IKEA India is looking to boost sustainability and cut prices in India through using local wood, including bamboo and Sheesham (also known as Indian Rosewood), instead of importing wood from Europe.
Having seen sales fall over the lockdown period, Pret has launched a monthly coffee subscription service to try and attract customers back to quiet stores.
In August, over 100 million meals were claimed as part of Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. The scheme proved more popular than expected, and it is estimated that it will cost more than the £500m budgeted.
Customers who fail to check-in online, and instead check-in at the airport counter, will now face a charge from AirAsia. The airline claim this will increase social distancing.
Shewees (plastic contraptions used to help women urinate while standing up) have become more popular since lockdown began, with the company reporting a 700% increase in sales. This may be because of the widespread closure of public toilets and places like restaurants, pubs or coffee shops which often let people use their bathrooms.
Belgian statistics office, Statbel, claim that fruit, vegetables and meat are 10% more expensive now than a year ago due to the Coronavirus disrupting production and less price promotions in supermarkets.
MerryMint are pushing a new line of team building activities for remote teams – including watercolour painting, pie baking, mixology, succulent planting and meditation.
Public health officials discovered that of 500 people, only 147 gave correct contact details for contact tracing following a Coronavirus outbreak at a Canadian strip club.
As remote learning grows, students are sharing images of their workspaces to try and make them pleasurable places to study.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers, who offer realistic fake meat products, are now delivering them straight to people’s homes through a new e-commerce system.
Carrefour is now letting customers reserve a certain time slot at the checkout to reduce queues.
In a sign that a ‘green recovery’ from Coronavirus might be possible, nearly 50% of the UK claim they will fly less once lockdown restrictions ease.
The pandemic is accelerating automation, through forcing workers to isolate. Automation technology is being used to process some government business loans that were launched after the crisis.
The company describe their jewelry as linear and claim the metallic sheen makes it attractive for video calls.
Researchers estimate 30-40 million Americans risk eviction due to job losses.
PayPal records highest ever earnings, and believe society has reached a tipping point with cash use: consumers now actively avoid handling cash due to health concerns.
The Coronavirus has brought economic inequality into the headlights. While some have been able to ride out the pandemic in comfort, others have had to continue ‘essential’ work or live in cramped conditions. As unemployment rises, so has the call for UBI.
Loop, the online shopping service, is partnering with Tesco and will sell all kinds of food/household essentials from leading and traditional brands (including Unilever and PepsiCO) but all in reusable packaging to reduce single use plastic.
Covid continues to disrupt diets, with sales of flour and traditional breakfast food (e.g. sausages) rising as people have more time on their hands. Ready meals are comparatively less popular, along with large joints of meat. Joints of beef and lamb may be seen as more appropriate for large indoor gatherings which aren’t always possible under current rules.
Samsung have launched an app that encourages people to wash their hands during the pandemic, and raises awareness of appropriate hand-washing time.
A ‘personal air sanitiser’ has raised over £50,000 on Kickstarter with the claim that it eliminates over 99.9% of microbes from the air.
Post-Coronavirus, many people are consciously trying to touch their face less – but finding it hard to break an unconscious habit. NASA have developed a necklace that vibrates when wearers go to touch their face, nudging them away from the unhygienic behaviour
Airplanes consider how to accommodate passengers after COVID-19: empty seats, hygeine screens and reversing seats all options
Corona virus has meant that the interior of planes will need to be completely re-imagined when flights start to return to normality. The days of cramped rows in economy could be over, with some airlines suggesting flying with empty seats to separate passengers. Others are coming up with more inventive solutions, which range from introducing hygiene screens and include changing the seating formation.
Unilever has announced that it will invest a billion euros in environmental projects, alongside targeting net-zero emissions from all products by 2040.
In Toronto, one fitness company have introduced plastic domes which allow people to practice yoga in a socially distanced way.
Visa has partnered up with CI to create more environment friendly cards that are made up with 98% recycled plastic.
Tourism supports around one in ten jobs in the UK, and brings millions of pounds into the country every year. However, the UK has declined to join a new EU-led scheme to revive the struggling tourism industry – citing Brexit. This was met with dismay by many. The UK is already expected to face the deepest recession in Europe and actions like this may make it worse.
