News 22.07.2022

Need to Know

East London’s Talent House will nurture Black performers, a cyclewear campaign that hits back at fat-shaming, and UK drinkers are curbing their alcohol intake.

Talent House is a base for Black creative talent

Talent House Talent House, Waugh Thistleton, UK
Talent House Talent House, Waugh Thistleton, UK
Talent House Talent House, Waugh Thistleton, UK

London – As part of the emerging community space Sugar House Island, this East London venue is set to welcome Black talent from two organisations: UD Music and East London Dance. Together, these establishments will use the Talent House to uplift and nurture Black artists, entrepreneurs, dancers and producers.

Of note, the renovated building is designed in a way that encourages connection and inclusive learning. A press release about the project reads: ‘An engine room for creativity, The Talent House will create opportunities for early career and more established dance and music artists to connect with one another, to be inspired and create, as well as encouraging the cross-pollination of talent, ideas, conversation and performance between art forms.’

Such a venue empowers talent from diverse backgrounds to feel engaged and inspired without facing appropriated design cues or cliché motifs. In a similar vein, we’ve previously explored the ways that interior designers are envisaging ideal homes for Black citizens.

Strategic opportunity

Urban planners must consider the needs of communities and groups that will use their spaces. Involve such groups at research and development phases to ensure you’re supporting their needs and values

This low-impact innovation mimics avocado

Ecovado by Arina Shokouhi, UK Ecovado by Arina Shokouhi, UK
Ecovado by Arina Shokouhi, UK Ecovado by Arina Shokouhi, UK

UK – Recognising the notoriously damaging environmental impact of avocados, Central Saint Martins graduate Arina Shokouhi is proposing a planet-friendly alternative. Dubbed Ecovado, the product contains a pale green, creamy centre made primarily from broad beans, hazelnut, apple and rapeseed oil. To mimic the real product, this recipe is then packaged in a fake avocado skin fashioned from wax.

While avocados remain a popular food in many nations, this innovation aims to wean people off the resource-intensive imported fruit. ‘The avocado has become a modern-day cultural icon synonymous with hipster cafes and trendy Instagram posts,’ says Shokouhi. ‘However, avocado production is energy-intensive and resource-intensive: each avocado requires 320 litres of water to grow and harvest internationally.’

With alternative food innovations taking over the protein sector, the Ecovado demonstrates the importance of finding planet-first solutions for the wider food and drinks industry. For more, explore our Climate-positive Foods microtrend.

Strategic opportunity

Many plant-based foods are damaging to the environment due to importation and water reliance. As more consumers shift to vegan diets, food brands must reflect on the environmental impact of non-animal produce

A campaign challenging fitness fat-shaming

Fat Lad, Mellor&Smith, UK Fat Lad, Mellor&Smith, UK

UK – Cyclewear brand Fat Lad At The Back is challenging harmful stereotypes surrounding plus-size communities and exercise. Its latest campaign features provocative billboards that – at first glance – appear to feature expletive language, with each reading: ‘Fat C*n’t. Actually Fat Can.’ Through this messaging, the brand aims to communicate the fact that people of all sizes can ride a bike and take part in sports.

Created by advertising agency Mellor&Smith, the campaign takes inspiration from the harmful commentary that plus-sized individuals experience on social media and out in public. It also aims to reclaim the word ‘fat’ and reject any negative associations with the word. Lynn Bye, co-founder of Fat Lad At The Back, says: ‘Some sections of society think larger people can’t ride a bike or run a marathon… we’re trying to change that because it’s absolutely not true.’

Here, the brand shows a response to the ongoing need for more Inclusive Fitness products, services and awareness. Elsewhere, we’ve previously explored the ways that Anytime Fitness is championing gym inclusivity.

Strategic opportunity

Many traditional sports remain largely discriminatory. How might your brand create safe spaces and curated training programmes that serve diverse audiences?

Stat: UK Gen Z want to lower their alcohol intake

Three Spirit Drinks, US Three Spirit Drinks, US

While the no- and low-alcohol category has been growing in recent years, new research reveals that UK drinkers are aligning with this shift, with many hoping to cut their alcohol consumption in 2022. A report by alcohol-free beer brand Lucky Saint and creative insight agency Kam finds that more than half (55%) of UK drinkers are aiming to cut their alcohol consumption in 2022.

Interestingly, this figure increases to 65% among Generation Z. According to the report, the biggest driver behind moderating alcohol consumption is better health, while taste was named as the number one reason for choosing a non-alcoholic alternative. These insights demonstrate a rise in popularity of low- and no-alcohol drinks, where previously many considered the taste as a compromise.

Luke Boase, founder of Lucky Saint, says: ‘Consumers want taste and quality, but historically there’s not been a product that fits the bill.’ While UK drinkers are increasingly open to moderating their drinking habits, there is an opportunity for brands to innovate with products that balance flavour with function.

Strategic opportunity

When promoting low- and no-alcohol drinks, consider how marketing can better position the taste and lifestyle benefits associated with moderating alcohol consumption

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