We love a good debate! That’s why we run Round Table events with key commentators from the industry every six months. We explore different topics each time that sit within our four key sectors – Food & Drink, Home & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure and Tech & Innovation.
Here’s a look at some of our past Round Table events.
This month we held our second Lucre Group Ideas & Insight session looking at the Food & Drink sector. The title was Provenance vs Price: The Future of British Food Post-Brexit. A very relevant topic in the current uncertainty of whether Brexit will be an opportunity or a challenge for food manufacturers, retailers and ultimately, […]Read more >
In April 2016, the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors. As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, […]Read more >
On this page we’ll share what we’ve been thinking, what we’ve seen, what we’re doing and the stuff we just really, really like.
We’ll also keep you updated on our I&I events, when we bring together the best people to talk about the topics you need to know more about.
Whether you’re looking to take your career to the next level or new to the industry and want to work with some well-known brands across the travel, food and drink, tech, home and lifestyle sectors, we want to hear from you.
If you think you’re just who we’re looking for and you want to get in touch, please contact:
London: firstname.lastname@example.org | 020 8741 5900
Leeds: email@example.com | 0113 243 1117
Like Marmite, you either love it or hate it but if ITV2’s ratings are anything to go by – averaging two million viewers per episode – it seems most of the nation fall into the former category. So, just what is the secret of Love Island’s success and how has it become such a massive hit?
We’re all old romantics at heart
There may be a lot of dating and relationship shows already on TV, but it would seem we can’t get enough of them. Dinner Date, Take Me Out and, more recently, the return of Blind Date, we all live in the hope that everyone has their very own Prince Charming out there somewhere. Nothing fills our hearts and makes everything seem a little brighter, than seeing two people fall in love and live happily ever after.
Love Island is a cross between a dating programme and Big Brother. We all know how popular Big Brother was back in the day, so it’s no surprise that the format for Love Island works and connects with a lot of people.
Who doesn’t love a bit of eye candy on an evening
Being conservative won’t get you far in reality TV, so Love Island has had to adapt a format that is different and draws in the viewers. A big part of its winning formula are the contestants. The more controversial and louder the characters the more drama will happen, which makes for great TV.
There’s no doubt that the contestants are chosen for a reason. They’re all young, attractive and confident enough to strut around in swimwear. This makes the show even more engaging to watch and is spot on when it comes to the programme’s target demographic – millennials.
Anything can happen as there are live elements
There are cameras everywhere to capture the Islander’s antics – 73 in total! While it is not live with each episode usually shot one to two days in advance, most of what is broadcast is true and has happened, making it even more appealing. Yes, even the Hayley, trees and Brexit comment was all down to her! We never quite know what is going to happen and all the ‘grafting’, ‘mugging off’ and ‘cracking on’ can be captured for our pleasure.
Everyone wants a bit of the action…
And we don’t mean immediate sign-ups for the next series. From a dedicated app where you can couple up with a washboard-ab beauty in virtual reality to an online shop – personalised water bottle or phone case anyone? – collaborations with stores like Superdrug which has boosted their profits and the inevitable post-show charcoal toothpaste, NutriBuddy, InTheStyle, Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing #ad(s), they’re all making money, too.
You’ve got to hand it to it Love Island; it’s topping the charts when it comes to reality TV. It’s been rumoured, due to the success of the programme, it will continue to run for another five years, so we can look forward to more singletons finding ‘the one’ until 2024. Now there’s a scary thought for you!Read >
Acclaimed for its high heights and cocktails, nothing is done on a small scale here. Sipping your Negroni at golden hour will make you believe you are gazing into a Renaissance painting of the twenty-first century: ethereal mixed with industrial architecture.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N.
Everything is in the name. If you ever wondered what a trip through luscious lands of greenery can look like on the 35th floor, high up between the clouds as pink hues course over the River Thames, then this is your place. Book in advance, buy a bottle with your date and enjoy the serenity that these vibrant gardens and chilled music can give you in an al fresco-like scenario.
