Club Free Issue One, download it here.

At Crowd, we believe that change presents opportunity.  

Our latest editorial insights series, Club Free, is about groups seeking a new way of thinking about their individual liberty. It’s not freedom that’s unchecked or selfish: we talked to people who are providing each other with the support, empathy and community to exercise their freedom effectively.  

In chapter one: The Poly-Normals, we heard from married couples, young daters, content creators and community spokespeople in the US and UK who by choosing to engage in multiple romantic relationships make room for more creativity, more sharing and more openness. 

Here we dig a little deeper into this relationship energy and identify how fringe movements like polyamory can inspire more emergent strategies for mass audiences. 

The Poly-Normals are a manifestation of deeper cultural shift toward more uninhibited forms of connection. These moments can help us think differently about the way we craft product, position brands and hold a mirror to modern relationships in our communications. 

  1. Purposeful Pleasure.  

At the core of polyamory is a celebration of meaningful release; the idea that ‘letting go’ (of stereotype or expectation) doesn’t need to be a reckless act that compromises our values or the things we hold important.  

How can we create moments or new messages that lean into conscious, deliberate joy without the underbelly of guilt, shame or judgement that often comes hand in hand with prioritising our own enjoyment. 

  1. Breaking the stalemate. 

Increased understanding of intersectionality, greater social recognition of non-binary identities and a growing community of people reimagining sex and relationships. These movements don’t exist in isolation – and all point to a need for less dualistic thinking. Culture is messy, people are messy and adopting a ‘this or that’ view on how people go about life is increasingly inaccurate (and unproductive).  

How can we reframe how we understand our audience, and how we craft our strategies to connect with people in ways that are less monolithic? 

  1. Unzipping our assumptions 

Of course, not all relationships down the track will look like this. But it does suggest that there’s a growing schism between old and new ways of thinking. How can we help to challenge how we think about (and cater to) family and community? 

Learning about The Poly-Normals is part of our commitment to look at (and be inspired by) groups of people who don’t fit neatly into tick-boxes, well trodden segmentations or traditional pathways.     

We hope you find these stories interesting. And please do feel (yes) free to reach out to the Crowd DNA team to explore how this type of thinking could apply to your brand challenges.  

Club Free Issue One, download it here.

What’s all this then? Thanks to new technologies, we may soon be able to unlock the inner workings of our minds, and capitalise on our subconscious. We’re arriving at a new horizon, one that lights up the dimly-lit corners of our brains. And this will mean that cognitive liberty, ie the freedom to control our own thoughts, is set to become one of the most important topics of the next decade.

Sounds dystopian. That’s only because it is. 

Not sure if I like the sound of that. Big Tech doesn’t care. This is the final frontier for brands to stake a claim on. Did you know Apple quietly filed a patent for AirPods that monitor and track biosignals and brain activity last summer and start-up NextSense aims to sell earbuds that can collect heaps of neural data — and uncover the mysteries of grey matter for health benefits. Writing about Apple’s patent, tech expert Gautam Hazari described it as a big step in the so-called ‘Internet of Thoughts’, explaining: “The bio-sensing electrodes as on-ear EEG sensors built into the AirPods fit the generic, multipurpose device, opens the door for the IoTh to become a mainstream reality…”

But does anyone really care outside of Silicon Valley? Funny you should say that. You might have noticed that Ariana Grande’s new album and music video riffs off of the cult movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – a movie about memory-hacking 20 years almost to the day after it first hit cinemas. And while brain-hacking, and memory-altering tech has often been part of our creative inspiration, the key difference now is that this technology may well have caught up with our imaginations.

That’s pretty meta. So I’ll be able to erase memories of my ex? Not exactly. But we could, for example, be able to induce lucid dreams. One product in development is The Halo, an AI headband that will use a combination of ultrasound and machine learning models to allow users to control their own dreams. “Together we will pursue the answers to life’s biggest questions,” it teases. If we can hack our subconscious, we could access a whole new level of human understanding. Already the practice of using lucid dreaming as therapy is becoming more accepted, with more patients open to learning how to disrupt their dreams to process debilitating symptoms.

What’s the down side? Well, this scenario pretty much is an advertiser’s dream (pun intended). Think of all that untapped real estate in your brain. Forget DTC – we’d be going DTS (direct-to-source). In fact, A24’s recent movie Dream Scenario shows us a world where this can happen. And you can imagine how that pans out. Not to mention the implications for productivity – why rest when you can be on 24/7, conscious or not? – and our ability to exercise autonomy over our own thoughts. 

