How do you like your coffee?

Global TGI has some great facts and figures about the world’s coffee drinking habits.  The Israelis are big lovers of visiting coffee shops (75{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf}) for a really authentic cup of coffee, but they still tend to fall back on instant at home (80{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf}).  Italians know and love their real coffee – with 86{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf} drinking filter / ground coffee.  Germans are big real coffee fans too – in cafes but also inside the home. It’s all good news for manufacturers of high end and full automatic espresso coffee machines such as De’Longhi.  Italian style and the authentic coffee experience to coffee drinkers all over the world.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Nintendo smartphone step.

Nintendo is teaming up with DeNA (one of the biggest smartphone gaming players in Japan and Asia to reach out to the users that are on DeNA network. This way, Nintendo can start pushing their Nintendo games with their high value properties, such as super Mario, and reach out to millions through the DeNA network.  People have been playing games online for years now, but this step by cautious and quality sensitive Nintendo is significant in opening up new possibilities.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Wagyu from Aldi.

Aldi got some positive and polite attention last year with its introduction of New Zealand produced Wagyu beef as part of its premium meat range.  Now they’re making headlines as the Wagyu beefburger is available – £2.99 whilst stocks last.

This is a great story to generate awareness of Wagyu beef beyond foodie purists.  Wagyu beef from Japan with its distinctive marbling of fat and melt in the mouth quality rightly commands a premium price of £100 per kilo.  Fully justifiable no doubt given the great care and attention paid in production, but definitely putting it out of reach of normal family budgets.  Aldi’s step certainly lowers the threshold for us all to taste Wagyu.  But Japanese Wagyu producers and marketers will have to work hard to maintain their premium and communicate differences to consumers.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Digital Chinese New Year.

Alibaba has caught up with Wechat – both now have new digital alternatives to the traditional Chinese new year’s gifts of money in red envelopes.  There’s a practical side to it as people are able to avoid the long queues that can form in the rush to get the crispiest and shiniest new notes for new year presents.  The boost to Alibaba’s social network Laiwang has also been positive as young people rush online to update their status.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Dutch denim.

Amsterdam has become a world capital for denim with high street and high couture brands finding their home here.  The city is well represented by regional headquarters for some of the world’s biggest brand – Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel and Levi’s Vintage Clothing.  Other local and high end brands have equally made Amsterdam home and have been achieving success on an increasingly worldwide stage – from Gstar to Kings of Indigo and Denham.  Amsterdam is a great fit with jeans – not too formal, highly independent, and always a bit rebellious. The creativity of the city is certainly a big draw for designers and denim innovators. And where else could you imagine the home of Jean School?

To find out more, contact Rob.

Black Friday makes its mark in UK toy sales.

Figures released by the British Toy & Hobby Association ahead of London 2015 Toy Fair show a healthy and growing UK toy market in 2014.  Toy sales in Black Friday week increased by 10{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf} as consumers get ahead of the game to buy higher priced main presents and electronic toys.  So successful has Black Friday week been that it has outstripped the sales in the week prior to Christmas, traditionally the key selling week in the toy calendar. Predictions for 2015 are also positive with electronic toys, creative products and collectables all set to continue as strong favourites.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Mobile and the new purchase funnel dynamics.

With screens and platforms multiplying and a world in which we are truly always online, we need a big rethink of the traditional and linear purchase journey. Disrupting and interrupting to the traditional view as this may be, it’s also providing exciting new opportunities for brands to engage consumers.

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Fuel cell technology for mass use in cars by 2025.

Speaking at the recent Automobilwoche conference in Berlin, head of the automotive division at Robert Bosch, Wolf-Henning Scheider predicts that fuel cell technology will be commercially viable for mass use in cars by 2025.

“They are not out of the race. They are a viable alternative to other zero-emission vehicle technologies,” Scheider said.

Daimler, Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Honda and General Motors are all developing fuel cell vehicles.  And Toyota and Honda are expected to start selling production vehicles next year.  Priced at about Euros 56,000, fuel cell vehicles are able to run five time longer than electric cars.  But widespread acceptance has been difficult to achieve due to the massive development costs.

To find out more about our automotive technology expertise, contact Dam.

Discount supermarkets – here to stay.

The rise of the discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi has been sensational and made shoppers stop, think and truly evaluate what the big supermarket chains have been doing.  Falling sales and declining market share among the mainstream – whether Tesco’s in the UK, Carrefour in France or Albert Heijn in the Netherlands – may not be a purely price driven reaction to the recession. Lidl is offering excellent value, and carving out a reputation for quality (fresh fruit and vegetables) and interesting locally sourced brands and produce.  The rise of the discounter is shaking up supermarket shopping and offering highly attractive alternatives that will outlive the economic recession.  In their German home market, the discounters have around 40{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf} share, so there’s some way to go until other markets catch up. You know it makes sense.

To find out more about latest trends, contact Rob.

Wearable tech – wristable, washable, and available near you.

Whether it’s the Microsoft band that can monitor health and fitness, or the Nike and Apple collaboration that’s heralding a stylish new departure for wearable technology, it feels like we’ve turned a corner.  This is a truly convergent space – with brands known for consumer technology, sportswear, healthcare brands and navigation all laying down a claim and coming fast one after the other with new and exciting offers.  In Japan, the technology is already established and it’ll be interesting to see how applications evolve on different parts of the world.  Epson’s Wristable GPS was a great pioneering and still going strong.

To find out more about our insights into the world of wearable technology, contact Dam.