17 : 06 : 22 : Weekly Debrief

sector - food & drink
type - need to know
Need To Know
type - trends

This week: Energy-producing gardens, a ‘couture’ Parisian coffee company, scent-diffusing robots, Boot’s Price Lock Promise and an opportunity for women to explore STEM in the metaverse.

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17 June 2022

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Sunsilk City on Roblox, Mexico


Feeling the Energy by Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota for Plenitude

1. Energy-producing urban gardens by Carlo Ratti

Italy – Architects Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rato are transforming Milan’s Botanical Gardens into an energy park during Salone Del Mobile Milano 2022.

Feeling the Energy is an immersive installation that uses 500m of digitally-bent copper pipe to form a path where people can explore different forms of sustainable energy production and consumption. As visitors wander through, they can explore six areas, including an Energy Carousel, Garden Orchestra, Powering Vibrations, and a Solar Garden. Each section spotlights the experience of producing energy using the sun, wind, and human movement.

Using the copper pipes, the installation harvests and stores energy during the day, powering water vaporisers that cool down and feed the garden's vegetation. ‘The installation is inspired by the functioning of plant organisms,’ suggests Carlo Ratti. 'As trees in a forest draw energy from different sources and then use it locally where they need it, the long copper tube of Feeling the Energy absorbs energy in its entire length and then uses it in specific points of the installation path.’

Envisioning the future of self-sufficient architecture, the installation breaks down the production of energy into a tangible and community-focused exercise. To read more about how infrastructure will be reworked to produce green energy for neighbourhoods, read our macro trend Equilibrium Cities.

Momus, Paris

2. A ‘couture’ coffee concept arrives in Paris

Paris – Just when we thought artisanal coffee might be losing ground, French company Momus is putting high-end blends back on the map. With a roster of creatives and specialists collaborating on different flavours, the company is on a mission to make coffee collectible.

Hailing from the fashion industry, Lionel Giraud, the company’s founder, is bringing the services and aesthetics seen in the luxury sector to the coffee market. Each coffee product is packaged in white and colour-coded boxes that resemble paperback books, communicating a more premium product. Customers who want to buy the coffee can also schedule a 30-minute consultation with the Momus’ in-house barista, where the have the option to make a custom blend for £39 ($47, €45).

Reviving the Craft Coffee Market, Momus is bringing couture coffee to life. ‘Even when you go to a three-star restaurant, you are likely to find a menu with 30 pages or more for wine, and then, at the end, you have one line: coffee,' explains Lionel Giraud, founder of Momus.


Sunsilk City on Roblox, Mexico

3. Sunsilk promotes STEM careers for women on Roblox

Mexico – Haircare company Sunsilk is using the Roblox gaming platform to educate and empower women in central America. Through an immersive game called Sunsilk City, the company is encouraging women to pursue careers in the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

On Roblox, users can play Sidewalk Superstars where they put education ahead of household chores, while Blow Them Away lets players use a virtual hairdryer to the destroy the poisonous language typically used against women online. The House of Hair mini-game allows players to try out different styles and experiment with self-expression.

The activities in the game are all designed to combat gender bias and encourage girls to broaden their horizons. Jessica Lakshmi, a Mexico-based bio-pharmaceutical chemist and ardent gamer, hosts the games, providing girls and young women with a real-life role model to inspire them on- and offline.

This Roblox activation, which creates an inspiring and educational space for women gamers, demonstrates how businesses can integrate experts and role models into the metaverse, something which we explore in the forthcoming Accredited Beauty macrotrend.

4. Piro is a scent-diffusing robotic companion

Italy – Human-centred design studio IDEO has teamed up with interior designers Moooi to develop Piro, a scent-diffusing robotic companion for the home.

The scent machines were presented at Moooi’s A Extraordinary Life exhibition, hosted at Salone Del Mobile Milano 2022. The robots, which resemble the characteristics of Disney character WALL.E, welcomed visitors with a synchronised dance routine that concluded with a signature puff of fragrance. Throughout the exhibition, each robot character demonstrated their use in-situ, with mock-ups of home spaces created in collaboration with artists including Cristina Celestino, Andres Reisinger and Julia Esque.

‘The idea was to create something that lives in your house, but as an independent entity [with] no purpose other than to live in your house and be an occasional companion. Part of that was to bring you a gift of love. This would be a little pop of fragrance as a gift,’ says Thomas Overthun, executive design director at IDEO.

In light of the pandemic, our homes have increasingly become spaces of pleasure and comfort. Here, IDEO is showing how future-facing home devices can provide such comfort, alongside a personality that interacts with its surroundings and individuals.

Piro by IDEO and Moooi, Italy
Boots, UK

5. Boots freezes prices to protect its customers

UK – As consumers tighten their belts in the face of escalating prices, beauty and health retailer Boots is freezing the price of 1,500 products to ensure they remain affordable for its customers.

As part of the company’s Boots’ Price Lock Promise, the price of essential items such as toiletries, dental care, health and wellness products will remain stable until the end of the year. According to Retail Gazette, more than 11,000 products are available from the retailer for as little as £0.40 ($0.48, €0.46), with 100 lines priced at £1 ($1.20, €1.15) or less and 1,000 products at £2 ($2.40, €2.30) or under.

‘In pulling together the list of products to include in the Price Lock Promise, we reviewed the lines that customers buy most regularly as well as those that are deemed to be day-to-day essentials,’ explains Steve Ager, chief customer and commercial officer at Boots.

As a result of rising inflation and the cost of living crisis, consumers are more conscious about everyday expenses. Here, Boots is guaranteeing that its essential products are available to all customers, joining the ranks of other businesses that have created Retail-flation Responses.



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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