1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M.
French for a beautiful avifauna cage where exotic birds parade around, you can understand this bar’s namesake. A little bit of luxury with added altitude amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, it should be your go-to when needing a little break from it all. Sip on an Old Fashioned whilst taking in the views and a cosy under a blanket when the sun sets over the cityscape.
22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX.
East London Queen of Rooftop bars. Loud music. Great vibes. Chilled atmosphere. You don’t need much more than this.
1 Curtain Road, EC2A.
Walking into the 1970’s Palm Springs era, you’ll be greeted by St Paul’s Cathedral across the bridge. Following their desert vibes, the cocktail list offers an extensive range of both American and British twists on our favourite classics. A great option after an afternoon gazing at your favourite artists in the Tate nearby.
20 Upper Ground, SE.
Trafalgar St James boasts a vibrant energy and youthful aura, most likely from the bustling streets of the infamous Trafalgar Square just below. With panoramic views of London, you can wind down whilst sipping on sangria after a walk through St James’ park or a trip to the National Gallery.
2 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2TS.
A cultural car park rooftop hosting unrivalled art in Peckham. This place turns into an oasis the minute it opens its doors in summer.
95A Rye Lane, SE15.Read >
Just like a scorned lover, I’m trying to forget about the past, think positive thoughts and head down the pub at any given opportunity. But I’m not getting carried away (much), so here’s an alternative list of those who have already won the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting the first performance by an Englishman at the World Cup to be in the shape of a forty-year-old ex-boyband member from Stoke, but I can dare to dream. Eyebrows were raised and heads scratched when the Russians chose Robbie to open their ceremony, with the whole world watching. Turns out, Robbie is massive over there, adored by many Russian powerhouses and has performed at private events and weddings for years. He’s even acquainted with Chelsea’s billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich (let the thought of that conversation sink in). In fairness to Robbie, he pulled his finger out (literally) and put on a pretty good show, odd as it was.
‘World Cup’ brands
Advertising and sponsorship is one of the key financial benefits from the World Cup. With a thirty second Superbowl ad costing upwards of $5 million, viewing figures for the tournament are expected to be around thirty times that. So, expect the big bucks to be pouring in from the likes of Coke, Adidas and McDonalds. For weeks we’ve been bombarded with Lidl adverts featuring the England team and Lionel Messi drinking a Pepsi Max in a packed square, all whilst ignoring the irony of ‘McDelivery’ promos on the pitch side advertising boards. As a result, FIFA have imposed a ban on marketing with things such as “World Cup”, “FIFA World Cup” and “Russia 2018” without official licensing. Ah well, it won’t deter me from ordering in a Quarter Pounder once the semis of the 2018 Global Chalice come around.
The biggest concern leading up to the tournament was Russia itself. After being banned from the Winter Olympics for doping allegations and hooliganism during Euro 2016, the country was in need of some good PR. So far though, it’s been a success. No reports of violence, the cities and stadiums all look great and people have even been taught in local colleges how to interact with tourists. What better way to forget about the recent political hostilities than a thirty-yard half volley? At least that’s the end of it for potentially corrupt World Cup bidding, roll on Qatar 2022…
The drinks trade will be thriving even more this summer, with pubs and bars pulling out all the stops to attract the punters. From the Norfolk landlord who erected a £5,000 stand in his pub garden to the multitude of trendy ticketed pop ups across London, venues can all expect a portion of the £488 million influx. What’s interesting though is what we are drinking, with Greene King claiming sales increase by as much as 100% for drinks such as Craft Beer and Gin . This, as well as the extra 500,000 pints sold during England’s win over Panama, just goes to prove that Harry Kane isn’t just leading us to World Cup glory, but out of austerity as well.
