Travel & Hospitality

Market shifts, microtrends and expert opinions that signal significant change for global travel and hospitality companies and consumers

Need To Know
08 : 03 : 21

The Green Box transforms eco-tel stays, Burger King supports farmers by buying surplus produce and inter-Covid start-ups boom in the US.

This Earth-friendly amenity kit reduces hotel waste

Green Box, On Materia, Sweden

Sweden – Sustainable design collective OnMateria has created an eco-conscious toiletry kit to help hotels embrace the circular economy.

The Green Box is made from bio-sourced, bio-based and compostable materials, which allows it to be industrially recycled and organically composted. Its contents, a toothbrush, comb and razor, are stored within colour coded seals which indicate to the guest how to sort the items before discarding. When composted, the biogas produced can power a standard LED light bulb for over 27 hours, while the remaining organic matter can be used as soil fertiliser.

With the environmentally friendly kit, OnMateria aims to tackle plastic waste issues in the travel and hospitality sector, much of which can be attributed to excessive amenities in hotels. ‘The hotel industry has the opportunity to transform itself post-Covid,’ says Eléa Nouraud, co-founder of OnMateria. 'Something as small as amenity kit can make a big difference.’

Innovations like the Green Box present an opportunity for the hotel industry to re-evaluate their complimentary amenities. Discover more green alternatives in our Hotel Toiletries Upgraded report.

Carefull lets families protect loved ones’ finances

Carefull, US Carefull, US
Carefull, US Carefull, US

US – Fintech company Carefull is launching a platform to support care-givers in managing the finances of ageing relatives.

The app integrates artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse the financial behaviours of ageing consumers, providing insights to family members who are supporting them with money management. By integrating transactional data with financial communication and educational content, the platform allows users to build a secure ‘circle of care’ around their relatives.

Through its platform, Carefull supports a consumer group who are often left uncatered for in the fintech sector, and aims to protect such groups from scams or money-related mistakes. Senior care-giving is typically treated as a healthcare crisis or sometimes a coordination issue,’ says Todd Rovak, co-founder of Carefull, ‘but it's also the largest and most unaddressed challenge in consumer financial services – no simple tools, intelligence or protections.’

With many members of Generation X finding themselves caring for older relatives, brands like Carefull are providing solutions that allow them to support their families with new technologies. For more, read our Neo-kinship macrotrend.

Burger King gives surplus potatoes to customers

Burger King, France Burger King, France

France – The fast food chain is giving customers free bags of potatoes to help farmers who have been fiscally affected by the pandemic.

As part of Burger King’s continuing support for the wider food industry, the company has purchased 200 tons of surplus potatoes that would have been discarded due to coronavirus-related declines in demand. The fast food chain has repackaged the potatoes for drive-through customers, while encouraging them to purchase potatoes to further support these farmers. On its website, Burger King has shared recipes for potato dishes such as gratin and galette to encourage cooking these meals at home.

With the restaurant sector in trouble, thousands of French farmers have found themselves unable to sell their produce, among them, potato farmers have been left with tons of the crop on their hands,’ reads a statement from Burger King.

By purchasing surplus stock, the brand is protecting valuable parts of the food supply chain. Read more about the pandemic’s effect on the food and drink sector in our Inter-Covid Roadmap.

Stat: The pandemic boosted US business start-ups in 2020

Youth of Africa by Vlisco&co, Eindhoven Youth of Africa by Vlisco&co, Eindhoven

Despite the pandemic often being associated with a struggling retail market and sharp decline in small businesses, the US has seen a surge in registrations for new ventures.

After plummeting by 30% in the weeks following the March lockdowns, research from the US Census Bureau reveals that the number of new business registrations in the US rose by 24% in 2020. About a third of the increase in new business applications can be attributed to those planning online or other ‘non-store’ retailers, indicating the rapid growth in digital start-ups.

With a startling share of people in the US now unemployed – about 6.2% of the population – the advent of Covid-19 is boosting entrepreneurship in the nation. Having been impacted by lockdowns and business closures, many people now have more time and space to establish their own business ventures. Discover our Inter-Covid Roadmap 2021 for more innovations from SME business in the past year.

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