Petco considers the mental health of pets post-lockdown
US – With many people returning to social events and the office, the pet care brand is responding to the new wellbeing needs of their pets through a series of virtual training sessions. Launching as individual seminars, the sessions will help pet parents detect signs of stress in their pets, as well as learn relaxation techniques to help them adjust to post-pandemic routines.
The educational courses are part of the brand’s ongoing commitments to promote mental health support for pets. Ron Coughlin, chairman and CEO of Petco, says: ‘As our routines begin to change, whether it's returning to school, work, travel or more social gathering – it's more critical now than ever for pet parents to understand how these changes can affect their pets' wellbeing and what we can do to help them adjust in a healthy way.’
As people seek to synchronise their own physical and mental self-care efforts, this thinking is now being applied to all aspects of their lives – including that of their pets.
As an increasingly important member of the family, brands must consider the wellbeing of animals through health-focused initiatives. Take cues from mainstream therapy to inform ways of targeting pet owners
Voyage Foods is future-proofing our greatest vices
US – The food technology start-up is reverse engineering some of the world's most popular food and drink products, including chocolate, coffee and peanut butter. The alternatives, set to be launched in November 2021, are created using chemical innovation from Voyage Foods' in-house scientists. Seeking to future-proof ingredients like cacao, even as they face environmental threat, it is transforming items like seeds and grains into nutritionally identical products.
Through this approach, the company creates more sustainable goods while maintaining familiar taste preferences. ‘We have succeeded in producing society’s favourite food and drink without contributing to industries rife with negative environmental and social implications, like cacao farming, for example,’ says Adam Maxwell, CEO of Voyage Foods. ‘What’s more, these products are not alternatives that require consumers to consciously sacrifice taste and texture.’
As the Chocolate Market becomes increasingly aware of its threatened supply chains, food innovations are fuelling change in a sector that is damaging to cacao farmers and the land that they work on.
To stay afloat in the coming years, major food producers must take risks and invest in disruptive nutritional innovations. By doing so, there is greater opportunity to preserve much-loved ingredients, while improving the social and ethical future of the industry
India and Singapore unite their digital payment systems
India and Singapore – The two Asian countries are linking their digital payments systems in a bid to improve cross-border transactions. As per an announcement from the nations’ central banks, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow will unify by 2022 – enabling citizens to make instant, low-cost transfers.
This partnership will support some 250m people across the world who currently send cross-border remittances with high fees, while also indicating future economic opportunities for the two nations, which already share a great deal of cultural history (source: Citi). ‘The link between the two systems also paves the way for establishing more comprehensive digital connectivity and interoperability between the two countries,’ explains Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at MAS, the bank that operates PayNow.
From unified payments to multilingual initiatives, there is opportunity for businesses to follow suit and connect nations in new ways. Take cues from this announcement and create seamless services built on existing functionalities.
Stat: Gen Z are too busy watching TikTok to date
With Gen Z already driving the market for short-form entertainment apps, research by TikTok has found that they are so engaged with the video app that they are spending less time looking for a partner.
TikTok’s study shows that nearly half (45%) of TikTok users scroll through the app during the time they’d usually spend on dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge and Bumble. It can't be blamed on a romance drought either – 35% of TikTok users have watched fewer tv and streaming services since downloading the app, while 41% have listened to fewer podcasts.
The findings back up Gen Z's preference for short-form, peer-to-peer media over dating apps and traditional entertainment platforms such as television. Dating platforms and streaming services now have an opportunity to target young audiences with TikTok-inspired formats. Dating app Lolly, for example, engages Gen Z singletons by combining the user experience of TikTok and Tinder.
Media platforms should embrace – rather than reject – The TikTok Effect to boost their user experience. User-generated content and humour are integral to entertainment brands succeeding among young audiences