Not only has Gareth Southgate got us all excited about his young, fearless England team, he’s also become a fashion icon in the process. The former defender and famed penalty-misser is no longer just working on his teams’ transitional play, but also on his wardrobe. Marks & Spencer, the retailer that designs England’s suits, has seen a 35% rise in its sales of waistcoats and is attributing it to the England boss’ dugout attire. This subtle touch of class, when paired with the tremendous risk of sporting a navy shirt in twenty-five-degree heat, has captured the nation. If the England squad is to go out, rest assured it will be in style.Read >
With over 800 million monthly active users that share an estimated 95 million photos a day, it’s undeniable that we have an appetite for visual content. Instagram has fast-become one of the most trusted sources of travel advice, with 48% of users relying on the app for destination inspiration for their next escape. In fact, ‘Instagrammability’ is the most vital consideration for millennials when choosing a destination.
Last year, a study by National Geographic found that certain destinations appearing on the app experienced a growth in the number of visitors the more it was tagged. Tourism boards across the globe have quickly wised-up, with many already hosting ‘influencers’ for their holidays in exchange for sharing their adventures with their many eager followers.
The astounding business potential through utilising this new travel platform is perfectly summarised by photographer Chris Burkard, who shares;
“Now you’re less than 10 clicks away from seeing an image on Instagram to purchasing a ticket to go there.”
Whilst Instagram presents a great opportunity for destinations to put themselves on the map alongside empowering users, opening their eyes to a world of options and inspiration, it is also beginning to show its darker side.
With travellers planning every aspect of their trip down to the last meal out and coffee break based on recommendations by their favourite instagrammer, it runs the risk of killing our sense of adventure. It also hinders the potential for local businesses that aren’t splashed over the pages of top influencers, which rely on good old-fashioned footfall. Certain destinations have already seen such a large influx of social-media driven visitors that it has also invited the detrimental effects of over-tourism, including environmental degradation, cultural erosion and unsustainable development.
So when you come to plan your next getaway, think twice about travelling to somewhere a little different and share your adventure that others can be inspired by. It’s time to re-discover your inner explorer and your memories might be that bit more special for it!Read >
One of six super-regional shopping destinations in the UK, with over 290 stores and more than 50 places to eat and drink, Meadowhall has played a fundamental role in the development of the retail landscape over the past 28 years and we are proud to be representing them throughout Yorkshire and the UK.
Having recently completed an extensive £100 million transformation and with planning approved for a £300m Leisure Hall, adding a further 300,000 sq. ft of leisure space and creating 1,550 new jobs, Meadowhall is well on its way to cementing its market-leading position, with The Lucre Group here to build on the brand’s ambitious plans. Perfectly placed amongst our clients such as Debenhams and Kohler Mira, Meadowhall is now a welcome part of our growing Home and Lifestyle division,
Richard Pinfold, Marketing Director at Meadowhall, has said: “The Lucre Group showed an incredible level of creativity, passion and understanding in its pitch that really caught our imagination. The centre itself has been through a staggering transformation of late and so it’s fantastic to have a new team on board, ready to promote these changes and really bring our Seeing is Believing branding to life.”
“Meadowhall is an iconic destination with exciting times ahead and we’re delighted to be joining it’s dynamic marketing team. Home and Lifestyle is one of four specialist divisions in The Lucre Group and an area in which we have extensive experience. It’s this, alongside our approach to strategic planning and creative content, that makes us the perfect partner to help maximise the many opportunities that lie ahead.”
Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Co-Owner and Director, The Lucre GroupRead >
Well yes, frankly it is.
It was hard to completely miss the launch of the hotly anticipated play back in 2016 and whilst I can’t say I am a die-hard HP fan who would sit up all night refreshing the page, I finally got my hands on two tickets for both plays this year.
Having not read the hard copy, I went in blind and due to the trending #KeepTheSecret, completely unaware with what was about to be the most flabbergasting five hours of my life.
From entering the themed Palace Theatre to the eerie soundtrack to some of the best production I’ve ever seen on the UK stage, the play certainly didn’t disappoint – even though the need to purchase tickets for two plays seemed like a clever marketing ploy.
