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.
What’s that peeking out from behind those clouds? Is it…? could it be…? It’s the sun! After weeks of overcast skies and rainy commutes, there’s good news for beer garden lovers everywhere with the weather finally announcing summer. While a sunny day in the park is the favoured summer pastime, sometimes returning to a stifling, stuffy home almost makes you wish the chillier climes back to the city…. almost, but not quite.
In anticipation of everyone’s favourite season, we’ve compiled a few top tips to keep your living space cool, calm and collected (but mainly just cool).
Invest in a window fan
If it’s cooler outside than inside at night, set a fan on the window sill to draw colder air into the bedroom – you will feel a difference in minutes!
Decorate with plants
Plants consume both water and sunlight to survive, so certain plants will leave the air around them a little bit cooler – that’s why the shade of a tree is more refreshing than taking cover in the shade of a building.
Swap up your sheets
Who doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping?! While flannel sheets are great for the chillier months, cotton is the ideal summertime bedding as it’s lighter and more breathable. Light colours will also reflect sunlight, so opt for softer shades.
Close the blinds
Basking in the sun and throwing those windows open for some fresh air might seem like the best solution but keeping the curtains closed or the blinds down will drastically reduce the temperature indoors – so if you’re out for the day, keep the sunlight at bay.
Cool yourself, rather than your house
If you’re still feeling like your house is a hotbox, try cooling down yourself rather than your home. Ice packs applied to pulse points, light, loose clothing and taking a cold shower are just a few suggestions to help you chill out – literally.
It is a confrontation fierce enough to rival a battle between King Kong and Godzilla.
But there used to be only one winner.
Journalists had the upper hand over public relations people because ultimately, they had the power to either use or bin the press releases they were sent.
When I started in journalism PRs were viewed as a few rungs down the ladder from us professional wordsmiths. It was seen as a rather grubby profession you might take up when your journalistic career had run its course and you wanted a few more quid in your back pocket and an easy life.
How times have changed.
Bright, talented graduates are now favouring a career in communications rather than taking a risk stepping onto the shifting sands of the media sector. Cost pressures on the media, particularly the printed press, mean there are now fewer journalists to fill more space. There is a demand for content and the journalists just don’t have the time to find, develop and write every story in a newspaper or on a website. Many publishers have jettisoned experienced – and more expensive – reporters and replaced them with eager, but inexperienced journalists.
They are bound to lack contacts and so forging strong and trusted relationships with PRs helps them deliver the content that their publications and websites crave on an hourly, never mind daily, basis. Receiving well-written press releases on interesting subjects is manna from heaven for busy journalists with too little time to fill too much space.
So the relationship between journalists and PRs today is more like 50:50.
Both appreciate what the other can do for them and they have a mutual respect for each other. I for one believe this is a fair reflection of the modern relationship between those who report the news and those paid to promote positive messages about their clients. Of course, a balance has to be struck. Nobody really wants to view media packed full of just press releases. Unfortunately that is the level to which some publications have now fallen.
So is there an ideal balance?
I think journalists accepting well-written and interesting submissions from PRs is fine, as long as they are comfortable with the style and content. In theory, this should then give the reporters the time to develop stories of their own that can sit comfortably alongside those emailed in by eager PR people.
The once confrontational relationship between journalists and PRs has developed into one of grudging respect and that is how it should be.
Although I still defy any journalist not to lose their temper when a well-meaning but geographically naive PR person from London rings you in Leeds with a story about Birmingham.
When I asked the caller why the Yorkshire Post would be interested in a press release about a company in the Midlands, I was greeted with the response:
“Well, it’s near you isn’t it?”
David Parkin is media entrepreneur, blogger and event host. He is the founder of regional business website TheBusinessDesk.com and a former business editor of the Yorkshire Post.
Email: email@example.comRead >
As a seasoned festival goer, it’s only taken me until recently to experience a metropolitan festival – a concept that’s been slowly on the rise in the UK and is now a booming part of this country’s live music scene.
It’s not hard to see why. Whilst trudging across muddy fields and not showering for four days has its appeal for some, many would prefer a more laid back environment but one that still enables them to experience some of the best up-and-coming artists Europe has to offer, in a short space of time.