Seems like a dodgy threshold to be crossing. It’s a double-edged sword, a Faustian dilemma of the modern world: would you trade understanding – and access to a higher level of consciousness – for your own cognitive liberty? 

TL;DR: Brands and Big Tech are starting to reckon with the potential of our subconscious and our dreams in a way that might be equal parts enlightening and sinister, and we’re seeing these ideas trickle down into mainstream culture. Sweet dreams™. 

Club Free Launch

Club Free Issue One, download it here.

A bold claim, but we’re going with it. We’re taking Freedom back – celebrating manifestations of it that are about community and shared responsibility rather than purely self-interest.

This editorial insights series will share the many positive and motivating stories emerging from people getting to live their lives just how they want to live them (and therefore more brands needing to move on from squeezing people into old fashioned little boxes).

Chapter One, The Poly-Normals & Chapter Two, The Financial Outsiders

First up in Club Free, issue one, The Poly-Normals and The Financial Outsiders. The former: a set of people changing sexual relationships for the better, for all; the latter: an equally community-minded group living and giving outside of elitist money systems. Brought together: clear signals of just how far and wide our Club Free adventures can take us.

The two chapter report includes: 

_Introduction to the shared culture of this new freedom: embracing community, contribution and shared responsibility

_Spotlight on what brands can learn from this 

_Sharing the stories of people who are getting freedom back on track.

We hope you find these stories interesting and inspiring. And please do feel (yes) free to reach out to the Crowd DNA team to explore how this type of thinking could apply to your brand challenges. 

Club Free Issue One, download it here.

Though this is issue one, we in fact trialled some freedom material in a rather good webinar last summer – you can download our Reframing Ageing APAC and Un-Dependents reports here and here


What’s all this then? We’ve had #GutTok (over 800 million views) and posting a stool sample to a nutrition app for analysis. Now comes the next big branding of bodily functions: the drive to tap menstrual blood as a valuable health resource. 

Has ‘period positivity’ come this far? Yes. Content creator wild.witchy.woman (26.9 followers on TikTok) is among the advocates for actually drinking menses for optimum well-being… Meanwhile, healthcare start-ups are capitalising on this with research into the medical value of menstrual effluence (which contains blood, vaginal secretions, cervical mucus, and endometrial cells), and demonstrating its value to a consumer.

Tell us more… Theblood (www.theblood.io) offer a kit that will give insights into individual menstrual cycles from a sample, and can be studied for conditions such as endometriosis. Founders Isabelle Guenou and Miriam Santer believe: “Menstruation can be the answer to problems and pain”. Meanwhile, Qvin™  has designed the Q-Pad (qvin.com) for the supply of a sample of menstrual blood that can be then tested for critical health information like biomarkers for diabetes. 

So why is this ‘waste’ product being re-valued now? It’s time to take the female body seriously – all of it and especially the bits greeted with disgust. Healthcare services are being called out for failing to do so; from ‘medical gaslighting’ to blaming terminology (eg, ‘geriatric mother’; ‘hostile uterus’) and the so-called Gender Data Gap where treatments efficacy may only have been tested on male bodies. 

It’s a long way from hiding tampons up sleeves… Absolutely. To have the option of giving a blood sample that is not only for research into overlooked health issues, but taken from a bodily process often treated with unease by medical professionals (or much worse) is empowering. As one of the participants in a Qvin™ study to assess if menstrual blood can be used to screen for cervical cancer put it: “For me, it’s just a win overall if this becomes a product because it will reduce my anxiety and will give me more control over what’s going on with the testing.”

And let’s not underestimate how this research is needed: Note, in a recent review of scientific papers, Leah Hazard finds that there are about four hundred studies on menstrual effluent compared with more than fifteen thousand for semen or sperm (Womb, published 2023).

Where else is this health empowerment happening? Plugging the data gap on hormones, individuals track their cycles – to then sync to exercise, diet, skincare, mood or productivity (and yes, bypass a visit to the docs altogether and download one of the many apps to get personalised insights). There’s more and more options like this for people to choose – and therefore control – the process of tracking their health themselves. 

TL;DR: While looking at periods with wonder may have happened because people feel let down by traditional medicine, it has forced new insights, research and empowered attitudes to health. So the opposite of waste – thankfully. 