Top reasons why it is worth it:
Amal Clooney’s yellow dress won the best-dressed guest award, Princess Charlotte stole our hearts as the cutest bridesmaid and Tom Hardy’s shaved head got us all curious about what his next movie role might be. But despite this, the newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan still stole the show with their loved-up glances, not to mention their amazing outfits. With worldwide eyes on them, here are six trends we are predicting as a domino effect from the royal wedding:
Where did Harry and Meghan first meet? (It was a blind date)
Will Harry and Meghan kiss on the balcony? (No, it’s not taking place at Buckingham Palace)
Are Meghan and Harry related? (Definitely not!)
Everybody has a point of view and a question about the marriage between the nation’s favourite Royal, Prince Harry and the US actor, Meghan Markle. In recent days, attention has particularly turned to Meghan’s Dad and whether he will be able to attend the wedding especially now there’s a genuine cause for concern for his health.
However, many of the questions being searched for are in their nature far less important, at times a bit ridiculous and sometimes plain foolish. They range from the glaringly obvious like: “Will the wedding be televised?” via the optimistic: “Will we get a bank holiday for Harry and Meghan’s wedding?” to the downright deep and unanswerable: “Are Harry and Meghan really in love and will they last?”
But thanks to our RICH content team here at Lucre there are some questions that we can help answer:
Did Harry have a stag do?
Did Meghan have a hen do?
Did Harry and Meghan have a hag do together?
Where did Harry and Meghan go to celebrate before their wedding?
Recently, our team were lucky enough to capture footage on behalf of our client Stonegate, of the Royal Couple out celebrating in naughties party venue Popworld. ‘Actual’ footage of the loved-up duo was recorded of them sharing WKD, popping corks and dancing the Macarena with Saturday night revellers. Harry proved himself the party Prince that we all knew he was and Meghan showed that she had the moves, too.
If you don’t believe us, then watch the footage for yourself:
Royals waved goodbye to single life over the Bank Holiday weekend, Popworld style 😱👑
Posted by Popworld on Tuesday, 8 May 2018
If you would like to discuss your content needs or discuss how we can help you capture exclusive Royal Footage then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some love it, some hate it, but one thing you can’t dispute about the shipping container mecca that is Pop Brixton is the great food offerings. The stand out for me is Baba G’s and their Indian style burger food. Jalfrezi flavoured lamb and onion bhaji in a seeded bun? Yes, please. Spice-coated chips with a mango drizzle? Go on then. Whether it be a weekend hangover cure or a quick bite before you see that up-and-coming Indie band at Brixton Academy, G’s has you covered.
Caravanserai – Crown St., Leeds
Hidden next to the corn exchange is this colourful hotspot, surrounded by small, independent shops that attract the hippest of hipsters, so bring your A-game. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner through the week, this Ottoman feast is bound to engage the senses, with delicious, visually gripping plates for carnivores and veggies alike. You can order takeaway from a window on the bottom floor, alternatively sneak upstairs to the small seating area, packed with more candelabras and rugs than your nan’s loft.
Beigel Shop – Brick Lane, London
Brick Lane is exhausting, and after a day of posing in front of graffiti and trying on vintage jeans, you are bound to be crying out for something to restore your energy levels. Biegel Shop is the place to go, having served mouth-watering, salt beef filled bundles of goodness for over a century. I would be lying if I said I haven’t purposely cut a night out short and made the excursion, and for less than a fiver, my friends should be completely understanding. The best thing about it is it’s open 24/7, so lace up your Reebok Classics and get yourself down there.
Chida Cantina – Cross Belgrave St., Leeds
Located at the end of a dead-end road, only people in the know make it to this Mexican hangout. Open till late, the bar offers a unique take on some classics, including three different kinds of Margarita, so at least one’s bound to put you on the right track for the long night ahead. With a student hotspot just a few doors down, your new pre-drinks spot is sorted, with drinks and food being very student friendly (cocktails start at £7.50). Also, every six months (ish) a different restaurant takes over the kitchen tenancy, keeping you on your toes for many evenings to come.
