Food for Thought: February Edition

Amuse-Bouche

"I also had two churros today and they were pretty bomb so if you ever get nervous, go eat a churro."

-  U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim's follow up tweet about being nervous while at the 2018 Winter Olympics


Hors d'Oeuvres

  Image from Angry Orchard.

Image from Angry Orchard.

We're not the only ones that say "rosé all day". Inspired by the bright, crisp flavors of the popular Provençal wine, Angry Orchard debuted a rosy hue version of their popular cider. The color derives from a rare red flesh apple and creates a cider with floral aromas. Ryan Burk, the company's cidermaker proclaims that it's "unlike any cider you've ever tasted." 

Tyson is investing in more than just chicken. Last month the poultry experts announced a venture into a new company: Tovala. This company is all about the future of cooking with its all-in-one smart oven. Think of it as a more advanced Instapot; it can broil, steam, bake, microwave, and toast food. So, where does Tyson come in? In addition to inventing this technology, Tovala is in the branded meals business. Their prepackaged foods include barcodes that can be scanned to cook each meal properly. 

  Image from Matthew Schwartz on Unsplash.

Image from Matthew Schwartz on Unsplash.

Get your big hats and mint juleps ready, Top Chef is coming to Kentucky. The horse-centric state will be the new backdrop for the sixteenth season for the Bravo show. Considered a hidden southern gem, the state's signature dishes are comfort food to the max; whether its the gooey Mornay sauce on the Kentucky Hot Browns or the chocolate, walnut goodness in a Derby Pie, we're not complaining.

Avocados are getting their time to shine in 2018. Starting the year as the cool way to propose, it's no surprise that the fruit is catching the attention of a couple shark-sized investors. Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran have invested in Avocaderia, an all-avocado restaurant based in Brooklyn's Sunset Park food hall. With the shark's help, the company plans to open 20 more restaurants along with a cookbook in the next five years. 


The Main Course

If you've relived your college days by sharing a house at a wedding or tried to live like a local on a European vacation, chances are you're familiar with Airbnb. What started out as just an air mattress on the floor of an apartment has transformed into more than just a home-sharing website; the company now has more than 43 million properties globally. Last month, CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky announced a few new ventures that may change the way we travel.

  Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

  • The Amazon of travel? With a new loyalty program and additional accommodations, Airbnb is trying to be the one-stop-shop for travel. Chesky wants to take the Amazon approach to retail for the company by diversifying the business into new tourism areas. 
  • Struggle to commit: Although Airbnb receives a lot of traffic, more than 300 million visitors to be exact, the company is not seeing the bookings. A dual-problem has been seen with these potential customers: 1. the style of offerings are not right for all travelers, 2. it's hard to navigate and find the right accommodation. To combat this problem, Airbnb has incorporated new categories into its search including vacation homes, unique spaces, bed-and-breakfasts, and boutique hotels. 
  • Quality assurance: A big issue for Airbnb's customers is a lack of consistency. These aren't just the small items like thread count and coffee makers, many of the complaints are around safety, like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. In an effort to ease tensions and regulate facilities, Airbnb launched a program called Airbnb Plus. For a higher price point, these locations must adhere to a 100-item checklist; the average stay costs $250 per night. 
  • Not everyone's on board: The hotel industry wants Airbnb to ante up if they want to move into their space. Known to not get along, Troy Flannagan, a Vice President for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, believes their latest efforts are a way to get around "industry regulations" and wants the company to follow the same requirements of hotels, like taxes, regulations, and compliance requirements. 
  • The sky's the limit: In an effort to become the next Amazon, the company has been hinting at a new travel arena: aviation. Chesky may have big dreams, but we're not sure he is going to be able to follow in the footsteps of Sir Richard Branson.

On the Side

Whether you love them or not, millennials are changing the game as the largest generation, especially when it comes to the hotel biz. According to US News & World Report, this year's hottest hotel trends focus on pleasing these Baby Boomlets through technology, design, and local partnerships. These influences can already be found in some of the latest hotels debuted by Marriott, Starwood, and, as of last month, IHG. The Brits may be last to the table but their newest hotel, Even, takes a different approach than Marriott's Moxy and Starwood's Aloft. Instead, fitness is at the helm with the hotel's "keep active, eat well, rest easy" vibe. Look for in-room exercise equipment, healthy meal options, and plenty of places to get in your downward dog. 

Good news, beer fanatics, your dreams of having a cold brewsky in the shower is about to come true. Brewdog, a Scottish brewing company, is building a beer-centric hotel near its manufacturing facility. Appropriately named DogHouse, this 26-room hotel will feature beer on tap in every room, cold beer in the showers, and behind-the-scenes looks at the brewery headquarters. The company first made the news last year when it created an Indiegogo campaign to build the first crowdfunded craft beer hotel attached to its new brewery in Columbus, Ohio. DogHouse is projected to be open early 2019.   


Sweet Escape

As marketers, we understand that not all of our ideas are winners. Unfortunately, these wild hair thoughts sometimes make it past the boardroom and into the mainstream media. Independent shared some of the hilarious slogans that some countries have been using to attract tourists. We especially like Djibouti and Uganda's campaigns, but we'll let you decide.