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Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trend team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world.

What a Feminist Looks Like, US

President Obama has become outspoken on being a feminist. After the president held the first ever State of Women’s Summit in Washington, D.C.,  in June of this year, the August issue of Glamour magazine featured an essay by Obama discussing the importance of men’s adoption of feminism.

“What it means to be a man, and to be masculine, is changing—more often, men are stepping up in terms of caring for children and family members, pitching in around the house, and taking care of themselves in ways not traditionally associated with “manliness.” In the global struggle toward gender equality, leadership remains important. Brands and marketers can step up and provide guidance and leadership when it comes to being the example that many consumers need.”


Carli Gernot – Manager of Trends, North America

AI Beer, UK

London-based beer IntelligentX is brewed using an artificial intelligence system. The brand sells four different beers which have been crafted using feedback received from an algorithm. A code printed on the packaging directs customers to give feedback by answering a series of questions. This information is sent to human brewers, who then alter the recipes as necessary. During the 12-month trial period, the beers evolved 11 times.

“IntelligentX’s AI system is a logical extension of the focus group concept, allowing those drinking the beer to quickly and easily give their feedback to the company. Brands that can recognise the potential of new messaging technology to improve customer service and allow people to better engage with their products and services will appeal to consumers with increasingly little time and an attention span that is constantly being competed for.”

AI beer

Catherine Cottney – Manager of Trends, Europe

Care Counts Program, US

US-based Whirlpool has launched the Care Counts School Laundry Program to help students who don’t have access to clean clothes. Whirlpool has installed washers and dryers in 17 schools in Missouri and California. In the program’s first year, 90% of participating students increased their attendance, while their test scores, social interactions, and overall participation also improved.

“Philanthropic efforts in the form of programs and tangible resources are becoming the preferred choice for CSR as opposed to simply donating funds. Consumers are increasingly looking to see with their own eyes how companies are making an impact through volunteering opportunities or video footage that proves brands’ commitment to these efforts. Brands that establish themselves as leaders in this space will most likely increase their social relevancy and boost their brand reputation.”

clean clothes

Iliana Alvarenga – Trends Analyst, North America

Pokémon McGo, Austria

In Austria, McDonald’s has partnered with Pokémon Go to house rare Pokémon in its stores. McDonald’s partnership makes their store a Pokéstop, attracting all those people playing the game.

“Pokémon Go is the first in what could be a long line of successful augmented reality apps. The beauty of augmented reality is that the people playing these games never actually disconnect from the real world — providing brands with an opportunity to capitalize on the fact that people may be near their outlets thanks to the game. Brands should be looking at this example for inspiration as how to best interact with these games and apps.”


Alex Strang – Trends Analyst, Europe

Animal Magnetism, Australia

A talent agency for Insta-famous pets has launched in Australia. Remarkable Pets will represent a roster of ‘animal social influencers’—i.e. pets with large followings on social media—that includes such popular accounts as Annie Paddington, Life of Jinkee, Bacon and Maple, Lulu and Finn, Frost Official, Mr Biscuit the Pug, Nigella the Pug, and Albus Greybeard, who have a combined 536,700 followers.

“As traditional family structures erode, consumers from a variety of nations, including Australia, are turning to animals for companionship. Remarkable Pets has attempted to build on this popularity in a new way; by looking to exploit the growing influence of animals on social media. Many brands have done the same with celebrities as they look to profit from their highly-engaged followers. Moving this tactic into the animal world may look odd at first, but at a closer glance it seems natural as, for many people, pets are now their best friends and family.”


Delon Wang – Manager of Trends, Asia Pacific

Leaning Bar, Argentina

In Mendoza, Argentina, Andes Beer has created the world’s first bar built at a 45-degree angle. The bar’s concept is based on the idea that beer should be poured at a certain angle to achieve the best taste and get the perfect amount of foam on the top.

“With there being so many choices and so little time, retailers and players in the foodservice industry are adding a bit of silliness and using playful approaches to stand out and grab consumer attention. When we think we have seen it all, there’s always an outside-the-box idea taking things to a different level: indeed, Netflix offered customers in France a prison-themed experience to commemorate the new season of Orange is the New Black, while a toilet-themed café where customers dine on meatballs floating in soup-filled latrines has opened in Indonesia.”


Graciana Mendez – Trends Analyst, Latin America