In a chaotic cultural landscape, Crowd’s Rachel Rapp and Amy Nicholson present three mindsets that create opportunity in uncertainty…

The last few years have been turbulent across the globe. From climate paralysis and political fatigue, to the cost-of-living crisis and the impact of AI, chaos has become the new normal. Finding what’s good in permacrisis – Collins’s Dictionary word of the year, 2022 – can feel overwhelming.

Luckily, at Crowd DNA, we’re partial to a bit of chaos. As our fundamental human needs shift in response to uncertainty, how we interact with brands also changes, and we think that creates opportunity. Using trends analysis, semiotics and conversations with our KIN network, we’ve identified three mindsets that brands can adopt to make sense of the mayhem. These are: hand holding, distracting, or embracing uncertainty. 

You can get a taste of how to execute against each mindset below. It’s our introduction to how brands can show up for consumers in these incalculable times. There are certainly more mindsets out there to be defined – but we hope these begin to inspire you to think about what’s right for your brand. 

Three Mindsets To Meet Shifting Human Behaviour In Uncertain Times

1. Hand Holding 

Hand holding plays into our human needs for comfort and security. The trick is to offer reassurance and stability by grounding your brand’s touch points with scenes of everyday reality, universal experiences and simple language. While we typically see hand holding in fintech, banking and insurance (industries that are looking to support consumers during the cost-of-living crisis), we’re now seeing brands from other categories presenting themselves as reassuring and stable, too.

Hand Holding: How To…

_Dial up references to familiar rituals. We see this mindset in the Food Love Stories campaign from UK supermarket chain Tesco, emphasising everyday realities – eg a family barbecue. Meanwhile, at London Fashion Week, Burberry took over a London cafe to serve up comfort food (a surprising collision of egg and chips and designer fashion). Both brands are speaking to the need for security through relatability. 

_Incorporate community values and the idea of coming together. The Levi’s 2023 campaign was about people gathering at a funeral in their trusty 501 jeans, with themes of togetherness, support, and to give a sense of belonging.

_Offer a casual, friendly tone of voice. Ganni’s use of informal emoticons suggests a relatable, peer-to-peer relationship with consumers, while Ikea’s language of togetherness creates a sense of camaraderie that cultivates trust and connection.

2. Distraction 

There’s often a craving for distraction from the uncertainty, and brands can offer this with momentary escape. Playing with time – harking back to simpler eras, using nostalgia, or transporting us toward a brighter future – are key tropes within this mindset. After all, an escape from the present is the ultimate distraction from uncertain times. 

Distraction: How To…

_Emphasise intentionally retro aesthetics and allude to nostalgia. The latest design for toaster pastries, Pop-Tarts, is a nostalgia trip back to their iconic 1960s packaging, allowing consumers to be distracted from uncertain times with comforting memories of the past.

_Tap into the surreal. The wellbeing supplement brand, Dirtea, evokes dreamscape imagery that defies reality with a product that actually levitates and positions itself as a portal to a utopian world that distracts from the uncertain present by letting consumers escape.

_Reference futurism through digitised worlds. Coca Cola has catapulted us to the year 3000 with their new release that allows a taste of the future, created using AI, all while using 2023’s Colour of the Year: Digital Lavender. This emphasis on futurist realities invites us to disengage from the present moment.

3. Embracing

This is where brands are really getting stuck into the mess by either doubling down on difficult topics, or making light of uncertainty with relatable humour. Here, we see brands lean into the chaos, by being on the consumer’s side as they find light in the darkness. And, in the more extreme examples, challenging the status quo by forcing the audience to confront an uncomfortable and uncertain future. 

Embracing: How To…

_Get people laughing by playing with the bizarre. Heinz has released its first global ad campaign in 150 years celebrating ‘irrational love’ for the brand, like the idea of putting ketchup on ice-cream, or Heinz tattoos. Elsewhere, product comparison website, Compare The Market uses a witty tone of voice to parody the temperamental British weather. Both are finding humour in the unpredictable.

_Lean into the confrontational and uncomfortable. Balenciaga’s Mud S/S 2023 showcased a dirty, post-apocalyptic world, while Isamaya Beauty has recently presented an extreme otherworldly makeup style. These encourage us to rethink our current way of living by physically immersing us in the darker side of uncertainty.

