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Hotspots brings you the Mintel Trends team’s top observations on product and service launches from around the world. From a service delivering draught beer at home, to personalised health supplements suggested through blood tests, find out the most innovative global initiatives happening this month.

Malaysia – Bring the Bar Home

Drinkies by Heineken Malaysia, a drinks and snacks delivery company, has recently launched its Draught@Home service, bringing the bar to Malaysian homes. Consumers can now have the entire bar experience at their location of choice, with perfectly poured and freshly tapped draught beers and ciders. The service comes with complimentary amenities including cups, as well as a barman to serve the beers. Customers can also pair their barrel orders with a wide selection of other alcoholic beverages, as well as party snacks and card games.

While consumers enjoy going out for a drink every now and then, many are growing more interested in drinking at home. Drinkies’ Draught@Home service solves one of the biggest pain points of home consumption – carrying heavy beverages home. With price and convenience often deciding factors as to why a consumer might purchase something, the novel ‘at-home bar experience’ is bringing added value to the concept.

Roland Bala, Managing Director of Heineken Malaysia pouring a beer from Drinkies

Melanie Nambiar, Southeast Asia Trends Analyst

Bioniq Supplements – UK

Bioniq is a health tech company offering supplements through AI-based recommendations. For £250 a month, consumers receive a personalised supplement programme via a home blood test. Two weeks after the initial sample is sent to Bioniq, customers can access the results online which cover over 300 blood parameters. They then receive a month’s supply of supplements based on an algorithm created from 2 million data points collated from over 30,000 blood tests and individual data. A second blood test is carried out a month after the initial one to see how levels have changed so required adjustments can be made.

Consumers have a deeper interest in their health than simply eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise, so brands are increasingly offering bespoke solutions. As consumers are all unique, the way they treat their bodies needs to reflect this. The growth of health and wellness solutions that use at-home testing with advanced scientific or technological procedures reflects consumers’ appetite for highly customised products and services that meet their personal and changing needs.

Helen Fricker – Trends Manager, EMEA

Gacha Gacha Coffee – Japan

Design company nendo opened a pop-up that exhibits a series of capsule coffee vending machines, in which customers can purchase a pod and prepare their own cup of coffee. Dubbed ‘Gacha Gacha Coffee’, the name of the pop-up refers to the type of vending machines which dispense toys or gumballs in capsule pods. nendo offers five different types of beans, along with a secret sixth blend. The process is rather long and elaborate; visitors are encouraged to purchase a capsule, grind the beans, place the grinds in a paperless machine and serve the drink à la drip coffee style, all by themselves.

Although bubble tea stalls may hog the busy streets of Tokyo, coffee will remain an important facet of Japan’s drinks industry as consumers continue to seek out premium cups of Joe. Pop-up spaces will continue to play an important role in attracting consumers, especially if they are aesthetically pleasing and can perform well on social media. Brands are using these temporary retail locations to test out new concepts like ‘Gacha Gacha Coffee’, which combines coffee and slowness, giving consumers a break from their hectic lives.

Joyce Lam – Trends Analyst, Asia Pacific

Rainbow of Fries – Chile

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Heinz took a food truck across the city of Santiago, distributing free french fries cooked with the 200 colorful potato varieties from Chile, honouring the great diversity of the country.

Global brands are looking to be perceived as less distant and foreign, launching initiatives that adjust to and mingle with local context. Featuring authentic ingredients such as local potato varieties as the main attraction of its latest campaign, Heinz aims to position itself as a brand that perceives local audiences as relevant, which helps the goal of developing a more empathetic relationship with Chileans. Pop-ups and events are good opportunities to mix the two faces of an international company. Seeing the local context and doing something with it is key to being perceived as authentic and approachable.

Graciana Méndez – Trends Analyst, Latin America

Etsy’s Holiday Hotline – US

Etsy hosted a holiday hotline service for one day only on November 5. The hotline lasted for three hours and offered callers a chance to speak with an Etsy staff member for suggestions on what to buy for selected people on their holiday list. The caller could describe the person they were shopping for, areas of interest, and a price range, and the Etsy staff member followed up with an email that included suggested gift ideas.

With this hotline, Etsy is embracing its identity as a personalised, unique shopping hub as it aims to compete with mass-market retailers like Amazon. However, the format of the hotline was not in touch with the modern consumer. Younger consumers, especially Gen Z, prefer to avoid talking on the phone. At the end of the day, any offering from a company, whether a marketing stunt or a true expansion, should focus on bringing tangible value back to the consumer; when a method of communication falls out of fashion, even holiday spirit will struggle to bring it back to life. For brands that want to be seen as relevant, fun and engaging, it’s important they prioritise communication channels that resonate with their customers.

Diana Kelter – Senior Trends Analyst, US