Need to Know
31 : 10 : 22

Omsom adds MSG to the classic tabletop salt and pepper set, Edinburgh opens a new community project, and young Americans use TikTok for news.

Omsom adds MSG to the classic tabletop salt and pepper set

IYKYK set by Omsom, US
IYKYK set by Omsom, US
IYKYK set by Omsom, US
IYKYK set by Omsom, US

US – Omsom, the ‘proud and loud’ Asian food brand,has released the IYKYK condiment set (If You Know, You Know set), including Korean salt, Vietnamese pepper and an unexpected addition – monosodium glutamate (MSG), reclaiming the narrative around the misunderstood flavour-enhancer.

Boasting colourful and punchy designs, the refillable wooden shakers are remixing the staple salt and pepper tabletop seasoning set in a bid to flip the misconceptions around MSG and its connotations as a 'dirty' ingredient. With its IYKYK Set, Omsom hopes to rebrand MSG as a delicious and safe ingredient and turn around its bad reputation, which is tainted by anti-Asian xenophobia and bad science.

‘Our IYKYK Set is a reclamation and celebration of not just an ingredient that we grew up with, but one that we were conditioned to be ashamed of. Now, MSG can sit at the centre of any table, ready to be used daily – as it should be,’ says the brand’s co-founder Kim Pham.

Omsom hopes to inspire more brands to rebrand Asian food culture and debunk the harmful narratives surrounding Asian ingredients and communities.

Strategic opportunity

Like Omsom, brands can use their platform to take a stand against xenophobic perceptions of ingredients like MSG in society, educating both customers and organisations and normalising unfamiliar flavours

A community project built to encourage collective living

Walk-Up Avenue by New Practice, Edinburgh Walk-Up Avenue by New Practice, Edinburgh
Walk-Up Avenue by New Practice, Edinburgh Walk-Up Avenue by New Practice, Edinburgh

UK – Walk-Up Avenue is a new project in the centre of Craigmillar, Edinburgh, that has turned an abandoned space into a multi-functional hub for residents. The project was developed by the City of Edinburgh Council with the support of Nature Restoration Fund and other funding bodies. It includes a playground, an event space and green areas designed to support biodiversity and prevent flooding.

The intention behind the project is to bring the community together and support local businesses, encouraging residents to take ownership and use the space according to the needs of the community. The project keeps Edinburgh’s 20-minute neighbourhood strategy in mind, aiming to bring everything within easily accessible distance. It’s a clear example of the approach in action, creating ‘opportunities for people across the city to have better access to nature and open space’, explains councillor Jane Meagher, housing, homelessness and fair work convener.

Allowing for local amenities to be easily accessible within a short distance from residents’ homes, Walk-Up Avenue represents a growing shift towards cities that prioritise equitable spaces and collective action.

Strategic opportunity

Cities are adapting to the change in mindset that values community living and equitable space. Consumers will hope businesses and brands will follow suit and shape their physical spaces to fit the changing landscape

A sustainable hot air balloon hotel is set to open in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia – The forthcoming mega smart city Neom will be home to Nimbus, the first five-star hotel hosted inside a hot air balloon.

The Nimbus project was developed by four students from Cornell University as part of Neom’s Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, a contest entered by students from 40 universities around the world. The £302m ($350m, €350m) project is a sustainable bio-propane-fuelled hot air balloon, which will cruise above the skies of Neom.

Nimbus carries a luxury hotel room, which will cost £6,800 ($7,900, €7,914) a night. The pod will contain sleeping, lounge and dressing areas, a bathroom, and an observation deck where guests can admire desert landscapes during the cruise.

‘Nimbus embodies this vision: a carbon-neutral operating model that offers authentic and thrilling excursions while protecting the destinations and leaving no footprints,’ explain the students who worked on the project.

The Nimbus project is an example of how Guilded Luxury is permeating the travel and hospitality sector, and catering for luxurians who seek lavish, unique and off-the-grid getaways.

Photography by Kursat Akkoyn

Strategic opportunity

Affluent travellers want remote, luxurious, sustainable experiences. How can you deliver unique experiences and the ultimate in escapism to this demanding group?

Stat: Americans turn to TikTok for news

Photography by Polina Tankilevitch Photography by Polina Tankilevitch

Social media platforms continue to encroach on the domain of heritage news outlets. According to research by the Pew Research Center, more than a quarter of US adults under 30 regularly use TikTok to get their news.

While consumption of news on other social media platforms has declined or plateaued in recent years, TikTok is emerging as a prominent news outlet for a small but growing segment of the young adult population in the US. The percentage of American adults who claim to regularly get news via TikTok has nearly tripled in two years, from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022.

The social media platform, which is particularly popular among US teens, is enabling creators to create content that speaks to Generation Z. At a time when public confidence in the media remains at an all-time low, this development will pose yet another threat to traditional news organisations that prioritise accuracy and neutrality.

Strategic opportunity

In order to appeal to Generation Z readers, how can companies include some of the elements of social media platforms like TikTok into their website design?

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