Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trends team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world. From a beer designed to be enjoyed in the shower to an apartment building with its own click-and-collect lockers, find out what’s been happening this month across the globe.

Lock screen with Nescafé, China

Nescafé China has unveiled the beta launch of Moodlock, a phone case that locks the screen when activated by an app on another person’s smartwatch. The technology is the centerpiece of a wider digital campaign called “Real connections start with Nescafé,” where the aim of the is to encourage people to spend more quality time together.

“Despite technology playing an important part in our lives, staying connected with our physical environment is crucial, as well. Several studies have proven that excessive smartphone usage is negatively influencing sleep quality, stress levels and relationships. Brands and companies can help by increasing awareness of the problems associated with being constantly connected and come up with new solutions to encourage people to take time off from their screens.”

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Joyce Lam – Trends Analyst, Asia Pacific

Shower Beer, Sweden

Sweden’s PangPang Brewery has created a beer designed to be enjoyed in the shower. The pale ale comes in an 18cl bottle at 10% strength, and has been designed to be drunk in three gulps.

“Drinks brands are looking for ways to re-invigorate the beer market, and we’ve seen everything from non-alcoholic beers from big name brewers to gluten-free beer and even carbon-neutral beer. The Shower Beer flavour profile has been designed to further complement the showering experience, and this unique selling point may go some way to attracting sales in a declining market. While this may seem like a gimmicky launch, it points to the fact that there are untapped areas of consumer life that are calling out for targeted food and drink products. When looking to expand their range, brands have an opportunity to seek these out.”

Catherine Cottney – Manager of Trends, Europe

Sell extra data, Malaysia

Based in Malaysia, Simplify is a mobile app that lets users put their additional or excess data up for sale. With this service, travelers who would usually head to the local SIM card mobile vendor can simply search for available sellers, negotiate a price and gain access to the internet.

“Online marketplaces have seen a dramatic uptake over the last number of years, and this has led to finding a way to integrate business for peer-to-peer selling. Taking something that could potentially go to waste — in this instance local data plans — and selling it to others is an idea that many could embrace. At the same time, telecommunication companies will need to consider this issue and how it could potentially impact their revenue from tourists. One idea could be for telephone companies to work with airlines, offering guests a cheap and easy way to get their hands on a data plan before they even arrive.”

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Delon Wang – Manager of Trends, Asia Pacific

Click-and-collect apartments, Belgium

In Brussels, the Roodebeeklaan apartment building has its own click-and-collect lockers, which allows residents to get products delivered to their building without having to wait in for the parcel.

“Delivery needs to become increasingly flexible as consumers expect companies to fit around their schedules. This, of course, is not an option for every company, and therefore solutions like the lockers in the Roodebeeklaan apartment building could be extremely important. Those companies that can offer flexible delivery should continue to do so, but others should be looking to partner with schemes like this one to alleviate some of the pressure.”

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Alex Strang – Trends Analyst, Europe

Improving urban planning, US

Uber Movement is a new platform that provides cities with access to anonymized data from over 2 billion trips users have taken with the ride sharing company. The objective is to help major cities improve their urban planning initiatives by using Uber’s detailed insights.

“The increase in urban area migration has created an opportunity for brands to cater to consumers’ lifestyle shifts. For example, services like errand running, housekeeping, laundry assistance, and recycling resources are a few potential areas to explore. In addition, brands that can collaborate with city governments, as Uber is doing with this new platform, will likely strengthen their relationships with such organizations, which can impact their ability to thrive in these markets.”

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Iliana Alvarenga – Trends Analyst, North America

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