_Reframe the narrative around uncertainty. The travel planner service, Journee Trips, plays with the language of excitement and mystery to maximise the idea of discovery and adventure; celebrating not knowing your destination until you reach the airport.

Which uncertainty mindset best fits your brand? Or do you tap into another mindset altogether during these turbulent times? To find out more about the opportunities within chaos, please get in touch.

Plant-based foods are now tasty to all – even avid meat-eaters. Crowd DNA’s Céline Longden-Naufal decodes how this happens by countering veganism’s sombre reputation with playful pleasure

An avid meat eater chooses a beefless burger. A shopper picks Beyond Meat sausages with no thought to animal welfare. Or a vegan dish is ordered by someone who has no rules about what they can or can’t eat. For those who enjoy plant based not as a strict choice, or a way of life, how do these products appeal to this less rigid person?

As part of our regular cultural decode series, we analyse how La Vie (a plant-based bacon and lardon alternative product) does this by fostering a more playful and approachable attitude to plant-based diets. We look at how it engages with the flexible consumer, to “unite everyone at the same table, no matter their dietary preferences,” as La Vie co-founder Nicholas Schweitzer puts it. And how this hybrid market is being created without severing the important ties to the environmental considerations and ethics that are the historic (and still beating) heart of the veganism movement.

1. Plant-based as playful pleasure

La Vie’s use of bright, clashing block colours to amplify the hand-drawn illustrations of anthropomorphised characters recall children’s cartoons, coding the plant-based world as bringing a child-like wonder to what has traditionally been seen as a sombre subject. This marries well with a cheeky and down-to-earth tone of voice (eg “Made from plants, not from ass!”) that suggests engagement with a grown-up audience, communicating an adult playfulness. It sparks our childhood imaginative freedom and puts it through the lens of age appropriate wit. Meanwhile, the dynamism and eccentricity of those cartoons elevates the plant-based ethos in more energetic and stimulating ways – all in all, La Vie is positioned as an uplifting and pleasurable indulgence for all ages.

2. Plant-based as light-heartedly rebellious 

While the switch to plant-based diets are usually stemmed from deep-rooted ethical, health and environmental issues, these are often fuelled by aggression and bleakness. La Vie’s use of relevant puns (eg “Bacon that doesn’t make the planet sizzle”) brings light and humour to important issues around sustainability and health.  Playing with brand’s cultural stereotype to push plant-based products – like “Ze award-winning French plant-based bacon now available in Sonzburries” – also codes this space as pushing boundaries without taking itself too seriously. We often see in millennial humour used to convey realism with topics that are considered serious. Imagery of counterculture symbols (eg planet earth giving the peace sign) connotes a 1970s hippie aesthetic, coding plant-based as being an optimistic steward of the environment and ethics, rather than the bringer of doom and gloom.

3. Plant-based as approachable and flexible 

Traditionally, vegans have been the primary focus for plant-based products where the vegan credentials of a product took priority over being a tasty. The visuals of dishes that incorporate non-vegan components (eg eggs) code plant-based lifestyles as expansive and adaptable. Imagery of full, brightly colourful dishes and glistening ingredients resemble the images we see on diner menus that are known for rich foods, and suggests that plant-based lifestyles can also be tantalising and indulgent. Meanwhile, with breakfast being an integral part of family life, utilising this uniting symbol of a comforting routine evokes approachability. And the use of familiar pop culture references (eg “On Mondays we wear pink” – from Mean Girls) and inclusive language (eg “For meat lovers and vegans”) makes this space accessible for everyone. 

Plant-based brands are continuously striving for new and creative ways to entice consumers to veganism without losing their traditional customers. Introducing a whimsical playfulness and light-hearted activism rather than the historical scare-mongering tactics allows others to ease into plant-based options without eating it with a side order of guilt.

La Vie champions these shifts without compromising on indulgence and taste to transport consumers to a novel yet familiar plant-based world. It allows them to rethink their engagement with health and planet without leaving a bad taste in their mouth. 

Need help on food brand placement? Get in touch at: hello@crowdDNA.com

Waste-Not-Want-More

How ‘zero-waste’ became the new immersive dining experience – Crowd’s Phoebe Trimingham looks at our appetite for sustainable haute cuisine…

City Limits Volume Nine – download it here.

In our latest issue of City Limits – our regular exploration of changing urban experience – we look at solutions to world problems in the food business – from climate labels on menus to floating farms. One of our spotlights on sustainability is the rise of the zero-waste restaurant as not only a call to action, but an immersive experience for the diner.

