15 : 04 : 22 : Weekly Debrief

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Need To Know

This week: A fresh take on aguas frescas, a boozy twist to afternoon tea, an NFT treasure hunt, a nature-inspired visual identity and bringing together art and winemaking.

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15 April 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Refuge for Resurgence is a multi-species dining experience with animals, birds, plants and fungi by Superflux


Bawi, US

1. Bawi’s fresh take on aguas frescas

Mexico – As consumers swap sugary sodas for healthier alternatives, drinks brand Bawi is updating classic Mexican beverages for health-conscious clientele.

One of Bawi’s key goals is to modernise aguas frescas – sparkling, non-alcoholic beverages that are popular in the country. To this end, the company has released three naturally sweetened drinks with Latin-inspired flavours like pineapple, lime and passionfruit.

While Bawi seeks to modernise Mexico's traditional drink, it didn't want to lose sight of its historical roots. As such, it has enlisted agency The Working Assembly to create a vibrant visual identity that draws from Mexican street art and fruit stands. A traditional card game called Lotería, which has a vintage, watercolour aesthetic, has also informed the packaging.

As companies across the world reclaim historic dishes and products, Bawi is demonstrating how vibrant branding can elevate global cuisine. ‘I've always noticed inauthentic Mexican branded CPG products that poorly represented the diversity that Mexican cuisine offers,’ explains Victor Guardiola, co-founder of Bawi.

Svedka Tropics Tea Spritz, US

2. Hard seltzers give a boozy twist to afternoon tea

US – Vodka brand Svedka is breaking into the hard seltzer category with a ready-to-drink beverage, Tropics Tea Spritz, which combines vodka with tea and natural fruit flavours. Available in three flavours  Pineapple Guava, Raspberry Kiwi and Orange Mango – the brand is positioning the cans as both day- and night-time tipples.

By fusing alcohol with real tea, Svedka offers a new flavour layer to the hard seltzer category; in turn, the drinks provide an unexpected and contemporary take on the idea of afternoon tea – as well as iced teas – as a drink to sip with friends or enjoy with sweet treats. Billy Lagor, senior vice-president of brand management at Svedka, says: ‘With real ingredients and a lower abv, Svedka Tropics provides a depth of flavour and a unique taste experience that sets it apart from other hard seltzers.’

While we’ve recently explored the rise of Savoury Spirits, this drink shows an evolution of Tipsy Tea, and the ways that sweet drinks can be made more appealing with tea infusions.

New Polo: Game On by Volkswagen, South Africa

3. Volkswagen’s phygital ad is an NFT treasure hunt

South Africa – The automotive company is shaking up its communications strategy with a campaign that sends fans of the brand on a social media treasure hunt for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The first 'players' to uncover the NFTs will receive a selection of real and virtual prizes, including a PlayStation5 games console and tuition by the Volkswagen Advanced Driving Academy.

Designed specifically for the South African market and taking cues from metaverse aesthetics, the Game On campaign features recognisable Johannesburg street scenes populated by avatar players, and promotes the safety and intelligence features of Volkswagen's new Polo model, the IQ.DRIVE.

Through this engaging and rewards-driven campaign, the brand subverts traditional car marketing by encouraging the public to visit its social media accounts and interact with its adverts. Camilla Clerke, executive creative director for Ogilvy South Africa, the agency behind the campaign, says: ‘In the age of ‘skip ad’ and ad blockers, this innovative campaign has inspired thousands of consumers not only to watch our advertising, but to engage with it frame by frame by frame for five consecutive days.’

Once defined by staid physical showrooms, the automotive retail sector continues to push omnichannel boundaries to win customer interest and retain relevance in the age of e-commerce.

4. A queer wellness brand informed by nature

US – Ditching the popular rainbow and pastel colours that have saturated the queer community, LGBTQ+ wellness brand For Them is looking to the future with a nature-inspired visual identity.

Known for its range of chest binders, For Them is drawing inspiration from nature's myriad colours and textures with a branding update that mirrors the diverse community that forms its audience. The company has identified nine dimensions of wellness – ranging from nourish to dwell and bloom – that it lists as integral to personal flourishing. Each dimension is represented by a natural motif, such as flowers, clouds or water. ‘We believe that there is nothing more powerful or more beautiful than human beings existing as their most expansive and authentic selves. To us, this is nature in full bloom,’ explains Chloe Freeman, founder of For Them.

As individuals and consumers place a renewed emphasis on their relationship with the natural world, wellness companies are finding ways to bring to the fore the concept of growth and renewal, something explored in our macrotrend Synchronised Care.

For Them rebranding, US
Oscar Niemeyer pavilion at Château La Coste, France

5. An architectural winery placing art centre stage

France – Located near Aix-en-Provence, Château La Coste is a wine estate, luxury hotel and cultural centre where the world of winemaking, art and architecture assimilate.

Opening this summer on the estate is the final architectural design of late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, famed for designing Brazil's federal government complex in Brasilia and New York's UN headquarters. Niemeyer completed a sketch for a pavilion to be completed at the Château La Coste before passing away in 2012. Once opened, the pavilion will sit alongside other on-site works by notable artists and architects including Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois.

In this way, Château La Coste's unique cultural strategy places art and architecture at the centre of the winery's business model. In addition to its extensive collection, the 500-acre property also includes a 28-suite luxury hotel and five restaurants. By calling on an international roster of artists to adorn its estate, it is also creating cultural exchange between different countries, helping to elevate people's experience of France's southern region – something we explore further in The State of Luxury: France.



To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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