Bao – Soho, London
Nestled down one of Soho’s many narrow streets is this thirty-capacity haven. Bao buns are the speciality (clue’s in the name), ranging from duck confit to pork belly with some fab vegan options thrown in for good measure. Individual Bao’s are around the £5 mark, whilst their three-course lunch deal comes in at £15 and more than fills you up. Drinks-wise the Peanut Milk is a real treat and makes you feel young again. Most importantly, the food looks great (perfect for your social media stories), which is all that truly matters at the end of the day – just be prepared to queue.
Belgrave Music Hall – Cross Belgrave St., Leeds
The most famous hotspot in Leeds and full to the brim with students and young professionals, this place has you got your back from dawn till dusk. Spread over three floors, start early with a coffee before moving up to a craft beer or two, paired with a treat from their pop-up burger and pizza stands. The middle floor is an event space, hosting everything from DJ sets to yoga sessions. Finish on the roof terrace with whoever has made it this far, cocktail in hand. No frills, plenty of spills.
Joe Public – Clapham Common, London
Situated behind Clapham Common station, Joe Public is that slice of New York delicacy you have been crying out for, pun intended. This spot does it the old-fashioned way, by the slice, eat in or take away. The free wifi makes it great for a casual drop in on an indulgent Saturday afternoon, whilst its midnight closing time provides a warm hug for that sobering train journey home. My advice? Keep it simple with a chorizo and halloumi slice or two.Read >
However, following recent controversy, the bucket list has come under fire from many, particularly when it comes to a travel and tourism perspective.
Bucket lists are encouraging travellers to flock to those infamous bucket list destinations and landmarks. From Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal, and even Everest, travel to these locations which were formerly considered a once in a lifetime trip, are instead being described as ‘chaotic’ with queues detracting from the experience.
Tourism is said to be having an environmental impact on some of the world’s most iconic locations. Many of them weren’t meant, or built, to withstand the increasing footfall. This has led to some of those classic bucket list tourist destinations to come under threat, with people going to extreme lengths to capture that Instagram-worthy snap.
Despite the negatives that have been linked to this, many are still pioneers for the bucket list and the benefits it can add to our lifestyle. Many use it as a method to ensure they make the most of their time and visit more places, but bucket lists needn’t be solely travel.
These are just three important benefits to having your very own bucket list:
Completing items on our bucket list can make us feel as though we’ve fulfilled more in life and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Things might not always be completely realistic and that’s okay! People that know me would no doubt laugh at the thought of me one day running a marathon and I probably would too, but it’s nice to have something to work towards. After all, a bucket list is meant to be aspirational.
If Facebook have anything to do with it, it certainly won’t be the end of our bucket lists, with the social network introducing a new way of sharing our ‘lists’ with friends to promote interaction. Although this feature wasn’t purely for bucket lists, it seems Facebook were keen to ensure that the bucket list lives on, despite the negative reports.
So, I would encourage you to create a bucket list and ensure you live your life to the full.Read >
Various Positions, London
Love travel? Live for food and drink? Finger on the pulse of tech and professional services?
Following substantial growth, Lucre is on the lookout for a number of new people from Executives to experienced Managers and beyond!
We are looking for fabulous, forward thinking people to join our amazing team in London. The ability to work across a variety of consumer, travel and leisure accounts in a fast-paced environment is a must, alongside the essential core skills of writing, managing social media and account handling.
No two days are the same.
Do this sound like you? If you’d like to further your career in the PR industry in an ambitious and exciting agency, send your CV to: email@example.com or call 020 8741 5900.Read >
This is great, but we need to understand the true extent to what food is wasted in order for us to buy that lovely Valentine’s Day meal deal or those perfectly straight carrots. WRAP estimated (it’s impossible to predict an exact number) that annual food waste from UK households, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and wholesale sectors is 10 million tonnes – 60% of which could have been avoided. In total, we waste food worth £17 billion a year which creates 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Ultimately, the agricultural, manufacturing, supply chain and the retailing system we have developed means we produce more food than we need and a large proportion of this gets wasted.
