Trends we spotted | Week 10


At or we spot many national and international trends on a daily basis. We pick the most interesting ones to write about, the other trends we use in our weekly column ‘Trends we spotted this week’. 

With this week links to articles about amongst others automated voices to take orders at drive-thru and AmazonFresh opens their first checkout-free grocery store outside the USA in London. 

The riverside igloos at the terrace of the Coppa Club will return this spring! As the restaurants are opening again at April 12 in the UK, they might be a safe and Instagrammable place to meet in London. And we spotted the ‘Global travel trends report’ by American Express. With trends we can totally relate to!  

Stalk & Spade, an entirely meat-free fast casual concept will open just outside of Minneapolis this spring. Let’s see if we will spot this kind of fast casual concepts in Europe in the future. And the Easter mainstay Cadbury teamed up with the Goose Island Beer Company to release a Creme Egg-flavored stout for Easter. 

An interesting development: edible holograms created by the Khalifa Universitycould be used to show that a food item hasn’t been tampered with, or to prove that it isn’t a counterfeit product. And Starbucks is set to release its latest limited-edition coffee blend, to celebrate its 50th-anniversary. Fifty years already!  

Click on the title if you like to read the full article. Enjoy reading! 

Drive-thrus are already using automated voices to take your order 

McDonald’s, Burger King and White Castle had already been quietly investing in technology like artificial intelligence before 2020, but Covid-19 made those upgrades even more critical. 

We’re used to talking to real people on the other end of a drive-thru speaker, is accepting our fast food order really something we don’t think a computer can handle? In a handful of locations, customers are finding out. For example at a McDonald’s drive-thru in a Chicago suburbIn 2019 the average McDonald’s drive-thru took six minutes and 18 seconds, but recently the company trimmed that to five minutes and 49 seconds in 2020, according to an annual report from market researcher SeeLevel HX. And with drive-thrus accounting for a larger share of fast-food sales than ever before (in top markets, it’s 70% of sales at McDonald’s), the race is on for major chains to get those speeds even faster. More at the website of CNN, link in the title. 

London’s riverside igloos are returning next month with a fab new look for Spring 

In the UK the hotels, bars and restaurant have the green light to reopen their doors by April 12. So we’re spotting a lot of openings of new restaurant, reopening etc. London is going back to the new normal. Remember those igloos at the Coppa Club’s terrace? The one we saw at many Instagram feedsWell, they’re returning with a springtime twist! Their famous riverside igloos are being transformed into stunning private party pods, decorated to mimic the spring transformations taking place across the country. More at the website of Secret London, link in the title. We still think that those igloos are both ensuring the safety of your guests and they can be made very Instagrammable 

American Express Travel | Global Travel Trends Report 

We came across the global travel trends report by American Express Travel, link in the title. In short Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel says: While individual sentiments differ, one thing is clear: there’s a pent-up demand for travel and a clear appreciation for the benefits that it can bring. In fact, people miss traveling so much that 76% of respondents surveyed are creating their destinations wish list for future travel even though they might not be able to travel yet.” Some of the trends they describe: 

  • Consumers are looking forward to traveling again (duh…) 
  • Travel to uplift health & wellness (78% of respondents agree that having a trip planned in the future gives them something to look forward to and say that planning future travel makes them feel excited (63%), happy (53%) and hopeful (53%). (We all agree with that, don’t we?) 
  • Planning and paying for future travel (56% of respondents indicating that they miss traveling so much that they are willing to book a trip even if they might have to cancel it in the future). 
  • Culinary tourism is here tstay (American Express Travel booking data for January 2021 shows foodie centric cities as top destinations for U.S. and International Card Members).  
  • Rise of the Digital Nomad (54% of respondents said that the freedom and flexibility of being able to live and work while traveling the globe is more appealing now than it was prior to the pandemic). 
  • The changing landscape of Luxury Travel (The pandemic has changed peoples’ perception of luxury travel with personalized experiences (82%), high cleanliness standards (81%) and privacy (79%) being the most desirable luxury amenities among respondents). 
  • Surge in ‘Second City’ vacation destinations (As many travelers look to avoid the crowds, 69% of respondents are interested in visiting lesser-known destinations). 
  • Traveling with purpose (59% of respondents agree that they are interested in ‘philantourism‘, the act of choosing vacation or experience in order to support a destination through tourism). 

Stalk & Spade | An entirely meat-free fast casual concept opening this spring 

Steele Smileyrestaurateur and wellness guru has already made a name for himself in the fast casual space with his Crisp & Green concept. Conceived in his native Minnesota, the healthy eating chain recently franchised nationally. Now he’s looking to replicate that success in the plant-based sector with Stalk & Spade— an entirely meat-free outpost opening this spring just outside of Minneapolis.  

Cadbury Creme Eggs now come in beer form | A Creme Egs flavored Stout  

The combination of sweet treats and alcohol can be an attention grabberThe Easter mainstay Cadbury teamed up with the Goose Island Beer Company to release a Creme Egg-flavored stout. More at the article on Food and Wine, link in the title, or check the video in the article. Cadbury, which is based in England, worked with the British outlet of the Chicago-based brewery Goose Island to produce this beer for the U.K.  The 4.5-percent ABV stout which, for the record, does not contain any actual Creme Eggswas created by Goose Island UK’s Head Brewer Andrew Walton who tossed cacao nibs and vanilla beans into a recipe that also included malted barley, oats, wheat, and lactose in an attempt to match the flavor and texture of the classic Easter egg. 

Edible holograms could be used to decorate the food of the future  

Interesting development, more information at the article on Springwise, link in the title. A team of researchers at Khalifa University are taking edible holograms to the next level with their development, in which the holograms are not only to embellish food. On top of its decorative purposes, with more research, edible holograms could be used to show that a food item hasn’t been tampered with, or to prove that it isn’t a counterfeit product. 

Starbucks prepares 50th-anniversary coffee blend 

To celebrate its 50th-anniversary, Starbucks is set to release its latest limited-edition coffee blend. Marking five decades of business, the upcoming release follows the fan-favorite 25th-anniversary blend that released in 1996. For more information, check out the article at Hypebeast, link in the title. 

Amazon opens first checkoutfree grocery store in London  

Amazon has opened a cashier-free supermarket in London, its first bricks and mortar expansion outside the U.S. as the company bets on strong demand for its contactless shops. The Amazon Fresh grocery store opened in London, Thursday March 4, 2021, where a sign explains for shoppers to pick up items and walk out of the store, contactless, without the need for a till. Customers will scan a QR code on their way into the store, with cameras and technology identifying the items that shoppers take from the shelves and their account automatically paidDo you want to know more? Check out the article at US News, link in the title. Curious how it works? This video below by The Independent TV explains 

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