Live at Leeds was the first taste of such an event – being local it was a no-brainer at just £30 a ticket. An award-winning festival, thousands of people not only from Yorkshire but across the UK, flock to see hundreds of artists play in a variety of venues across the city. Despite 12 hours of walking, it felt really relaxed, we even managed to stop for tea and cake and we saw all the acts we wanted to. A big thumbs up.
So it’s safe to say whilst Glastonbury is still on the cards and will always be my true festival love, I’ll certainly be hitting the streets of cities across the UK to have a taste of a few more metropolitan events – it’s a great opportunity to explore new places too. Here’s a few that are coming up:
Starting out as a free event back in 2009, Sheffield’s infamous festival Tramlines has increased both in popularity but also success. Held for three days over a weekend in July, it’s inspired by the city’s tram network, hence the name. With an eclectic mix of artists, as showcased by this year’s line-up featuring the likes of All Saints to the Libertines, it attracts thousands each year.
A unique concept, this festival takes place over the last May bank holiday – but in three UK cities. Known for unearthing the country’s best new talent, Dot To Dot returns to Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham this year, with a day in each city. Expect lesser known artists but ones that are likely to take the music scene by storm in years to come – London Grammar, Catfish and the Bottlemen and the 1975 have all played in previous years.
Liverpool is of course known as the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous bands, so it’s little surprise that it’s host to a music festival. This year it turns 10 years old and will see the likes of The Kooks and The Cribs as headliners over May Bank Holiday weekend. Held by Liverpool Docks, it’s a really iconic setting too.
A lesser known but equally as exciting city festival is Portsmouth’s Victorious which is held over August Bank Holiday Weekend. Set against the backdrop of the sea, the line-up is pretty impressive with Madness, Stereophonics and Elbow headlining. This one does offer offsite camping too, so you can experience the best of both worlds.
Finally, we couldn’t end without a nod to the ultimate metropolitan festival held in London. Hosted in Finsbury Park, Wireless has more of a hip-hop urban vibe and will see Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd and Skepta play to thousands this July. With high street retailers as sponsors and merchandise galore, this one’s definitely a bit more on the commercial side – but offers a good time nevertheless!Read >
Here at Lucre, we love food (who doesn’t?) and with it being the year of all things unicorn themed, chocolate ladened and charcoal coloured, there are some certain trends we should seriously be looking out for.
Dairy-free lovers should look past the almond and soy milk – it’s time to think camel. Camel milk is the new superfood which is already widely consumed in Australia – camel milk pannacotta is a thing. The milk contains around ten times more iron and nearly three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk and researchers claim it can help those suffering from dairy intolerances, diabetes and gut and bowel problems. Sounds pretty super to us.
If vino is your favourite tipple, keep an eye out for orange wine and it’s not the Aperol Spritz kind. This ‘fourth wine’ is rich in flavour and its name derives purely from colour – it’s not made of citrus fruits. Normally the wine process involves removing the skin of the grapes however this wine has the skin left on to produce colour. We believe that if it’s good enough for the Ritz, it should be on the must-try list.
Gluten-free eaters can breathe a sigh of relief – more exciting flavours for cooking and baking will finally be hitting the shelves. Though coconut flour and all coconut products are set to continue rocketing, your almond, gluten-free white, rice and potato flours can all be put to one side. Banana flour is made from green bananas making it sweeter in taste and perfect for low-sugar baking and chia flour will become more mainstream this year. Coffee flour (milled from the wasted fruit of the coffee bean) promises more protein, fibre and iron than regular flour but none of the caffeine hit – sorry coffee lovers. Not different enough for you? Give cricket flour (yes, crickets) a try; all the protein, none of the crunch.
The fruit and vegetables on our shelves will start to look a little more interesting, too. Forget breeding dogs, you’ll have snack-sized hybrids instead. Kalettes, kale and sprouts, cucamelons, cucumber like watermelons, will appear in more menus, it’s not all trickery. Kumquats and mangosteen will become more widely used too and kiwi berries (grape sized kiwis you can eat whole) are just a handful of what’ll be making an appearance for 2017.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Heston Blumenthal had been let loose in our supermarkets but don’t be surprised to be picking any of these up in the aisles and into your kitchens, very soon.
Even though it may feel a bit far from summer at the moment with the intermittent sunshine amidst cold and grey weather, you can brighten your day with our top picks for summer cocktails. Where you will most likely recognise or know some very well, others might surprise you by their cheeky twists, and leave you with an idea of what to drink and how to make it yourself.
