US – Omsom, the ‘proud and loud’ Asian food brand released the ‘IYKYK’ condiment set (‘If You Know, You Know’ Set), including Korean Salt, Vietnamese Pepper and an unexpected addition – 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 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,’ comments the brand’s co-founder Kim Phamon.
Omsom hopes to inspire more brands to Rebranding Asian food culture and debunk the harmful narratives surrounding Asian ingredients and communities.
UK – Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s new brand Pasta Dreams offers a psychedelic take on traditional Italian cuisine. The result of a partnership between creative agency Otherway and food delivery company Taster, the brand presents a playful visual identity and a pasta range for home delivery.
The visuals comprise colourful pasta shapes twirling around a psychedelic backdrop, giving a nostalgic feel reminiscent of saturated design cues from the 1970s. The range includes pasta dishes such as Vodka Arrabbiata Casarecce, which is Jamie Oliver’s spin on the viral vodka pasta social media trend.
The rebranding is part of Jamie Oliver’s strategy to move away from his current demographic, which values an authentic take on Italian cuisine, instead appealing to a younger audience. With its eye-catching visuals, Pasta Dreams appeals to those who seek Instagram-friendly food options. The visuals tie in well with Pasta Dreams pop-ups, a sensory brand activation designed to attract a buzz on social media.
The design direction taken by the brand reflects many of the themes we picked up on in Frivolous Foods.
Sweden – Swedish fashion brand Rave Review has teamed up with Czech car manufacturer Škoda to unveil its latest collection incorporating upcycled car parts. Founders Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück drew inspiration from the great outdoors, using repurposed parts including car seats, seat belts and textiles to create the collection. The garments are also accompanied by upcycled vintage kilts and blankets, which emphasise the utilitarian motifs running throughout the collection.
A bomber jacket made from car seats is a key piece in the collection. It features a Škoda key made into a zipper, playing with elements of the great outdoors while remaining fashion forward. Rave Review intended to repurpose car parts into these unusual pieces to show the power of upcycling and demonstrate how high-quality materials can be obtained from unconventional places.
Upcycling allows the brand to breathe new life into old items, transforming them into something that can be worn and ‘brought back into the shape of something new and desirable,’ explains a Rave Review spokesperson. You can learn more about fashion and car collaborations in our microtrend, Repurposed Roadwear.
France – Located opposite the Pompidou Centre in Paris, a new space dedicated to non-fungible token (NFT) art and Web3 education aims to become the Soho House of Web3. Created by a collective of 128 founding members, the NFT Factory is designed to educate the wider public on digital assets, showcase NFT art and strengthen the French NFT presence via a physical venue in the cultural hub that is Paris’ fourth arrondissement.
The inaugural exhibition, Factory: Première!, features 50 pieces curated from the co-founders’ own NFT collections. The space also hosts weekly events, such as round tables on crypto art, a crypto comedy club, and talks on legislation and entrepreneurship. The venue plans to offer Web3 training for individuals and companies.
‘The NFT Factory was born from the need to bring together the key actors and actresses of NFTs, in art but also gaming, luxury, finance and the metaverse,’ says Lucie-Éléonore Riveron, managing director of the NFT Factory.
Such physical spaces dedicated to Web3 allow Crypto-cliques to gather, but also make NFTs appear more accessible to the broader, crypto-unknowledgeable public.
US – Alice Mushrooms has launched decadent and indulgent chocolates, supplemented with functional mushrooms, adaptogens and nootropics for ‘delight and enlightenment’. Alice’s two initial products, Brainstorm and Nightcap, are chocolate bites with unique functional properties. Brainstorm aims to provide a burst of energy and clarity, while Nightcap is designed to support sleep and relaxation.
Created together with homeopathic doctors, formulators and generational chocolatiers, Alice’s treats are designed to enhance daily routines by delivering the benefits of functional mushrooms in a form that is tasty and delectable.
The brand was born out of a belief in the power of mushrooms paired with a frustration with the mushroom products already on the market. ‘We wanted to make health fun and enjoyable – not something that feels like a chore or a punishment. It should feel like a treat, because it is a treat and a blessing to be able to take care of yourself,’ says Lindsay Goodstein, the brand’s creative director.
We’ve seen the rise of mushrooms in the beauty sector, and the functional and versatile super-ingredient is also cross-pollinating with the wellness and food industries to provide an added indulgent and hedonistic twist.
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