Our food waste habits are costing us money and polluting our environment but equally, we’re seeing people all around us who cannot afford to eat. Elderly people dying from malnourishment, children who may only eat one meal a day and food bank use continuing to rise. 8.4 million UK families are struggling to put food on the table, the equivalent of the whole population of London.
But, there are some real super-heroes who are helping to redress the balance and ensure that surplus food is used as a force for good. There’s innovative NPD that is challenging the category leaders, savvy technology that’s connecting waste with communities and people who are using food waste to create partnerships that drive social empowerment.
In our next Lucre Roundtable event, we are celebrating the Innovative Waste Warriors who are making a difference in the war on waste; the people, the businesses and charities who are using food surplus to innovate, connect and empower. Along the way, we hope to inspire businesses to look at the way they produce food and what they could do differently.
Join us on March 1st at St Luke’s Community Centre in London and hear from some inspirational speakers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the guest list.
Cycling in Stanley Park
Stanley Park is the jewel of Vancouver, so if you are only visiting for a short break, place it at the top of your list! The best way to explore is on two wheels around the seawall surrounding the park, which offers incredible views of Vancouver’s skyline. The seawall is around 6 miles long and should take roughly an hour, including a few stops to take pictures too (tip: the area near the Marina/ Vancouver Rowing Club has the best views of the skyline).
Devonian Harbour Park is a great place to begin as it’s within a stone’s throw from most of the bike rental shops on Denman Street and there are a handful of picturesque waterfront restaurants to refresh after a cycle ride. Other activities in the park include the open-air swimming pool overlooking the water and Vancouver Aquarium.
English Bay Beach
Situated just Southwest of Stanley Park, English Bay beach is a beautiful place to relax on a sunny day.
The beach offers a nice selection of summer activities including volleyball courts, kayaking, swimming and the Cactus Club Café. It is also a good place to spot local wildlife and watch the stunning sunsets.
Lynn Canyon Park
The scenic Lynn Canyon Park makes a fantastic day trip from Vancouver, where you can really immerse yourself in forestland, crystal clear rivers and emerald pools. The park also boasts a suspension footbridge leading over the river. The best part is, it’s completely free! Vancouver has one other suspension bridge nearby (Capilano Suspension Bridge), but this costs $39.95 to use, making Lynn Canyon Park all the more appealing.
The journey itself is another reason why this is such an enjoyable day trip. You can catch the Sea Bus from Waterfront Station (for the same price as normal buses) over to West Vancouver. The Sea Bus offers a fabulous view of Vancouver’s skyline on the return trip, so make sure to keep your camera ready!
Vancouver’s Chinatown is the second largest in North America and is most certainly worth a visit. Begin your explorations on W Pender Street and enter Chinatown through the famous gates. Take in the fascinating scenes of locals shopping at speciality grocery stores selling unusual Chinese vegetables, herbs and spices unknown to many and browse in the Chinese Gift stores for keepsakes. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (578 Carrall Street) provides a tranquil oasis in the middle of a busy, bustling district and transports you back in time to 15th Century China.
I am a big fan of Dim Sum, so I was quick to hunt down the restaurant which claims to serve up some of the best: New Town Bakery (148 E Pender Street). And it did not disappoint! I recommend the Char Sui Steamed Pork Buns and one of their renowned egg custard tarts to finish.Read >
Sure, the new year cleanse is coming to an official end, but the clamour for a meat-free-month is suggestive of the direction in which our longer-term eating habits are travelling. Perhaps, a vegan diet is for life, not just post-Christmas.