There is growing evidence of a connection between coronavirus and air pollution. In light of this, lawyers are pressuring the UK to review pollution targets and press for improvements.
A company has launched ‘traffic light’ wrist bands in red, yellow and green to wordlessly communicate the level of social distancing the user is adhering.
Over a million children were claiming free school meals in England, before schools were closed due to the virus. In the North and Midlands, between a third and a quarter of children were claiming free meals.
Two thirds of Americans receive more in unemployment benefits than they earned before the Coronavirus
The pandemic has brought the flaws in America’s economic system into sharp relief. One dismal signal of this is that over two thirds of jobless workers receive more in unemployment benefits than they previously earned.
The Coronavirus has caused a radical rethink of office culture. Some people are going a step further than challenging long commutes and cramped transport, and criticising the 5-day week itself. Those that support reducing the work week believe that much of the time we spend in the office is unproductive, and that shorter, more intense bursts of work will result in higher quality output and less stress and fatigue.
A new Chinese phone has been launched with an infared temperature sensor.
A radical new clear polypropylene face mask has been fully backed on Kickstarter. It is light, see-through and self-attaches to the skin meaning no uncomfortable ear loops.
New York are trialling high-tech UV disinfection technology to ensure passengers on their tubes, trains, and buses and at their stations are safer.
From the Northern Lights to the Great Wall of China, travellers from all over the world can cure their wanderlust with a digital experience that can transport them across the world from their own home.
In synergy with their flat pack brand, IKEA have created playful fort designs for children in lockdown.
UK-based landlord Land Securities offered a glimpse of the impact of covid on office usage as it reported a £837m loss. Less than ten per cent of its office sites were in use and many of its tenants are now struggling to pay their rent.
Increases in working from home, and other changes to office working patterns, pose significant threats to established business districts. One of the world’s busiest, Manhattan in New York, is bracing itself for future disruption if this ‘new normal’ means businesses consider reducing office space or creating less central locations – taking money away from landlords and local shops
The French government has provided financial support to the national airline, Air France – but with green conditions. Receiving the money is contingent on the airline cutting its domestic flights where they compete with rail to help reduce their carbon footprint.
BA’s decision to push through 12,000 redundancies at a time when the government’s furlough scheme is available to support workers impacted by COVID-19 and parent company IAG has secured a 1 billion Euro loan to save BA’s sister airlines, has angered the 120,000 signatories of a petition stating that BA’s behaviour is illegal and immoral
The famous US investor Warren Buffet has sold his shares in America’s four largest airlines. Admitting a rare mistake, Buffet says that the reversal in fortunes for Delta, American, Southwest and United, brought about by Covid-19 is here for the long haul. Previously, his organisation held around ten per cent of shares in all four airlines.
Domestic travel surged in the first public holiday in China since it started easing lockdown restrictions. The number of travellers increased by 50% compared with the previous public holiday at the start of April.
Avida Health launches tasty chocolate balls including bioactives like probiotics or beta-glucan which reportedly offers immune system benefits. They hope this functional food will be more appealing than vitamin tablets.
Ultraviolet lights that eliminate viruses are being tested by scientists at the University of Columbia – and their findings could have implications for how airlines fight COVID-19 as airlines and manufacturers adjust to requirements in the post-COVID-19 age.
Airlines who are making plans to start flying again, are creating new innovations such as “Grab & Go” food bags which are handed out to passengers before they get on the plane, and COVID-19 swab tests before checking in.
Australia and New Zealand – two countries with smaller covid-19 outbreaks – are considering re-opening their borders to each other first. Regional travel zones like this are being considered in other parts of the world, including the three west coast US states and ‘tourism corridors’ in the EU.
In Spain, separatist politicians in Catalonia have begun to criticise the central government, arguing that an independent Catalonia would have had fewer deaths from Covid-19.
Prior to Coronavirus, many people would eat breakfast at work or on-the-go, but lockdown has changed this behaviour. Now millions are working from home, retailers like John Lewis have found egg-cups selling out as people find time for lengthier breakfasts at home.
Britain has just gone over 18 days without using electricity generated from coal-fired power stations.
The Academy will allow streaming-only films to be nominated.
