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GOING GREEN – TWO INNOVATIVE WAYS BRANDS ARE USING ECO FRIENDLY PACKAGING THIS EASTER

As Easter swiftly approaches, many consumers will be queuing up to purchase confectionery items to help them mark the occasion. But as they do so, they may also be considering the elaborate wrapping and decorations that accompany their purchases. Although attractive, the excess of some of the wrapping around Easter treats has increasingly fuelled consumer concern about the excessive waste caused by the packaging.

THOUGHT BUBBLE: APPLE WATCH ANNOUNCEMENT

Tech lovers worldwide eagerly awaited the Apple Watch announcement at the company’s Spring Forward event this month in San Francisco. Before CEO Tim Cook could finish detailing the new product’s features and functionality, industry experts and enthusiasts alike were debating Apple Watch’s success. Here our Technology Analysts in both the UK and US take a look at whether the news of the smartwatch will capture consumer interest…

THE KEY TO APPROACHING MAKE-UP FOR MEN

In an increasingly image conscious society, men aren’t about to be left behind when it comes to looking good. This heightened self-awareness of image is good news for the beauty and fashion industry. However, while male consumers aren’t yet ready for make-up, there is certainly potential for hybrid skincare products that feature some disguised cosmetic benefits.’.

SELFIE YOUR SHOPPING! USING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY FOR RETAIL PAYMENTS

Alibaba’s Jack Ma dropped in an introduction to his latest new toy at the end of his speech to the CeBit conference in Hanover this month – a pay-with-your-face app that allows for mobile online purchasing using facial recognition technology. In the demonstration, Ma used his phone to take a selfie which automatically authorised a purchase, from the Alibaba site, of a commemorative stamp for Hanover’s 1948 trade fair, as a gift to the city’s mayor. Ma stated that this new technology will be “the future [of how] people will buy things online”.

UK CONSUMERS ARE GAME FOR DIFFERENT MEATS

Jamie Oliver’s recent petition for the greater use of squirrel meat may have made some toes curl, but it seems by and large many Brits are interested in breaking away from the well-established meal time favourites of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Whilst today these meats have the monopoly on sales within the UK meat and poultry market, Mintel’s consumer research has found that many consumers are interested in broadening their repertoires, presenting a lucrative opportunity for both brands and retailers.

IS PIPER THE SMARTHOME’S ANSWER TO HOME SECURITY?

It is an unfortunate fact that break-ins occur. It is therefore unsurprising that intruder alarms account for just over half of spending on domestic security in the UK. But today people don’t have to fill their houses with wires and fittings to get the home monitoring they seek. The advances in ‘smart homes’ are driving innovation in the home, including in home security. The so-called smart homes allow the ever-connected consumer to constantly engage with their property, through smartphone integration and greater communication between devices.

SAME DAY SERVICE WITH A SMILE: SUPERMERCATO 24 BRINGS SAME DAY DELIVERY TO ITALIAN GROCERY SHOPPERS

Supermercato 24, a new start-up delivery service in Italy, has found a way to offer Italian consumers same day delivery – thanks to the use of contracted “bellboys” to buy and deliver goods. However this super service isn’t cheap. It comes at a cost of around 15% of the basket value, plus a delivery charge.


GOMUTRA – DISTILLED VIRGIN COW URINE: A SURPRISING INGREDIENT WITH REAL BENEFITS?

The therapeutic use of virgin cow urine has a long history in India, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient healthcare tradition that has been practised for more than 5,000 years. Ayurvedic medicine is considered to be the world’s oldest healthcare system and its name is Sanskrit for “science of life”. According to the University of Minnesota, Ayurvedic medicine is India’s primary healthcare system and is used by more than 90% of the sub-continent’s population.

GOOGLE AND TWITTER PLAN TO MAKE TWEETS SEARCHABLE: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR SEARCH MARKETING AND BEYOND

In February 2015, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo confirmed reports that his company is partnering with Google to make tweets appear in search engine results in real time. In addition to being beneficial for Twitter, which is likely to see a bump in traffic from appearing in search, the partnership highlights a broader trend related to marketing: the need to bridge gaps between all of the channels consumers use to conduct research and make purchases.

THE 3 REASONS HUMMUS IS BECOMING MORE MAINSTREAM IN GERMANY

While hummus has been a mainstay in UK supermarkets for some time, finding this Middle Eastern speciality in German grocery aisles is still no easy task. Yet, there are signs that hummus appears to be gaining popularity in the increasingly health-conscious German marketplace.

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