditional supermarkets, Umamicart is designed to provide consumers with a marketplace to source budget-friendly foods without the need to visit multiple physical stores. ‘The specific consumer we are building Umamicart for is someone who loves Asian and Asian-American food products and ingredients, and can’t easily access them in their area,’ says Andrea Xu, co-founder of Umamicart.

In a similar vein, our interview with the founders of pantry staple brand Omsom explores the importance of reclaiming the integrity and identity of Asian flavours that are often whitewashed in supermarket’s ethnic aisles.

Apple and Malala partner to produce activist-tainment

Malala X Apple, UK, Global Malala X Apple, UK, Global

UK and global – Women’s rights activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai is partnering with Apple TV+ on a series of inspirational programming.

Malala and her new production company Extracurricular will join Apple’s growing roster of creators. Yousafzai’s multi-year partnership will result in a range of dramas, comedies, documentaries, animations and children’s series – all taking inspiration from her own motivations to ignite global change.

The move builds on a long-standing relationship between the technology company and Yousafzai. In 2015, Apple produced a documentary about the young activist, and has sponsored research at her organisation, the Malala Fund, since 2018.

‘I believe in the power of stories to bring families together, forge friendships, build movements and inspire children to dream,’ says Malala Yousafzai. ‘I’m grateful for the opportunity to support women, young people, writers and artists in reflecting the world as they see it.’

With many young people engaging in activist-tainment, platforms like Pluc TV are ushering in more purposeful narratives to showcase global realities.

Stat: Gender-neutral toys broaden Gen Alpha’s horizons

The Gender Beyond the Binary report by marketing agency Bigeye highlights generational discrepancies in the effects of gendered toys on children’s future career ambitions. The Gender Beyond the Binary report by marketing agency Bigeye highlights generational discrepancies in the effects of gendered toys on children’s future career ambitions.

The Gender Beyond the Binary report by marketing agency Bigeye highlights generational discrepancies in the effects of gendered toys on children’s future career ambitions.

Over half (59%) of US Generation Y consumers believe children would be more open to working in a broader range of occupations as adults if their toys were gender-neutral. Some 52% of Generation Z agree, while only 37% of Baby Boomers believe the same. The research shines a light on the different generational views on depictions of gender in the advertising and branding sector. As more members of Gen Y become parents, data shows they are leaning more towards gender-neutral toys than other generations.

As parents become more aware of the role that toys play in their children’s lives, there is also a growing movement for boys’ toys that inspire emotional intelligence above raucous play.

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