Being Britain’s favourite summer cup, we obviously had to have the beloved Pimms on top of the list.
As easy as the classic recipe might be to remember (even after a few), you sometimes just need it to be a tiny bit more exciting. So, why not try ‘Pimms PimPom’?
1 part Pimm’s
3 parts Pomegranate
Mix all ingredients in a highball or half pint glass.
Garnish with orange and ripped basil
We bet you thought mojitos couldn’t get any more refreshing than in their original form, but rest assured, mojito slushies not only twist the classic (well known) mojito experience but leaves you feeling well refreshed. Don’t be too eager on these slushies though; finishing a little too quickly could remind you how a good old “brain freeze” feels like.
How to make them yourself? That’s easy – and only takes 10 minutes!
1/2 c. fresh lime juice (about 4 to 6 limes)
1/4 c. agave
1/3 c. fresh mint leaves
Zest of 2 limes
1/2 c. light rum
Mint sprigs and lime wedges for garnish
Add the lime juice, agave, mint leaves, lime zest, and rum to a blender. Blend until smooth. Fill the blender to top with ice and blend until slushy.
Pour into glasses, garnishing each with a sprig of mint and a lime slice.
Dreaming about bounty beaches, easy days strolling around in just a bikini and sun kissed skin won’t come closer to taste like a Piña Colada – Tip: Use fresh pineapple to make it extra tropical!
4 oz. spiced rum
4 oz. coconut milk
1/3 c. fresh pineapple chunks
Splash pineapple juice
2 maraschino cherries
1 c. Ice
Add rum, coconut milk, pineapple chunks and juice to a blender with ice. Blend until smooth.
Pour into 2 glasses.
Garnish each glass with a pineapple chunk and a maraschino cherry.
A traditional Italian “ice-breaker” which during the past few years has made its way into the hearts of the brits and during the summer period become a true challenger to the frizzy Prosecco. And it’s not only for Hackney hipsters in top hats and lion-tamer moustaches but one for mum and dad as well. Best thing is, it’s SO easy to make!
75ml Prosecco (3 parts)
50ml Aperol (2 parts)
A splash of soda water (1 part)
1 slice of orange
A handful of ice cubes
… and if it’s been a looooong day, add 25ml gin.
Add lots of ice to a large white wine glass, pour over the Aperol, followed by the Prosecco (and gin if using).
Stir once and finish the drink with a splash of soda water and a slice of orange.
Sex on the Beach
As another classic, we couldn’t finish the list without mentioning the famous Sex on the beach. It’s refreshing, it’s fruity and gives you a boozy kick – A fantastic summer cocktail!
1.5 oz. Vodka
0.5 oz. Peach Schnapps
1.5 oz. Orange /or Pineapple juice
1.5 oz. Cranberry juice
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake, and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with an orange wheel.
Finally, as you are now familiar with both the ingredients necessary and how to mix them, why not try all of them? No doubt we’ll be on it as soon as the weekend kicks in!Read >
As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, attention shifts back to our outdoor living areas. Whether it’s a balcony, small courtyard garden or vast expanses of lawn, there’s an abundance of exciting and cost-effective methods to spruce up an alfresco space. Here are some trends set to take 2017 by storm:
Far removed from the days of wobbly, plastic tables and chairs, this year will see a rise in creating an indoor feel, outdoors. Waterproofed lounge furniture, outdoor rugs and occasional tables gives a relaxed vibe to alfresco dining, perfect for tapas and sangria fuelled evenings. For smaller areas such as yards and balconies, French-style café tables and chairs, slim potted plants and outdoor, wall-mounted mirrors help to give a sense of luxury and space.
Embrace the wild
Shake off the shackles of perfectly trimmed hedges and borders with a scattering of wild flower seeds. Available at all good garden centres, mixed packs will give colourful surprises when flowering and due to their hardy nature, they’re happy even in the most hostile of places; including gravel patches and partially shaded corners.
Darkness to light
When dusk falls, extend the opening hours of your outdoor space with exciting lighting. Fire pits make for a dramatic centre piece, while log candles add a rustic, campfire feel. For a more whimsical approach, opt for rows of fairy light bulbs or battery powered string lanterns for night-long illumination.Read >
The ancient practice of yoga, which finally gained prominence in the West in the 1980s, is undergoing a rebrand as yogis across Germany, Australia and the Far East are taking to enjoying a bottle of their favourite tipple while seeking mental, physical and spiritual nirvana. Known as Beer Yoga, it’s the latest health and fitness craze due to hit our shores.