Whatever the reasons for getting involved in veganism (ethical, health, Instagram…), and whether it’s dabbling or dedication, there’s no doubting that people are giving it a go. And not just in January. Statistics published by the Vegan Society show that the number of vegans in Britain ballooned by more than 360% between 2006 and 2016, making it the country’s fastest growing lifestyle movement. Add in a hoard of part-timers and a popular hashtag – #Veganuary2018 has been used 21,359 and counting on Instagram – and it’s no wonder that brands are taking notice, and action.
From major restaurant chains adding to their vegan options to innovative product development, the last few months have seen numerous initiatives aimed at the growing vegan audience. Pizza Express, Zizzi and Carluccio’s are among the biggest restaurant groups to have substantially expanded their vegan offerings and it would appear that supermarkets are following suit, with the likes of Tesco and Asda announcing new vegan ranges. Where once there was KFC riding the wave of a mock clean eating burger, there are now brands furiously developing meat and dairy free alternatives. Ben & Jerry’s are among the most recognisable names leading the NPD charge, although perhaps the biggest headline grabber will be the vegan ‘bleeding’ burger, which has been announced by Moving Mountains.
With an estimated 52,000 participants this year, initiatives such as Veganuary offer impactful short-term publicity for veganism but the aforementioned developments hint at a longer-term commitment from influential companies too. The tightrope currently being walked is that between a trend and a fad.
We all witnessed the mess made by the Clean Eating brigade, where pseudo-science and marketing fuelled opportunism was exposed and dismantled. There have been missteps here, too, such as the short-lived Marks and Spencer’s cauliflower steaks, but, assuming that brands find the balance between relevance and exploitation, there’s little question that there’s a lucrative market here and that veganism will live long beyond Veganuary.Read >
Marks and Spencer’s sparked much of the recent conversation, with the sale of their ‘cauliflower steak’, which came under fire not only for the cost but also the excessive packaging. The UK Government have already pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.
Going plastic free and making more of an effort to become sustainable is a lifestyle decision that more people are moving towards – but do we really have much choice?
As consumers, we have a responsibility to be considerate about what we buy and how we buy it. Although the food and drink sector is the obvious perpetrator which immediately springs to mind, plastic containers are everywhere we turn.
Some products can be costlier and less convenient, but if you’re dedicated to cutting plastic out of your life, it can be achievable. Buying fruit and vegetables from your local market or farm shop for example, ridding the necessity for the plastic tray and wrapping, is an obvious step. But have you ever considered products such as shampoo? Certain products don’t practically lend themselves to alternative packaging options, making it difficult to be a consumer dedicated to the cause.
These issues and the recent controversy asks the question of businesses to consider how they operate for the good of the environment. It is also becoming an increasing consideration of consumers, with brands trying to cut through the noise in a dense market.
Iceland became the first business to announce their commitment to becoming plastic free, with a vow to eliminate or at least drastically reduce the plastic packaging of its own-label products in the next five years. This is bound to be a trend that will spread across industries, with many other businesses adopting a different mentality towards sustainability and packaging.
Although the questions over sustainability can be a challenge for businesses, it also presents an opportunity, providing brands commit to the change proactively and embrace the need for change.
I for one can’t wait to see the developments in packaging that businesses adopt to meet the changing needs and demands of the typical consumer.
The company is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of private label cupcakes and is known for producing and supplying own-label cakes to major multiple retailers and discounters. The Lucre Group is supporting the business on the launch of its first branded cupcake range, Beautifully Crafted, which is a range of premium, hand-finished cupcakes.
Appointed on retainer to help build The Cake Crew brands across consumer media, trade and digital channels, Lucre’s work aligns directly to the business plan, targeting the core retail sectors of convenience, travel, food service, multiple and independents.
From sampling, video and social media management, through to influencer and media relations, the Lucre team will ensure that Beautifully Crafted is known and loved by cupcake fans across the UK.
