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Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trends team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world. From AI that recommends dairy products based on consumers’ personal health data to a tool that guides pedestrians and cyclists along routes with lower amounts of noise and air pollution, find out the most innovative global initiatives happening this month.

China – White Technology

Yili and Xiaomi have revealed their plans to combine dairy products and smart technology during the recent World Internet Conference in China. Based on comprehensive health data that is monitored using Xiaomi’s wearable devices, real-time dairy product recommendations will be made that suit the nutritious needs of individual consumers. The plans were introduced with a short video campaign that shows a person’s nutritional needs during various activities throughout the day.

Consumers’ growing health-consciousness and strong desire for disease prevention have stimulated their interest in health devices, which in turn has changed the way they manage their health conditions. With access to more health data, consumers have relied on the internet to learn which foods they should eat or which lifestyle changes they should make to enhance their health. Yet doing this could be time-consuming, especially with so much fake or contradicting information online. Yili and Xiaomi’s collaboration will provide consumers with a holistic health solution that makes it more convenient for them to understand as well as to receive the right nutrition they need.

– Elysha Young – Trends Manager, APAC

Finland – Take a Green Path

Green Paths is a route-finding tool that helps pedestrians and cyclists find routes with lower amounts of noise and air pollution. The tool, currently in a demo mode, shows the user different route options based on length, noise and air pollution. Green Paths offers alternative routes that might be slightly slower, but feature less air and noise pollution, ie recommending travelling through a park instead of next to a busy road. The tool is being developed by the Digital Geography Lab at the University of Helsinki to offer people quieter, greener and healthier options for getting around.

Consumers are growing ever more concerned about the increasing levels of noise and air pollution in their cities, and are becoming aware of the impact these have on their health, both mental and physical. During the pandemic, we have seen several cities take the opportunity of changed travel patterns to invest in greener spaces and in promoting walking and cycling. The desire to escape the pollution creates opportunities for brands to help consumers protect themselves, with purifying and soundproofing products, as well as encouraging them to find and build greener, healthier and quieter spaces.

– Liisa Kontas – Trend Analyst, Nordic

Indonesia – Advertising While Sanitising

Location Media Xchange has struck an exclusive partnership with Indonesian medical equipment provider PT Danendra Abyudaya Adika to equip automatic hand sanitiser dispensers with digital signage screens. Advertisers will be able to place campaigns or their ad messages on the sanitiser stations remotely. Danendra has already equipped 50 of its screens with LMX’s technology in supermarkets and other food stores across Greater Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Pekanbaru. It plans to expand to over 10,000 other mini-marts and retail outlets like Alfamart, Indomaret and Lotte Mart across Indonesia.

Hand sanitiser stations have become a common sight within all public spaces, and marketers are seeing them as an opportunity to gain consumers’ share of mind. These stations can be a less expensive option to reach consumers at scale, as opposed to traditional out-of-home advertising methods. The COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically shifted consumer behaviour, and advertising spend and channels have had to adjust in response. In many markets, we’ve seen advertisers adapt by following consumers, creating brand messages on digital platforms and games widely used by consumers.

 – Melanie Nambar – Trends Analyst, Southeast Asia

US – Mindful Oral Care

Colgate‘s hum toothbrush and app is forming a partnership with the meditation app Headspace. The partnership will feature Headspace’s weekly “Mindful Moments” directly within the hum app. The hum toothbrush and app is inherently built upon a reward-based system and consumers earn rewards every time they brush or complete an activity within the app. Those reward points can then be redeemed within the in-app store, which includes offerings from wellness partners like Headspace. Users can unlock a 60-day free Headspace trial once they earn 200 Smile Points in the hum by Colgate app.

The events of 2020 have created new meaning and purpose to everyday habits, but even before the pandemic disrupted lifestyles Mintel was tracking an evolution of self-care. The self-care concept that gained an identity in the previous decade was closely intertwined with the treat yourself mentality, which focused more on instant gratification and less on longer-term habits. However, with burnout, stress and anxiety rising, it’s evident that the concept of self-care requires a more defined and purposeful structure, and the brands that focus on daily routines and habits have a clear opportunity to lead the way. Headspace has been very strategic in forming direct partnerships with brands in order to guide the consumer toward mindfulness. In many cases consumers need that initial support and structure in order to become aware of the successful habits they’re pursuing.

– Diana Kelter – Senior Trends Analyst, US

Brazil – Smart Insurance

MercadoLibre has partnered up with the start-up Pitzi to launch insurance programs for smartphones. Consumers are able to sign up for the plans digitally, directly on the MercadoLibre platform. Payments are also set up in the same way, and consumers can choose to be billed or to pay by credit or debit cards. People can choose from three different plans: damage protection, screen protection and total protection, which covers against theft, accidental loss and breakage. Values are established according to the smartphone’s model.

The need to interact safely with the external world during isolation has led consumers to rely on electronic devices and boosted smartphone ownership. While their fragile character requires constant maintenance, unsafe scenarios across Latin America make smartphones an easy target for criminals that may take away months of saving efforts. As sticking to budgets becomes increasingly important for consumers – especially if they have had their incomes compromised since isolation started – providing a service that will prevent them from having unexpected expenses related to their devices at a low, steady cost will become increasingly appealing for audiences around the world.

 –  Vanessa Rondine – Trends Analyst, Latin America