Simon Moriarty
Simon is the EMEA Director of Trends, responsible for content, client servicing and commercial support across the region.

Cozy in Chicago is a Thai restuarant with a twist, providing authentic cuisine in playful surroundings that centre very much on the kitsch and the retro – from Disney toys lining the walls to pop art decor in the bathrooms.

By combining the two seemingly opposing ideas the restaurant manages to stand out from the crowd, and in such an eating out culture as Chicago, that is a crucial way of generating word of mouth. It helps, of course, that the food is memorable, but the eye-catching and humourous design of the space adds an extra dimension.

We’ve seen in the past how brands reach out to the inner child within each of us to elicit a number of responses, from the nostalgic to the carefree, from the innocent to the mischievous.

Mintel’s inspire Trend Play Ethic examines the importance of adult consumers being free to unwind in their all-important down time, and by offering experiences that touch on fun and creativity without asking much of the customer (we sit and are served food in an environment that evokes multiple playful feelings), Cozy is another example of the power of play in the modern world.

How else can brands or companies tap into the power of play? Mintel Inspire helps create conversations and new ways of thinking – and we have seen that being playful is a key trend and one that holds power across multiple categories.