For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel's team of global category analysts.

Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trends team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world. From a mobile grocery store servicing underserved communities to a one-size-fits-all lingerie line in conjunction with a public welfare project, learn about the most innovative global initiatives happening this month.

Canada – Grocery Store on Wheels

Toronto-based Grocery Neighbour is launching a mobile grocery store concept to service neighborhoods that aren’t in immediate proximity to grocery stores. The focus is on under-served neighborhoods that have to drive over 15 minutes to a grocery store. The mobile store is a 53-foot-long truck that can carry up to 2,000 SKUs, focusing on meats, produce, dairy, bread, and a selection of CPG products. It is an autonomous shopping experience where customers scan products and check out on their phone; they do not have to interact with an associate of any sort. The intention is to eventually adapt the product selections to each neighborhood’s habits and interests.

The pandemic has transformed the grocery shopping habits of many consumers. The prevalence of delivery and curbside pick-up options has shifted consumer expectations of convenience in this area, too. A mobile store concept would be the best of both worlds for consumers – the convenience of being right outside their home while still being able to pick out the products themselves. It’s also important to note that one of the main goals behind Grocery Neighbour’s concept is increasing grocery store access; equitable access to essential products, including fresh food, has become a chief concern for consumers and consumer advocates as the pandemic has highlighted socio-economic inequities.

Alex Milinazzo – Trends Analyst, US

China – Your Size Is The Size

Chinese lingerie brand Neiwai has launched a one-size-fits-all line in conjunction with a public welfare project, where 1% of the revenue generated from this series will be donated to the China Women’s Development Foundation. Named the Barely Zero Collection, the line is a one-size-fits-all series that uses innovative fabric blends that stretch to adapt to any body shape, negating the need for different sizes. The collection is claimed to fit women who wear S-XL underwear, and features low sensitivity and ‘comfort like wearing no underwear’. 1% of the revenue of the Barely Zero Collection will be donated to China Women’s Development Foundation. The brand also rolled out a social media campaign encouraging female consumers to appreciate diverse body shapes.

After years of being bombarded with advertisements featuring a strict standard of body shapes, consumers are starting to challenge the traditional beauty stereotypes of women and are taking steps to accept and appreciate the authenticity that reflects the diversity of real people. In response, Neiwai has developed an inclusive branding strategy that aims to empower female consumers to feel good in their bodies. This one-size-fits-all series replaces diverse size standards, which have often been used as a measure of whether body shapes fit an ideal. This also allows women with diverse shapes to skip spending time choosing sizes.

Victoria Li – Trends Analyst, APAC

Finland – Meat Saturday

Plant-based food brand Beanit has launched a ‘Meat Saturday’ campaign, to promote plant-based eating during the rest of the week without judging or demonising those who still want to eat meat. The brand’s ideology is that one doesn’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy plant-based products, and that small changes in the diet by large groups of people can have a significant impact on the environment. Beanit also states that many consumers see the current conversation around meat and plant-based foods as polarising and judgemental, and the brand instead wishes to promote tolerance and acceptance. By eating plants during the week and dedicating Saturday to meat dishes, meat-eating can feel more special and luxurious, while being sustainable and healthier.

We have seen numerous vegan launches in recent years, but most consumers who buy these products do not follow strict vegan diets. Instead, they focus on reducing, not eliminating, animal products while increasing their intake of plants, for health and sustainability reasons. By not condemning meat eaters, plant-based brands can make the introduction of plant-based foods more appealing, open and flexible. The concept of a ‘Meatless Monday’ has been gaining popularity, but flipping the idea with a ‘Meat Saturday’ further helps to normalise plant-based eating six days a week without demonising meat.

Liisa Kontas – Trend Analyst, Nordic

Mexico – Circular Network

GivU is the first social marketplace in Mexico where consumers can buy items and pay with other products that they no longer use. The platform seeks to promote a digital and collaborative economy, as well as sustainability, making consumers aware that the items they have at home and those they no longer use can have a second life by offering them in Givs – virtual currencies – so that someone else can acquire them.

As COVID-19 has hampered brick-and-mortar businesses, online social retail has emerged as a strong alternative for consumers. With new generations constantly connected, this enables consumers to explore products more interactively on social media, with features for brands to create interactive, shareable and immersive promotions. As new generations have a stronger environmental conscience, they are looking for new ways to consume in a more sustainable way. Exchange peer-to-peer marketplaces allow consumers to socialize via second-hand products as well as create circular and intelligent purchasing decisions.

Mariana Marins – Trends Analyst, Latin America

Singapore – Meat the Future

Plant-based food tech start-up Next Gen is launching TiNDLE, its plant-based chicken brand, in select restaurants across Singapore. Its first product, called TiNDLE Thy, is an alternative to the chicken thigh and is made with nine ingredients, including the brand’s trademarked ingredient Lipi, which is a blend of plant-based fats and flavour and sunflower oil. The product has been certified by the Singapore Health Promotion Board as a ‘Healthier Choice’ product as it contains less saturated fat and sodium than other regular plant-based meat alternatives. The product was developed in collaboration with chefs and is said to be versatile as chefs can use it to create dishes in various culinary applications.

Plant-based diets and meat substitutes are gaining momentum in the region, largely due to the potential health benefits associated with meat-free diets. Consumers’ increasing concern for their health and nutritional wellbeing is encouraging them to replace their consumption of animal-based products with plant-based items. This is opening up new possibilities for food manufacturers to explore plant-based alternatives. Next Gen’s launch of its plant-based chicken brand into the foodservice sector allows consumers to experience the product and indulge in alternative eating habits, while also gaining a better understanding of how plant-based meats can be creatively prepared.

Melanie Nambiar – Southeast Asia Trends Analyst