Need to Know
29 : 06 : 23

Nornorm extends subscription-based office furnishing to the UK market, indoor air pollution could be the next global health crisis and why Americans favour vodka-based ready-to-drink beverages.

Nornorm launches subscription-based office furnishing service in the UK

Nornorm, UK
Nornorm, UK
Nornorm, UK

UK – Danish circular and subscription-based furnishing service Nornorm was launched in the UK in May 2023 with a mission to help businesses significantly reduce their environmental impact by replacing single-use office furniture. The Ikea-backed firm aims to help businesses improve flexibility, cost-efficiency and achieve environmental benefits.

Nornorm was co-founded with Inter Ikea Development in 2020. In two years, it has sold over 250,000 square metres of office furniture subscriptions and expects to see further growth across progressive commercial property markets in Europe, which are increasingly seeking sustainable solutions. In London, UK, the brand has already secured commercial partnerships with Sustainable Ventures, where Nornorm will provide furniture for its new 14,000-square-feet office, and is collaborating with Miro on its new office.

Nornorm’s mission aligns with the trends we identified in our Work States Futures macrotrend report. Businesses are collaborating with architects, designers and behaviourists to create physical realms that align with shifting employee values.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses should seize the opportunity to partner with services such as Nornorm and should forge partnerships with similar, like-minded brands to mutually support each other’s goals and champion green values for a larger audience

French youth hostel Pilo redefines luxury with playful brand identity

Pilo. Identity by 5.5, France Pilo. Identity by 5.5, France
Pilo. Identity by 5.5, France Pilo. Identity by 5.5, France

France – Pilo, a new-generation youth hostel in Lyon, France, has collaborated with Parisian design studio 5.5 to create a unique brand identity that blends comfort and luxury. The hostel, set in a former 19th-century college, caters for a young demographic looking for a quick place to rest their heads, but comes in the form of a luxury hotel.

The design team drew inspiration from hotel comforts, incorporating elements like good beds, soft sheets and fluffy pillows into the identity. ‘We designed fluffy typography inspired by folding bolster pillows, we sewed a slipper on a t-shirt, wrote messages on sheets, and we made embroidered badges to indicate the rooms,’ 5.5 co-founder and partner Vincent Baranger told Creative Review.

A customised typeface, Pilo, features rounded letterforms resembling folded bolster pillows, symbolising the merging of hostel energy with boutique elegance. The brand identity is designed to create a comfortable and fun experience for guests, capturing the carefree spirit of youth hostels while introducing elements of luxury.

In our exclusive Viewpoint report with strategic design agency AboundStudio's founder James Huntly we highlighted how innovative designs play a critical role in creating meaningful brand narratives that reflect travellers’ changing values and desires.

Strategic opportunity

Find inspiration in consumers’ interest in nostalgia to build new immersive and engaging travel experiences. How can you elevate a youth hostel, a children’s summer camp or a beach hut to reach a wealthy clientele seeking unique stays?

Experts see indoor air pollution as incoming hidden health crisis

US – In a comment piece published in the journal Nature, experts highlight how indoor spaces often contain higher concentrations of pollution than the outdoors in the US. While outdoor air quality is monitored using the Air Quality Index (AQI), which provides a colour-coded scale of severity, there is no equivalent system for indoor air quality (IAQ).

Data indicates that indoor spaces, where people spend about 90% of their lives in the US according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, can have higher pollutant concentrations than the outdoor environment. Indoor polluters include combustion appliances such as gas stoves, cooking, chemicals used in building supplies and furniture manufacturing, excess moisture which can lead to mould, and even hair spray and dry shampoo. Even running the vacuum cleaner can cause the IAQ to fluctuate.

But indoor air pollution has been largely overlooked by researchers, policymakers and the general public. Limited accessibility to interventions like air filters further exacerbates the issue, particularly for cash-strapped tenants. Improving indoor air quality would include investments in limiting pollution sources, improving ventilation, removing particles through filtration systems and controlling moisture levels.

Manufacturers such as Ikea have already designed new appliances to monitor air quality at home. As analysed in our Smog Life report, brands must consider how to respond to a growing demand for personal protection and home purification from a global air pollution crisis.

Vindstyrka by Ikea, Sweden

Strategic opportunity

From home appliances to furniture design and safety-first homewear outfits, consider how your brand can adapt to a world where consumers who spend more time at home have to protect themselves from indoor pollution

Stat: Americans favour vodka-based ready-to-drink beverages

Something & Nothing, Global Something & Nothing, Global

US – A June 2023 report by food and drink insight and research consultancy CGA reveals that more than two-thirds (70%) of American consumers are more likely to opt for a vodka-based ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage over any other spirit. A popular and successful alcohol beverage category, RTDs are favoured by younger consumers, with only 16% of RTD drinkers aged over 55, and by those earning an average of £65k ($83k, €76k) per year – slightly wealthier than the average American household income.

When they don’t choose a vodka-based RTD beverage, more than half of Americans tend to go for a tequila-based drink. Rum-based drinks ranked third, with 42% of drinkers claiming them as their first choice, while gin was named the least appealing white spirit base (30%). The report says that manufacturers should pay close attention to their recipes and flavouring given that one-third of consumers choose RTDs based on the type of base alcohol used. Some 28% also say they are primarily motivated by the variety of flavours offered.

In Tinned Tipples, we previously highlighted how the wine industry is turning to the ready-to-drink market with the emergence of tinned wine. Players in the drink and retail industry should keep a close eye on consumers’ interest in flavourful yet convenient alcoholic drinks ready to be enjoyed on the go or on-premise.

Strategic opportunity

Given that 40% of individuals consume RTDs in both food- and drink-led scenarios, according to CGA, hospitality professionals should consider how to develop their offer and design food and RTD pairings, as explored in our No-lo Taste Lifts report

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