For years we’ve been told that alcohol (a diuretic) and exercise are not best friends. England’s Edge Hill University even found that “just smelling alcohol was enough to weaken people’s willpower”, so what’s changed? Well, there are no prizes for guessing that the trend originated in Germany, a country that is reported to consume 116 litres of amber nectar per capita per year.
Has the German beer industry seen the marketing opportunity of a lifetime following the explosion of yoga worldwide? Are there genuine benefits to this practice, or is it too good to be true? Or, perhaps the world has simply gone mad. We’ll let you be the judge, but what’s for certain is that it shan’t be long before a Beer Yoga comes to a park near you.
Nothing excites us more than packing our bags and whisking ourselves away to destinations new. Each year we read and hear about places that inspire us and our wish list grows ever longer. We asked around to find out the destinations and holiday experiences that are on the bucket list for the Lucre team this summer:
Iceland has well and truly made it on to bucket lists of globetrotters around the world. Since 2010, visitor numbers have increased from 490,000 to an expected 2.3 million visitors this year according to the Icelandic Tourism Board, with its most famous attraction being the elusive Northern Lights. The island is full of adventures and surprises on every corner. The west coast offers a beautiful 100km coastline which has been conserved as a national park. You can spot whales, see stunning waterfalls and walk trails connecting the inland with the seaside. One thing to note, you might want to brush up on your Icelandic etiquette before you depart; the tourist board has launched the “Iceland Academy” campaign to encourage clueless holidaymakers to visit more than just the tourist hotspots – one of them entitled ““How to Avoid Hot Tub Awkwardness”.
The weak pound may be making holidays more expensive, but the good news is that long haul flights have dropped by up to 18% since 2016, with the greatest price drop being Vancouver. This makes the great metropolis of British Columbia sitting on the western coast of Canada more accessible than ever before. The city offers everything: A mixture of culture, amazing cuisine, lakes and beaches galore and of course, the mountains. In summer you can bike around the city and beaches or spot a Grisly at nearby Grouse Mountain. In winter, nearby Whistler offers great skiing for a perfect winter holiday.
Santorini was one of the most trending holiday destinations in 2016 and it looks like its popularity has failed to waiver in 2017. And for a good reason! The island offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world over beaches and cliffs across the island’s blue and white rooftops. And how can you not fall in love with the thought of gazing out to sea with a glass of Retzina, a Greek salad and olives whilst watching an unforgettable sunset? The currency in Greece, of course, is the Euro but the country’s current economic troubles mean that it can still be a cheap holiday option, if you know where to look.
The land of the rising sun has been on our bucket list for a while now; however, its newfound status as one of the world’s gastronomical centres has really cemented it as one of our most-coveted destinations. Sushi and Grill restaurants are on every corner, as are ramen bars – a gastronomical hit that has exploded in cities worldwide in the past year. If you like your wagyu steak or sashimi with a price tag that won’t make you faint, head to one of many stand-up restaurants frequented by value-conscious diners across Tokyo. If you don’t mind splashing the cash, the Japanese capital has a mind-blowing 226 Michelin-starred restaurants. It’s unsurprising, then, that Saveur magazine named it the “world’s best food city” – we need to go.
Noticed that your Instagram feed is filling up with snaps of Lisbon’s charming old town? That’s because this beautiful city is one of the trendiest places to take a city break in 2017. With amazing seafood and sunsets on rooftop bars, Lisbon offers warmth, culture and gastronomy aplenty, plus of course the opportunity for an array of stylish holiday snaps. It is cheap for solo travel, couples or group travellers and hotels are generally better value for money than most cities in Europe. We’ll be travelling in the off-season to ensure we get the best deal.
With the cycling line up announced for the upcoming Tour de Yorkshire, all eyes are yet again on God’s own County, even more so as a holiday destination.
There are times we need a break from our daily routine and what can be better than a weekend or day away from the city? The only decision we have to make is where we would like to go. At Lucre we have a passion for travel and even more so, exploring what’s on the doorstep of our Leeds office. We realised people travel to faraway destinations and forget we have a stunning countryside right in front of us!
