Need to Know
08 : 12 : 22

Fungal spores to remediate wildfire lands, a new luxury travel platform focuses on brand experiences and UK consumers cut costs with packed lunches.

This week: Future Forecast 2023

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

Launching this Thursday 8 December, our new Future Forecast 2023 report is an essential read, highlighting the top 50 consumer trends for 2023 across multiple sectors. The Future Forecast features a PDF report and a 30-minute webinar, and explores how businesses can use the trends that will shape consumer behaviour in the coming months – and discover unexpected areas of growth. It covers 10 sectors:

: Beauty

: Health & Wellness

: Food

: Drink

: Travel & Hospitality

: Luxury

: Fashion

: Retail

: Media & Technology

: Youth

Focusing on innovation through turbulent and uncertain times means your brand is better equipped to take on the challenges that will make tomorrow different, and will also make tomorrow’s world better and more regenerative.

Stay tuned

Stay tuned for the launch of the report and the webinar on Thursday 8 December. We hope that the collection inspires you to continue to make a better future happen

A nature-driven concept for rebuilding wildfire territories

Living with Wildfire, The Netherlands Living with Wildfire, The Netherlands
Living with Wildfire, The Netherlands Living with Wildfire, The Netherlands

UK – Speculative artist Suzie McMurtry has developed a proposal for how fungal spores can revitalise land that has been damaged by wildfires.

The conceptual project is centred around a resilient sculptural mechanism made up of a steel pod with a fire-retardant mycelium exterior. The pod contains water and dormant oyster mushroom spores, and is sealed with a cork. It is designed to be positioned on hazardous land at all times so that it can react automatically when a fire breaks out. During this procedure the water in the pod heats up, gradually causing an increase in pressure. The pressure is released as the fire subsides, and the sealing cork is freed, subsequently scattering fungal spores in the process. These spores then take root in the damaged ground and work to remove pollutants from the toxic environment, as well as to remediate the soil.

As climatic conditions worsen, the risk of wildfires increases, as does the length of fire seasons. Between 1979 and 2019, the length of the fire weather season increased by 14 days per year (27%), according to a recent study by the University of East Anglia. This is affecting regions across the globe, but particularly fire-prone countries such as Australia, South Africa and California. McMurty’s system, which is modelled on trees such as Australian banksia, demonstrates the power of creative abilities when it comes to planning and future-proofing our planet.

Strategic opportunity

Fire-affected regions will continually have to deal with the aftermath of such disasters, rebuilding infrastructure, protecting the health of citizens as well as surrounding nature. Consider how your business and employees’ creative minds can contribute to develop innovative solutions

New luxury travel platform focuses on brand experiences

Australia – Joel Found is a new kind of luxury travel platform offering premium travellers immersive experiences and access to places through the lens of dynamic brands and brand founders.

The platform is the brainchild of Joel Bartfeld, a founder of consumer-facing brands, including beach and poolside accessories brand Sunnylife. It is predicated on the idea that many entrepreneurs and creatives have a clear sense of style, a field of interest or expertise and a deep understanding of premium consumers by virtue of their work – and the places it has taken them. The platform applies this to extraordinary travel experiences such as a bespoke, sensory-driven tour of Japan with Gloss Creative founder Amanda Henderson.

There’s an expression of interest process with a lead time of up to 12 months, but the resulting experiences are highly bespoke. ‘It’s an elevated travel service,’ Bartfeld tells LS:N Global. ‘We build groups limited to eight to 12 people and offer ‘inclusive exclusivity’, meaning we could have two graduates who have saved for a once-in-a-lifetime experience or 75-year-old design aficionados.’

Bartfeld insists that true luxury is about ‘collecting experiences, not products’, a focus we explore in our Guilded Luxury macrotrend.

Qingxi Culture and History Museum by UAD, China

Strategic opportunity

As luxury consumers’ increasingly demand more curated, authentic and qualified experiences, the opportunities for similar platforms – offering short-term shareability and long-term memorability – will grow

UK consumers cut costs with packed lunches

Patella Crescenda by House of Thol, The Netherlands
Patella Crescenda by House of Thol, The Netherlands

UK – Consumers in the UK are changing their out-of-home eating habits in view of the cost of living crisis. At work, 69% bring lunch in, an increase of 8% from 2021, and 9% skip it altogether, according to a survey from grocery discounter Shopmium.

Fewer than one in 10 (9%) buy it from a supermarket and just (3%) from a café or restaurant. As well as opting for own-label brands in favour of big food and drink names (64%), Shopmium/s survey found that 79% are paying more attention to deals, 69% are buying fewer items and 55% are using lower-cost retailers. Most importantly, it reveals that nearly 80% of respondents have cut their overall grocery spending and a further 10% say they plan to do so.

Also slipping down the list of influences on consumer purchase decisions are health and environmental concerns; just 6% of those surveyed say their top reason to buy a product would be because it is healthier and 3% because it is environmentally friendly.

Strategic opportunity

As outlined in our Adaptive Appetites macrotrend, as consumers embrace frugality, brands will need to rely on instinct and innovation to rethink indulgence and navigate this uncertain landscape

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