Bill Smith-Coats, Business Development Director at The Cake Crew said: “Having worked with Lucre in the past, they were my go-to for this piece of work. I’ve always been impressed with their creativity, tenacity and knowledge for the food sector. We have big plans for The Cake Crew and Lucre is the perfect partner to help us deliver our consumer and trade plans effectively.”
Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Lucre co-owner and Director added: “Aside from the fact that their cakes look and taste gorgeous, this latest win is a great addition to our Lucre Food & Drink portfolio. From pies and vegan cheese to restaurants and bars, our experience in second-to-none and the fact that we have worked with Bill in the past is testimony to the quality of our work. We can’t wait to introduce the brand and help ensure it becomes a household name in the coming months.”Read >
Discard deep-fried grasshoppers, step away from the burger, the brunch bubble has burst people, but you Avocado, you can stay!!
Would you like an Instagram optimisation kit with your table for four? What the devil is Japanese Dude Food? Tried fish cooked in vinegar? By the end of 2018, you’ll know all the answers to these questions and more if food trend experts are to be believed.
According to the restaurant consultancy company Baum+Whiteman and as we’ve previously reported, Filipino food is where it’s at this year. Luto, chef Mary San Pablo’s London supper club, is most definitely worth trying – paksiw na isda (fish cooked in vinegar) pork belly Adobo and cuttlefish Pallabok with strawberries, lemon and avocado for dessert, what’s not to love? Filipino street food experts BBQ Dreams in London (@bbqdreamz) and Manila Munchies in Birmingham (@ManilaMunchies) are all riding the Filipino fast train to food heaven too.
2018 will be the year of the old bird. 100-day-old chickens (most commercial chickens are slaughtered at 60 days) or gamy cockerels will be viewed as the ‘Pengest Munch’ (thanks, the Chicken Connoisseur). Try HG Walters or The Ginger Pig – both are extraordinary butchers, with fans such as The River Café, Nigella, Gordon and Jamie!
Sayonara, sushi; hello, Japanese “dude food”. Think deep-fried chicken karaage, agedashi tofu and grilled yakitori chicken skewers. Sosharu, Jason Atherton’s restaurant is leading the Japanese “pub grub” charge, lesser mortals are sure to follow. According to the Sterling-Rice Group’s Culinary Trends 2018 report Asian-inspired breakfasts such as jianbing – Chinese crepes smothered with hoisin sauce and filled with egg, are about to land in the UK too. Feeling some Hawaiian flavours? Then poke bowls are for you. Big in America last year, this ‘sushi without the fuss’ is customisable, healthy, delicious and most importantly, an Instagram favourite.
Restaurants including Dirty Bones in Kensington are introducing Instagram optimisation kits (tripods, wide-angle lenses, phone chargers) to help diners snap the heck out of their three courses. However, at the other end of the scale, more are banning phones outright – don’t try and post from St John’s Dining Room, Locanda Locatelli or the Chelsea Arts Club.
Sales of fermented foods show no sign of slowing, as we all feel the benefits of eating more natural probiotics. Though off-the-shelf, little bottles of milky coloured liquid are convenient, they’re not the best source of natural probiotics – fermented or pickled cabbage is. Kimchi is exactly that, hailing from Korea and sauerkraut or kraut juice is pulped pickled German cabbage. In the US, whole supermarket aisles are devoted to spicy kimchi shots and tangy sauerkraut juice. Sounds too healthy? Try a Pickleback instead (whisky with a pickle juice chaser).
Along with this cornucopia of culinary delights, 2018 will also see a rise in Veganism. We welcome wonky veg and we’ll be eating this wonky veg root to tip. We’ll be partial to sip on booze-free bevvies as mocktail mania takes hold. Tacos will be raising their game; breakfast tacos, chocolate tacos, sushi tacos and shaved jicama tacos stuffed with pokē. It’s endless.
Though one of our least favourite food trends is gourmet food for pre-schoolers – we’re all for our little ones eating well, but Fois Gras for four-year-olds? That doesn’t rock our world!Read >
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