In a signal of corporate altruism, CoorsLight’s new campaign offers support to people struggling with the stress of a global pandemic by offering free beer. Their tagline taps into the common epithet that sometimes we all #CouldUseABeer.
Hotel giants Hilton Marriott and Accor have launched new advertising campaigns centred on cleanliness and hygiene. Hilton has launched a partnership with disinfectant brand Lysol and the healthcare company Mayo Clinic aimed at creating and promoting a cleaner hotel environment.
Thai Airways have launched a campaign to reward their frequent fliers with air miles, not for travelling but for staying at home. By downloading the “Stay Home Mile Exchange” app, customers will earn miles in real time when staying within 100m of their home address.
The Chilean government has proposed to implement an “immunity” passport/ID to identify those who have recovered from COVID-19. It is continuing with the plan despite concerns from the World Health Organisation that there is currently insufficient evidence to say that people are immune after they’ve recovered from the disease.
Denny’s is now moonlighting as a gamer on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The diner brand is giving codes and discounts to the people it connects with in gaming, and is seeing some fan engagement with posts on social media.
Realising that well being goes beyond the traditional notions of “healthy,” AHF has partnered with Domino’s to provide patients and clients with 1 free large pizza per week – no need to tip the driver.
A Hong Kong hotel chain has introduced AI-enabled robots to serve guests with food and drinks during quarantine. In the future, it is planned that their use will extend to provide other forms of assistance in the hotel.
Satellite imaging data from Beijing dampens optimism around a ‘return to normal’ in China, which was hit first by Coronavirus. The satellite data clearly shows that despite lockdown lifting, weekends remain quiet, and – beyond commuting – movement is relatively limited.01
Secret Cinema, who typically create immersive events around movie screenings, have teamed up with Haagen Dazs ice cream to offer an at-home version. Viewers are given clues about the film they will see and instructions on the music, food and drinks which might accompany it. This allows people to create their own immersive experience while staying at home.
The International Air Transport Association has said that many airlines will need to increase their prices by 50% or face going bust if coronavirus physical distancing measures are introduced on flights.
The Italian city of Milan is using the pause in traffic under lockdown to push forward ambitions plans to turn road space in the city over to cyclists and pedestrians. It joins other cities including New York and Paris in utilising low traffic levels to introduce significant car traffic reductions
Many scientists have predicted a pandemic for years, due to both our ultra-connected world, but also our eating habits. There is a connection between pandemic risk and factory farming; packing tens of thousands of genetically uniform animals into close quarters increases the risk of disease, which could jump species boundaries. Swine flu and bird flu evolved on chicken/pig factory farms. This has led some to argue that a recovery from the Coronavirus should entail more humane farming standards.
The Australian Government has introduced a new law which will compel social media networks to pay Australian media companies for sharing their content online. The Treasurer said that it was fair that these platforms pay media companies for the content they use to drive users to their websites.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are raising money for those who are in need as the effect of coronavirus by selling wine.
After successfully launching their Meat & Vegetable essential food box, Morrisons are now launching their Ramadan essential food boxes.
Organised between The World Health Organisation and Lady Gaga, this eight-hour virtual concert featured stars including The Rolling Stones and Billie Eilish. While a two-hour section was free-to-air, six hours were open for corporate sponsorship, which raised the bulk of the money
Morneau Shepell, provider of total well-being, mental health and digital mental health services in Canada, launched AvaFinance™ to provide personalised recommendations to navigate the financial challenges of COVID-19
Facing a shortfall in income from in-person visitors, a farm animal refuge in California now offers video conferencing with its residents.
To protect his challenged airline, Richard Branson has asked the government to step in and intervene with a loan to see Virgin Atlantic through this challenging time. Other airlines, including EasyJet and Delta, have received state money – in the form of a loan for EasyJet and a grant for US-based Delta.
Customers visit a web page and select how much they’d like to spend on their weekly shop. The E-Gift Card is then emailed directly to the person shopping on their behalf, which can be redeemed at checkout in store.
A Paris Opera ballet film aimed at supporting people to stay at home shows all the dancers practising during lockdown.