Cities around the world are full of immersive dining experiences. From eating dinner in a makeshift aircraft, to sipping cocktails in the cupboard of a pawn-shop; going out for a meal is no longer just about the food. For those looking beyond standard dining experiences, meals are accompanied by a spectacle. So much so that experience fatigue has set in. 

So where do you turn when all the ‘experiences’ have been had? When you’re served yet another once-in-a-lifetime theatre show while trying to eat your soup? You turn back to the real hero: the food. Forward-thinking restaurants in global cities are shunning the temptation for distracting entertainment, and letting the food become the experience again. 

Enter the zero-waste restaurants: establishments attempting to do away with food waste entirely. Here, the food becomes the focus as diners buy into the admirable attempt at fully sustainable dining. While the issue of waste is certainly not a recent obsession for the restaurant industry – lots of places have been experimenting with sustainability for decades – what’s new is the front and centering of the efforts, and the glamorisation that goes with it.

Silo in London, for example, is designed ‘back to front’ with the bin in mind (irony being they don’t actually have a bin, they don’t need one). All food is used in its entirety – think cured mushroom stems and yeast treacle. Any leftovers are composted and sent back to their hyperlocal suppliers. Like Silo, Helsinki’s Nolla (‘zero’ in Finnish) sends compost back into the system, but guests are welcome to take home a scoopful too – a different kind of doggy bag. It’s philosophy of ‘refuse, reduce, reuse, and only as a last resource, recycle’ is consistent, from a reusable coffee container and a composter (above) to not accepting food that comes in single use plastic.

Meanwhile, Mume in Taipei has a dedicated sourcing manager (rare in a small, Asian restaurant) with the mission to champion underrated Taiwanese ingredients and zero-waste cooking practices.

These places strive to avoid food leftovers, but also any scrap of rubbish. Rhodora in Brooklyn – a fully sustainable wine bar also ‘waging a war against waste’ – shreds wine boxes into compost material and donates corks to an organisation that turns them into shoes. Everything is transported on bikes. Back at Silo, plates are made from plastic bags, wall lights from crushed bottles, and ceiling fixtures from dried seaweed. This all-in approach to the zero-waste concept is what makes these restaurants a fully immersive dining experience – no gimmick-y entertainment required.  

But these restaurants aren’t cheap: they’re all mid to high-end. This is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, sustainability is definitely something to be coveted, but why is the experience of it not more accessible? Secondly, could the price points actually work in sustainability’s favour? Making zero-waste dining a sexy, high-end experience brands the concept as an aspirational lifestyle. Like the Tesla car model, fancy zero-waste restaurants could, in turn, make the thought of intensive recycling more desirable – eggshell compost and all.  

Saying that, it is a bit odd to glamorise something that should be an everyday activity. If people are playing at sustainability when they dine out, are they less likely to practise it at home? The very act of going out for a meal that has been beautifully prepared for you distances it – managing food waste becomes something to passively experience and admire, rather than actively do. 

Either way, city diners are hungry for new, immersive experiences – and zero-waste restaurants are a welcome addition to the menu.

City Limits Volume Nine – download it here.

Innovation in the healthy food and drink space is becoming more adventurous, responding to a growing desire for more complex, emotional connections to the natural world. Celine Longden-Naufal from our Crowd Signs semiotics team investigates how brands are encoding this new explorative frontier into their products...

Beyond the old oat milks and pea-based protein powders, we’re seeing a new wave of creativity and exploration in the healthy food and drink landscape, one that embraces a deeper emotional connection to the natural world. This emergent outlook is not only more playful, but also more complex, involving tantalising fusions of the ancient and innovative.

Age-old processes such as fermentation are being refreshed to create indulgent desserts. Experimental ingredients such as mushrooms and seaweed are enhancing our morning coffee. And even luxury spirits are breaking with tradition, toying with the alternative and unorthodox.  

Here, we’re taking a look at how the semiotics of this new frontier are playing out. We analyse how brands optimise these innovations to help us keep healthy, but also foster a sense of interconnectedness with nature. This, in turn, stimulates emotional and imaginative satisfaction, now part of any balanced, healthy diet. 