Since Yorkshire was chosen for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in summer 2014, Yorkshire has attracted nearly 40 million visitors each year. And for good reason! Tourists from all over the world annually visit the beauty of Yorkshire, its culture, nature and history. But when is the best time to go? To be honest, we all know nobody comes to Yorkshire for the weather but summer is definitely the first choice to go for walks in the Dales, the Peaks or the Moors. If you’re craving some sea air the coastline with its old stone-built towns and stunning beaches are a great weekend getaway. In winter, though we’re glad to wave goodbye, we love to get cosy in ancient sandstone pubs and sit by the fireplace.
And what is there not to love about the county? We have a great drink and food culture. Yorkshire is a historic centre of brewing beers in England which is probably the reason our region has a decent pub around each corner, serving proper pints. And we love a Sunday roast with a Yorkshire pudding covered in gravy. On a summer’s day, there’s nothing better than a day trip to the coastline, some takeaway fish and chips and ice cream. We have the best tea in the world, too – at least from our perspective!
If you want to go shopping, visit Leeds city centre with its huge offering of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife and if you’re looking to experience the best Yorkshire ales, Hull and Sheffield have one of the biggest pub cultures in the North. But for a day out of the city for some fresh air, there are three national parks all within a couple of hour’s drive – the Lake District, the Moors and the Dales – and the coast with some stunning wildlife, nature and historical sites like Whitby Abbey.
Besides nature and food, Yorkshire offers some different cultural experiences. Hull is the 2017 City of Culture of course – but other places such as York offer an amazing cultural experience and with the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield & Yorkshire Sculpture Park there are some interesting art pieces to find. For someone who’s more into films, Leeds and Sheffield hold an annual film festival which is well worth checking out.
A tip from us locals is ‘layers’ – always pack waterproofs, an umbrella, some sun cream and sunglasses because you never know how the weather will turn out during the day. Yorkshire offers some perfect day trips or weekends away as it has so much to offer. It’s definitely worth exploring more often.
Almost every one of us has been there…having a browse on Facebook, checking what our mates got up to at the weekend whilst we wait for the bus, when suddenly a friend request pops up. Upon opening the request, it dawns upon you that Great Aunt Dolly has got Facebook, and she wants to be your ‘friend’.
Putting aside the mental gymnastics we’ve all done to justify ignoring the friend request, one thing is clear – Facebook’s audience is getting older and is no longer limited to a younger market. According to Hootsuite, 56% of online users in the US aged 65+ are using Facebook, and a whopping 79% of 30-49 year olds are joining the ranks of the social savvy on that channel too.
Social media platforms have traditionally been seen as a space for young people to share their lives with friends, but now the parents and grandparents of this generation are getting in on the act. So, what does it mean for PR and social media activity?
Our insights suggest that women aged 40-65+ are 40% more likely to engage with posts on Facebook than the average user. They’re also 13% more likely to click on an ad or boosted post making them an active and lucrative audience for the right brands or content.
As this ever-growing audience begins to connect with friends and their favourite brands, it offers PR agencies the opportunity to engage them with exciting, creative and targeted content, sure to drive the conversation around brands and have them tagging friends and sharing in no time.
We’ll leave you with a few of our favourite social influencers that are showing the world that age is no barrier to being a social star!
Baddie has a staggering three million Instagram followers and has worked with brands such as Misguided to help reach new audiences.
“Stealing yo man since 1928”… need we say anymore?
This New York style icon has over 500,000 followers on Instagram and lives by the motto “More is more & less is bore”. Preach.
Over the last few weeks, people may have noticed Facebook users sharing rare sightings of the lesser-spotted Facebook rocket on their social feeds, calling for the community to confirm its purpose on their timeline.
For those not yet in the know, Facebook has introduced the rocket icon to just a handful of users as part of its test for a second, complementary News Feed concept. Hoping to introduce people to fresh new content they wouldn’t have otherwise accessed, this customised feed is filled with videos, stories and articles that Facebook algorithms believe the user will be interested in.
Whilst Facebook is already suggesting content based on what users have previously engaged with, it’s thought the new feed only provides content from pages that are unknown to the user as well as items that their friends and family have reacted to. As a result, it allows users to connect with content they won’t have seen to date – broadening their social horizons!
But what does this mean for PR and content creation? Whilst it’s not yet known at this stage whether the rocket icon will be rolled out to all Facebook users, or the final details of how the second feed would work, the one thing we believe here at Rich is that customising content will only increase in importance as these explore-style functions continue to pop up across social channels.
