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A skincare brand dedicated to slugging, Cyber Monday spending breaks records and a Belgian supermarket grows food from food waste.

Futurewise introduces a slugging eco-system

Futurewise, US
Futurewise, US
Futurewise, US

US – A new skincare brand, Futurewise, launched by the founders of Starface, is assisting beauty consumers with their slugging routines.

The practice involves creating an occlusive layer over the skin to prevent water loss and thus improve skin hydration. Futurewise offers a three-product system made up of humectants, emollients and occlusives that work collectively and provide optimal slugging results. The brand’s hydrating mist, Slug Boost, contains a trio of humectants that allow deeper penetration and prepare the skin for the rest of the routine. Next, the user is advised to apply the Slug Cream, a moisturiser that is made with a triple lipid complex of plant-derived fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides, which work in tandem to strengthen the skin barrier and preserve the skin’s moisture levels. Finally, the Slug Balm can be applied to lock in moisture and create an environment for the skin to repair itself.

While the technique has gained prominence on TikTok with the hashtag #slugging reaching over 528m views, the practice dates back as far as the 15th century when Native American communities would use petroleum jelly for moisturising purposes and scar reduction.

For more on how ancient practices are being celebrated – not appropriated – by modern consumers, read our microtrend, Ancestral Beauty.

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from ancient techniques and modify to meet the needs and demands of modern consumers. Always appreciate, never appropriate.

Supermarket grows food from food waste

Belgium – Organic grower Eclo has teamed up with organic supermarket group Bio-Planet to rescue unsold loaves of bread and put them to good use as a base for growing mushrooms.

Based in Brussels, Eclo collects the bread from the supermarkets and mixes it with sawdust to create a growing medium. It then uses its 3,000-square-metre network in the Cureghem Cellars beneath the city to grow organic eryngii and nameko mushrooms, with the process taking 4–12 weeks. The mushrooms are then sold back at Bio-Planet’s supermarkets.

Eclo, which grows micro-herbs too, also uses brewing remnants from two breweries in Brussels. In 2021, 61% of the grower's mushroom substrates included 'waste' material. The concept may sound unappealing, but attitudes to what we consider to be traditionally palatable foods are changing, as detailed in Grotesque Grub and Food Austerity Innovators.

Mushrooms & Friends by Phyllis Ma

Strategic opportunity

The initiative is a solid example of the need for larger retailers to build strong partnerships in order to close the loop on circular production.

Cyber Monday sees biggest online shopping spending ever

Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose

US – US consumers spent £9.2bn ($11.3bn, €10.8bn) during the biggest online shopping day of all time on Cyber Monday (28 November ). In a paradoxical economic situation, and despite higher than ever inflation in the US and Federal Reserve attempts to rein in spending by slowing down the economy, consumer spending remains robust.

The spending represents 5.8% growth on 2021, according to Adobe Analytics. Remarkably, in the peak hour of 11:00pm to 12:00am ET, consumers spent £10.4m ($12.8m, €12.2m) every minute. Together with Black Friday sales, 2022’s Cyber Week shopping (from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) brought in a massive £28.75bn ($35.27bn, €33.61bn) overall, up 4% year on year.

One thing the record-breaking spending may indicate is that consumers have a strong appetite for deep discounts (as detailed in our Budget Bots analysis) – some reaching 25% off RRP (versus 8% in 2021) – with the toys category posting 684% higher sales than an average day in October, according to Adobe Analytics, closely followed by sporting goods (up 466%), appliances (+458%), books (+439%) and jewellery (+410%).

Strategic opportunity

Heavy discounting was the right choice for retailers in the US this year, but the longer-term effect on consumers’ expectations on paying full price and brand value may not be so positive, and brands will need to shore this up into 2023.

RSVP: Food & Drink Futures 2022 online event

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

Join our Food & Drink Futures online event, where we’ll be exploring the ever-changing meaning of nourishment in turbulent times, and discover the cultural rituals, flavour profiles and bio-hacks that are set to propel the food and drink market in unexpected directions over the coming decade.

The desire to eat and drink is a constant human need in a world in which change is inevitable. But food and drink are being redefined by global citizens who are pushing for positive impact on people, planet and profit. In 2022, we’ll take a closer look at how future-fit food systems and new technologies will transform the sector. As consumers continue to re-align their social beliefs to fit their dietary requirements, brands will need to respond, refocusing on niche communities, ingredients and experiences. Join us to uncover the next frontier for food and drink. You can buy tickets for just £80, or join The Future Laboratory Community and get inside access to our full programme of online events in 2022. 

Book your tickets now

You can now book tickets to our online event. RSVP by logging in to the platform here. Members of LS:N Global get access to The Future Laboratory Community and all online events for free

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