She Moves… In Litigious Ways. Frida’s fam urged (ie threatened with legal action) Puma to stop selling the Frida-inspired collection, a part of their “She Moves Us” initiative. This would be a further expansion of an ongoing legal fight between the family and Puma. Phillip highlighted the challenges of working with “delebs” (dead celebrities) in Insiders #059. We at Future Commerce love to see artists lifted up by brands, but in a way that is honoring and equitable to them and their estate. So, in our best Bostonian accent, Puma, please don’t be a cheetah.
…He Had a Zombie Pig, E I E I O. Scientists are experimenting on pigs with a drug called OrganEx, which shows great promise for improving the duration of viability for donor organs (which is incredible!). It’s still a long way off, but there’s even hope of using the drug to extend the time possible to restore brain function of people who suffer from severe strokes or drowning, potentially challenging our current medical definition of death. “Soon even death won't be an escape from capitalism,” says Phillip.
More Sights & Sounds. Credit card balances are growing at the fastest pace they have in decades, with a surge of $46 billion in the last quarter. ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ has crossed a major box office milestone, coming to $100 million in ticket sales. It’s the first A24 movie to hit that benchmark. Oh, and someone completely recreated Kmarts using VRChat, complete with scanners, p.a. systems, and more!
Pop-Up Progress. Nordstrom is furthering its partnership with Allbirds with a five-week NYC pop-up at their flagship store. Now through September 6th, you can shop men’s and women’s styles in-store, and shop the range online. The popup will emulate a “garden path” with the intent to “elevate conversations on sustainability, conscientious carbon consumption and waste in the fashion industry”. And doesn’t it just… look like a little garden…
Dumpster Dive Couture. Gap and Kanye are forcing customers to dumpster dive if they want to be the first to buy the newest Yeezy Gap collection. Artistic? Yes. Freegan culture appropriation?! Maybe. “First they came for the thrift shops and I did not speak out, then they came for the dumpsters and…” yep too far.
Amazonian Shift. The Current is reporting that Amazon will partner with other retailers and brands to deliver from nearby stores, with launch partners of PacSun, GNC, SuperDry, and Diesel. This visible partnership with major retailers is the second major announcement of its type, along with the “Buy with Prime” initiative from earlier this year. It’s another clear signal that Amazon is moving from an Amazon-centric approach to partner enablement and infrastructure to power commerce.
The Gen Z Stan. The love for coffee hasn’t changed amongst Gen Z, and with new cold drinks on the menu, Starbucks has reported record revenue, driven by Gen Z’s love for iced drinks and customization. Starbucks’ founder and interim chief executive, Howard Schultz, stated that “cold beverages, which accounted for 75 percent of its beverage sales in the quarter, were a Gen Z favorite because young consumers like to customize and make the drink their own, and then post pictures on social media.” Brian’s take: “This makes sense, because Nitro Cold Brew is their only good drink.”
#FoodTok. TikTok Shop recently announced that they’ll be selling fresh food on the platform for the first time in the UK. Users will be able to purchase fresh food from some of their favorite FoodTok brands, The Veg Box Company and The Fish Society. If you are based in the UK, you can purchase food now until August 7th. While TikTok may have pulled back from live stream shopping, they’re still looking to get closer to the transaction. We expect more commerce-focused initiatives from them in the near future.
Taking on New Energy. On Monday PepsiCo announced a $550 million stake in the energy drink marker Celsius. With plans for expansion, Pepsi will be strengthening its relationship with energy drinks and has acquired a stake of 8.5% in the company.
Liquid Witch… I mean Death. Mountain Water brand Liquid Death has become the first brand to place a wager on the Super Bowl. To ensure their win, they’ve hired a witch who has been in practice for 42 years. The sun-soaked US consumer’s response? “I’m melting.” This is yet another example of brands engaging in religious-like activities, a trend we identified in Visions 2022’s “Sacraments of Commerce”.
We Present to You… The CPAs. This year, our friends at Repeat are hosting The Consumer Packaged Awards Show. With all that's going on in the world around us, they’ve decided it's time to celebrate, by handing out awards to the people of CPG that deserve them. And you can help! Submit your votes by August 11th.