When developing content briefs, it’s often tempting to set out trying to please as many audiences as possible in order to maximse your reach, your budget and ‘spread the net’ as far as you can. Knowing your specific audience and daring to tailor make content and promotional plans for their needs, rather than creating for the masses, can be more daunting than you’d think but it’s certainly necessary to ensure success. There’s a big difference between people seeing content and openly engaging with it. And, as more and more emphasis is placed on engagement through algorithms and dedicated exploration feeds, we’ll need to be more pinpointed with our content than ever to ensure we’re saying something relevant to the right people in order to inspire that all important reaction that will get your content noticed and shared.Read >
Where Brits are headed in the culinary world
The results are in and it’s official, we’re a nation of foodies – well, sort of.
Coining the term ‘Culinary Magpie’, the latest Great British Chefs Insight report has shown a real resurgence of food trends from 50-60 year ago, with foodies looking to cook things from scratch, whether that’s jams, chutneys and pickles or the more technical coq au vin, we’re willing to get our hands dirty and give it a go!
The modern-day British foodie’s kitchen contains all the bells and whistles that you might expect from a start-up restaurant. The likes of ice-cream makers, pizza stones and spiralisers have become commonplace and it turns out that around 40 per cent of us own specialist equipment needed for pickling, 13 per cent for brewing beer, and an enthusiastic five per cent curing their own salami*.
When it comes to whipping up a quick, nutritious dinner, foodies steer well clear of microwave or ready meals and takeaways are likely to be sourced from local restaurants as opposed to chain stores. The esteemed foodie has the creativity to throw something together based on whatever they can find in the cupboard, with pasta being the main go-to as it’s easy to create but still delicious, so long as you don’t use a store-bought sauce…
While foodies as a whole are a talented bunch, modesty is not their strong point. When surveyed, 82 per cent said they’re much better cooks than their parents, taking inspiration from books (88%) or online (85%)*. Eating out is another important source of knowledge with the majority recreating what they’ve been served in British restaurants or on holidays abroad. Copy-cat cooking is also on the up thanks to the boom of televised cooking shows such as Masterchef and Great British Bake Off as an adventurous 83 per cent cook dishes they’ve seen on-screen.
The famed Sunday roast is still a fighting favourite for Brits, however foodies have taken a truly global approach to eating. More of us are branching out to try exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo, buffalo and crocodile. A peek inside our kitchen cupboards surprisingly reveals more fish sauce than brown sauce along with copious amounts of coconut milk, soy sauce and tinned tomatoes.
Overall, the recent survey from Great British Chefs highlights exactly how the world of food has changed so dramatically from as little as ten years ago, when things like fish sauce and spiraliser machines were housed solely in expert kitchens. We’re hoping to see more unusual ingredients becoming readily available in the next five to ten years with an onslaught of eager, budding foodies to match!
In not-so-breaking news, this week Theresa May triggered Article 50 and in doing so, ushered Britain head first into Brexit negotiations.
For months, every industry in the UK has been pondering Brexit’s impact; how will it affect international travel, for example, or what will the impact be on the pound? All jokes aside, we’re in for an interesting couple of years and one of the most talked about topics is the housing market. As the FT reports, analysis by Google shows that property concerns are rampant with searches prefaced with “How will Brexit affect…” followed by “house prices”, rather than “the economy” or “immigration”. So, what are the experts saying for homeowners and house hunters?
The Evening Standard’s Homes & Property recently enlisted a team of professionals to share their thoughts and they collectively had quite a sunny outlook, forecasting a more stable property market, a rise in house sales and no rise in interest rates. However some of these predictions were based on historical patterns and this is one milestone the UK has not yet faced. Zoopla’s founder, Alex Chesterman, speaking to the Express says that purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions we make and so naturally there’s a lull in sales during “times of uncertainty”, meanwhile The Telegraph tells us that it all depends on the UK’s economic health, which is “difficult to forecast”.
While these opinions are all interesting takes, they lead us to the same conclusion: it’s still too soon to tell. It’s a frustrating outcome but one we’ll probably have to get used to for the next two years. At least we can rest assured that we’re all under the same roof.Read >
The concept of hygge proved to be a publishers’ dream in 2016 with seemingly everyone in Britain subscribing to the Nordic philosophy of wellbeing and simple home comforts. But the benefits of thinking Danishly extend beyond interior design.
