News 10.06.2024

Need to Know

Hong Kong Ballet merges ballet and local landmarks with hip-hop, Ikea recruits Roblox retail staff and why consumers demand clean labels and natural ingredients.

Hong Kong Ballet’s 45th-anniversary transforms ballet for the masses

Hong Kong Ballet Tutu Academy by Design Army, Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 45th anniversary with an innovative campaign by Design Army and Dean Alexander Productions. The campaign redefines ballet, transforming it from a symbol of privilege to a universal cultural experience. 

Inspired by Degas’ ballerina portraits, renaissance art and artistic hip-hop, the film captures ballet as a universal language, connecting everyone, even aliens, to its magical essence. The troupe performs in vibrant settings across Hong Kong, including university halls, Tai Kwun’s plaza, and High Island Reservoir, making ballet joyfully unconventional. 

The campaign features eye-popping colours, gravity-defying moves, and koi fish-inspired hairdos, alongside punk rockers en pointe and an alien in a tutu. Design Army played with graphic scales, textures, sounds and music, from Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube to hip-hop. 

Back in 2019, in our Generation Z are driving an arts revolution report, we forecast the rise of Ballet Rebranded by highlighting how Hong Kong Ballet was already merging formal dancing and hip-hop to reach new audiences. For more insights on Gen Z, head to our Gen Z Now and Next: From Vision to Contradiction macrotrend report. 

Strategic opportunity

Transform traditionally exclusive or niche experiences into inclusive, accessible events that resonate with a broader audience. This can be applied across various industries, from fashion to tech

Hublot and Daniel Arsham unveil timeless teardrop pocket watch

Arsham Droplet by Hublot and Daniel Arsham, UK Arsham Droplet by Hublot and Daniel Arsham, UK
Arsham Droplet by Hublot and Daniel Arsham, UK Arsham Droplet by Hublot and Daniel Arsham, UK

Switzerland - Hublot and New York-based artist Daniel Arsham have launched the Arsham Droplet, a teardrop-shaped pocket watch crafted from titanium and sapphire crystals. Encircled with custom Arsham green rubber bumpers, this timepiece reimagines the classic pocket watch for the modern era and doubles as a chained necklace.

The Droplet pocket watch features a titanium case, side bumpers in custom Arsham green rubber, and Daniel Arsham’s monograms stamped onto its surface. The watch is versatile, serving as a necklace, a timepiece or a centrepiece on its titanium and mineral glass table stand.

Hublot's artisans crafted domed crystals in a teardrop shape, offering a see-through, open-worked titanium case that reveals the intricate clockwork inside. With a 10-day power reserve powered by Hublot’s Meca-10 movement, the Arsham Droplet is both functional and artistic. The watch is highly exclusive, limited to 99 units,

Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe remarked: 'It can be enjoyed in three different ways: a pocket watch, a pendant or a table clock.’ The Arsham Droplet stands as a unique blend of art, horology and functionality.

In our Luxury Recrafted macrotrend report, we previously analysed how the luxury watch sector is focusing on producing heirlooms and one-of-a-kind items for young luxury consumers seeking exceptional craftsmanship and longevity.

Strategic opportunity

How can your business reinvent traditional products with modern twists to appeal to contemporary tastes while maintaining a connection to heritage? Create unique, limited-edition products that can attract both new and nostalgic customers

Ikea pioneers virtual employment on Roblox

UK - Ikea is pioneering metaverse recruitment with the launch of The Co-Worker Game as part of its upcoming Ikea on Roblox virtual universe.

Starting at the end of June, the Swedish furniture store will be hiring real people to work in its new virtual store, where they can earn £13.15 ($14.31, €14.80) an hour assisting virtual customers and moving across various departments, including serving meatballs in the Swedish Food Market. Applicants must be over 18 and live in the UK.

Designed by Swedish game design company The Gang, Ikea on Roblox will allow the Roblox community to browse various showrooms filled with Ikea products, assisted by Ikea’s virtual workforce.

The Roblox experience marks the beginning of Ikea's Careers Done Different campaign, aiming to attract the next generation of employees. The initiative also sets a new precedent for Retail Staff Futures, providing a new platform for remote work. 

The Co-Worker Game by IKEA, UK

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from Ikea and use the metaverse to experiment with innovative retail concepts, training virtual staff to offer personalised and interactive shopping experiences that supersede traditional e-commerce

Stat: Consumers increasingly demand clean labels and natural ingredients

Wildfish Cannery. Identity by Young Jerks, Alaska Wildfish Cannery. Identity by Young Jerks, Alaska

Global – According to Ingredion's 2024 consumer food preference trends report, three-quarters of consumers are more decisive in assessing food and beverage products to improve their nutrition. Shoppers now prioritise clean labels, natural ingredients, clear labelling, digestive health benefits, zero added sugar and lower prices.

The report highlights a significant shift in consumer behaviour, with a 43% increase in label-checking and a 36% rise in nutrition label scrutiny since last year. This trend has pushed manufacturers to rethink product formulations, with 55% of current R&D efforts focused on cleaner labels and taste enhancements.

Despite inflation and high food costs, consumers are not compromising on health, with 78% willing to pay more for all-natural products, 56% prepared to spend 10–30% more, and one-third willing to pay 20–30% more. Younger consumers aged 18–34 and parents are the most likely to invest in nutritional benefits.

The demand for clean ingredients shows no sign of slowing down. We have recently released our Food & Drink macrotrend report Functional Feasting, which shows that people are craving highly nutritional foods such as protein.

Strategic opportunity

Develop and market food and beverage products with clean labels, focusing on transparency in ingredient sourcing and processing. Highlighting natural and minimally processed ingredients can attract health-conscious consumers

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