Mythical Escape – Isle Of Harris Distillery

Healthy foods are often portrayed as having a light touch, with ‘natural-ness’ encoded through minimal packaging design and aesthetics. Traditional ingredients are used as reminders of a cleaner, simpler time.  But, brands such as the Isle Of Harris Distillery are drawing from ancient magic and historical mystery to enhance the excitement of innovative ingredients such as algae.

The product is shown withstanding the forces of nature. It’s positioned among grass blown by strong wind, crashing waves and roaring fire, which encode power and natural invigoration in all environments. The imperfectly ridged textured bottle resembles ripples or fish scales, communicating an appreciation for all of Scotland’s marine bounty.  

The glass bottle and cork stopper connote potion bottles from childhood fairytales, and the luminescent blue of the gin itself resembles hypnotic bioluminescent algae, evoking enchantment and a magical escape. This is also communicated by the fantastical descriptions of the Scottish lands, from where the hero ingredient originates – ‘From the wind-blown seas of Luskentyre to the sweeping sands of Seilebost.’ 

Through these signals of natural mysticism and fantasy, the Isle Of Harris Distillery embeds itself within a vibrant ecological network, inviting the consumer to engage with a widened multi-species way of thinking. The brand playfully revives and integrates ancient ingredients and wisdoms to bring a sense of wonder and magic into the lives of consumers. Sometimes the way forward lies in the deep (sometimes primordial) past.

Surreal Elevation – DIRTEA 

Once a motif of earthy folk culture, the humble mushroom is having a wholesale rebrand, with fungi’s powers as a meat alternative and source of Vitamin D going mainstream. But some brands are going further. DIRTEA are using otherworldly and futuristic scapes to visualise how adaptogenic mushrooms are innovating our caffeine habits, bringing calm to our mental and spiritual states.

The warm pastel packaging and backdrops, along with levitating products, evokes surrealist, dreamscape imagery, suggesting a journey of fantastical escapism. Pristine and high-tech packaging resembles astronaut food, conveying an out-of-this-world experience. The intricacy of the mushroom’s structure also resembles the futuristic style of ultra-modern biomimetic architecture, bringing a sci-fi, almost surreal, atmosphere to the brand’s identity. Adding to this are DIRTEA’s recipes, which are named after mind-altered states – ‘Dreamweave’, ‘Supernatural’ Frappuccino, ‘Astral World’ – promising consumers a sense of elevated consciousness.

Ultimately, DIRTEA demonstrates how multi-species thinking goes beyond physical sustenance. By using signals of surrealism & dreamstates, and playing with the visual history of psychedelia, the brand positions itself as a doorway to “the beyond” – a place to gently stimulate the mind and the soul.

Contemporary Wisdom – Chantal Guillon

When we think of fermentation, sauerkraut, miso and kombucha are usually the foods that come to mind. These are simple foods that were made to last, and that have been passed down from generation to generation through ancestral wisdom. However, in the spirit of creative discovery, culinary enthusiasts are collaborating with art, science and each other to update fermentation, appealing to the growing numbers of alternative and fun-seeking consumers.

Brands such as Chantal Guillon are building on tradition, using modern fermentation processes to innovate the classic French macaron. Here, alternative processes not only benefit our bodies and environment, but is also something that stimulates our imaginations, breaking all category norms, from ingredient list to design. 

Clashing colours and fonts, from dainty and cursive to big and bold, suggest unhindered playfulness, where the lightly scattered crumbs suggest reduced restriction. Tie-dye patterns and shiny rainbow gradients connote mind-altering substances, encoding cerebral stimulation, while the seemingly un-curated product placements and bold splashes of silver on the food challenge convention.

Chantal Guillon are confronting and updating current aesthetics and behaviours, reimagining multi-species thinking as a space for exploration and discovery, one where all your senses are vitalised and boundaries are pushed. 

Lastly… 

Recent innovations in healthy food and drink and noticeable for their playfulness. Minimal and stripped-back visual languages are giving way to senses of exploration and discovery that border on the psychedelic. Simplicity is shifting to complexity, with consumers encouraged to see the food and drink they consume as part of an evolving and ultimately unknowable ecological network. Here, mystery, magic and ancient wisdom play a part, as do more contemporary trends for multispecies thinking.   

Ultimately, these brands are championing lifestyles that put people and planet on equal footing. Whether this is through flavour, texture or packaging, experimenting with the intriguing diversity of up-and-coming processes and ingredients can allow brands to transport consumers to new worlds of nutrition, which help them rethink their engagement with the natural world.