A new report (released in March 2017) has identified the top 20 happiest countries to live in, and an impressive four out of the top five are Nordic countries. Food for thought when considering the concept of contentment and the role that has to play in how we live our lives beyond the flickering of candlelight and a well-placed throw.
The World Happiness Report is carried out annually and measures happiness and life satisfaction levels in 155 countries worldwide. The study also takes in to account societal influences such as perceptions of corruption and freedom to make life choices, which lead to the US falling to 14th place this year, as well as factors such as equality, GDP per capita, life expectancy and social support.
The UK rose up the ranks by four places this year, making an appearance at number 19 in the chart, with our neighbours in Ireland entering at number 15.
However, it’s the Nordic countries which take centre stage in the findings this year, and to whom the global audience should turn to as a benchmark for successful living. While not everywhere is lucky enough to call home the breath-taking scenery that makes up much of this part of the world, and which undoubtedly must play a role in the fulfilling lives of locals, there are certain factors that can be shared.
Low income tax, free healthcare and higher education as well as excellent welfare and social support systems are all factors which contribute to reducing the wealth gap, meaning money does less of the talking. Instead, a rewarding social life is higher up the agenda, contributing to a shared higher quality of life. The countries also enjoy a long-life expectancy and peaceful politics – not forgetting of course a great sense of style!
The Top Five Happiest Places to Live in the World in 2017:
(The team from Lucre working on the Natures Menu account, with their pets; Top L2R – Janine with Ruby, Rose with Billie. Bottom L2R – Tamarind with Murphy, Emma with Oscar)
Leading PR and content agency, The Lucre Group, has today announced its latest account win for its Home & Lifestyle division; Natures Menu.
Natures Menu, The UK’s number one company for raw pet food and Europe’s leading expert in raw, has tasked the agency with extending its brand awareness to educate consumers on the benefits of a raw food diet for pets. A rolling contract, activities for 2017 will include media and blogger engagement, product launches, elevated news campaigns and social media support. The appointment is the result of highly competitive pitch process, beating two other agencies.
Dawn Spiby, Marketing Director at Natures Menu said: “Lucre excelled at every stage of the pitch process, so it was an easy decision to appoint them as our retained agency. Their understanding of our brand and its future direction, combined with the team’s passion, really set them apart. We are very much looking forward to working with the team, and their pets, to educate the owner community on the health benefits of switching to a raw food diet.”
Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Lucre co-owner and Director added: “This brand perfectly complements our existing portfolio and the personal passions of the team – we’re mad about animals! It’s great to be working with a client that has such exciting plans and one that is so committed to the health and well-being of the nation’s pets. That combined with superb products and a bunch of clever people means that our task of making helping Natures Menu be more front of mind will be a relatively easy one.”
Everybody has heard the old adage “you eat with your eyes” but is it true? In the last month over the course of two very different culinary dates, my girlfriend and I have really put that theory to the test. Firstly, an extremely visual food sensation at Leeds’s only Michelin-starred restaurant The Man behind the Curtain and then eating in the complete dark at London restaurant Dans Le Noir. But which was better? What did I learn about the roles our senses play in our experience of food? And wider afield what does it mean for how brands appeal to all our senses?
“It looks too good to eat,” and the antonym “it looks good enough to eat” are things we’ve all said. Both demonstrate how our perception of food and eating is closely connected to our sight. But when the option to see what you are eating, as I experienced at Dans Le Noir, is removed is one’s experience of food affected? The answer is undoubtedly yes and for me, I’m afraid, it wasn’t for the better. I can conclude categorically that I like being able to see my food and what’s more it increases my enjoyment of a meal.
The contrast between the two meals couldn’t have been starker. Michael O’Hare’s food at The Man behind the Curtain is cosmic in appearance because it resembles a nebula star whereas the experience at Dans Le Noir was cosmic because it was as black as deepest darkest space. However, intriguingly there were similarities. At both meals I didn’t always know what I was eating. At Dans le Noir this was because I couldn’t’ see my food and wasn’t told what I was eating. One had to rely entirely on taste to identify the food, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. At The Man behind the Curtain despite being able to see the food and being given very detailed descriptions of what was on the plate, I still didn’t always know what I was eating simply because the creations were so fantastical. Edible egg shell, for example, blew my fragile little mind.
Food and drink is best enjoyed when all our senses are stimulated. What’s more our relationship between food and drink and senses is well known by brands and frequently exploited. The most tempting treats (those that are bad for us) are always sold at eye-line in the supermarket, coffee shops frequently waft their aromas out on to the street, and how much do you always want a Coke when you hear that pop and fizz of someone else’s can opening? It’s just as important to appeal to all the senses in the language we use when communicating and talking about food and drink. The legendary American salesman Elmer Wheeler said it best “You sell the sizzle, not the steak.”
Appealing to all our senses is essential for all brands. The consumer today wants to have experiences and an emotional relationship with the brands they buy and one way of doing this is ensuring the products and services we use excite all our senses. Brands should consider when appealing to our senses:
Sight – The sense most closely linked to our perception of things. What colours and shapes do customers associate with your brands? What emotions do these evoke? Is your brand recognisable from just its colour, shape, or logo?
Sound – This can easily be conveyed in adverts (Breakfast cereal is sold on sound alone). What sounds and music do customers associate with your brand? Do you have a catchy theme tune or tagline? What sounds do people link to your product? Also, how do people talk about your product?
Smell – The sense that is closest linked to our memories. Smells take us back to childhood or place we once knew. What smells are used in your stores? What memories does the smell of your products evoke?
Taste – This sense is not just confined to food and drink products. If your product had a flavour what might it be? How could taste be incorporated into your brand? If not a food or drink brand what food or drink product would customers associate with your brand?
Touch – The sense that the customer closest links to quality. If it feels good we think it’s good. How tactile is your product? Does it feel better than competitors? Does the customer get the opportunity to feel before they buy?
It makes good sense for brands to appeal to all our senses and they should investigate as many ways as possible to appeal all of them. Based on my two dinner dates I can testify that an experience is definitely better when all your senses are stimulated and excited. Dining in the dark was fun but for me there is definitely more enjoyment in seeing the joy in the face of the person you are with. Call me old fashioned but if I am going on a date with someone beautiful, I want to be able to see them.Read >
In its most recent ‘Best Places to Live’ report, The Times named Leeds as the best cultural place to live in the UK, beating cities like London, Bath and Manchester to come out on top!
We’re a little biased of course, but we tend to agree. Our home city is almost unrecognisable from what it was five years ago, with Trinity Leeds and Victoria Gate being just a couple of brand new shiny additions to the skyline that have helped put Leeds on the map. It’s not all about shopping though – institutes like Opera North, City Varieties and the Northern Ballet have also been major players in making Leeds the cultural hotspot that it is today.
Earlier this year we discussed how staycations will be a big part of travel in 2017 and, whilst we love that Leeds has taken the cultural crown, we’re all for championing places that make the UK such a great destination to visit. So why not make this year the year you swap Copenhagen for Cambridge, Berlin for Brighton or Dalaman for Dorset?Read >
It started as a surfer using a botched camera to film his action on the waves. But today, the GoPro camera is now a must-have on any traveller’s packing check list, a technology household name and a dream for any brand wanting its consumers to share experiences in an immersive way.
Providing a unique and incredibly personal perspective for viewers, GoPro cameras are now frequently used to maximise engagement on campaigns, events and PR stunts across the world.
One of the brands at the forefront of GoPro usage is Red Bull. Targeting adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers, the global partnership between Red Bull and GoPro has allowed viewers to immerse themselves in anything from a Formula1 race to a sky dive and its produced great results. This success has led us to expect a certain pace or feel from GoPro edits. But it’s not just fast and furious footage that can have an impact.
Way back in 2013, GoPro released a video of a fireman saving a cat from a fire, providing heart-warming moments rather than the heart-stopping ones audiences have grown used to. This type of content was met with an equally strong reaction and allowed the GoPro brand to reach out to an audience beyond exotic explorers.
This style of softer, slower and more emotionally-driven content can be seen in other campaigns but GoPros are often overlooked when it comes to capturing it, simply because of the stereoptypes we’ve become used to. Experiential restaurants, first dates or job interviews could all be possible ways for brands to still use the personal point of view that GoPros provide to tell compelling stories GoPro will continue to go hand in hand with adventure but, in the world of video creation, brands have a real opportunity to embrace this type of content at a slower pace to fit with their own products and ethos.Read >
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