Responding to the first weekend of loosened lockdown measures, South Koreans hit the shops. Visits and spending at large malls and department stores rose sharply as a result of what the Koreans are calling “bobok sobi”, or “Revenge Shopping”.
A supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, has recently opened its first shop dedicated to online orders only. The store is designed to take pressure off other stores which remain open to the public and are also seeing a surge in online orders.
Pre-flight blood tests to screen for COVID-19 were introduced by Emirates, and will be used on select flights to check for the virus among passengers.
As a signal of the extent to which digitisation can save jobs, as well as removing them, travel-starved people can hire a remote digital companion to show them around the Faroe Islands. Through using an app, people will be able to control where their guide goes, creating a form of hybrid, gamified digital tourism.
Pent-up appetite for foreign holidays is visible online, with Conde Nast Traveller magazine noting that searches for holidays in 2021 have soared during lockdown.
ChowNow and Instagram have teamed up to help local and independent businesses by adding food ordering buttons onto Instagram. With the new function they are hoping restaurants can survive in these difficult times.
The app Open Table – typically used to secure table reservations in restaurants – has responded to lockdown by changing its focus. In the US, shoppers can now book supermarket shopping slots using their app.
A non-profit has redesigned the New York City “FoodHelp” map for Spanish families in New York. The map, which was developed for the COVID-19 crisis, shows all free food locations – such as kitchens, food banks, and school meal pick-up locations – across New York City in Spanish.
US healthcare firm Johnson and Johnson is publishing an eight episode educational video series highlighting the role of science in combating the covid-19 pandemic. The episodes feature interviews with scientist, researchers and healthcare workers involved in the effort and covers topics including the work required in vaccine development and the reasons different ethnic groups in the US are experiencing different health outcomes.
California, Oregon and Washington are reportedly considering a regional response to the relaxing stay-at-home orders introduced in March, aiming to restart normality and boost their economies.
Food manufacturer Heinz is to allow consumers to order directly from their website to help people avoid visiting supermarkets during lockdown.
Encouraging children to wash their hands at all can be difficult – let alone for the recommended duration of time. A Japanese company have developed a fun stamp that can be printed onto children’s hands and washed off, offering a playful visual sign of when to stop.
An app called #SoundBored has created a soundscape of typical office noises for those who are missing their colleagues. The range includes typing, yelling, sneezing, and even the pleasant sounds of people eating their lunch to bring the office ambience into the home.
The Chinese National Health Commission has promoted a treatment for covid-19 which includes bear bile in its ingredients. As the novel coronavirus is highly likely to have emerged from Chinese “wet markets”, where living wild animals are kept for food and medicine, its cause is being reinterpreted as its cure.
As the UK government begins to lift lockdown, more than 60 businesses and charities have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, calling on him to ensure that the recovery prioritises the environment as well as the economy.
Heinz and the Campbell Soup Company have seen increased sales due to demand for store-cupboard staples with long shelf-lives. Not only has the Coronavirus caused food-insecurity, but processed food also holds a comfort factor and can evoke nostalgia.
McDonalds Brazil has separated the two golden arches of its logo to make their brand reflect the social distancing required under the coronavirus lockdown
“Tommy” the robot is helping healthcare staff in an Italian hospital monitor patients with Covid-19. The robots are able to monitor data from equipment on a ward and alert staff when attention is required – freeing doctors to deal with more serious cases and reducing direct contact.
The Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo held a remote graduation ceremony, with students using robots to “attend” while remaining at home. The “Newme”robots were dressed in graduation caps and gowns for the ceremony and carried tablets which displayed their student’s webcam.
The Facebook-owned chat app has announced new limit on message forwarding to slow the dissemination of fake news. If a user receives a frequently forwarded message – one which has been forwarded more than five times – under the new restrictions, they will only be able to send it on to a single chat at a time.
Deliveroo and Jewish charity Chabad Lubavitch teamed up to provide “Seder-to-Go” kits in the UK and Ireland, allowing people who are isolating to still be able to celebrate Passover.
Socially distanced public transport systems and the need for people to safely exercise has led some cities to temporarily create new bike and footpath spaces.
Sainsbury’s has relaunched its one-hour bicycle delivery service in central London to support its existing team in serving customers in lockdown.
The winners in the COVID-19 pandemic are technology firms, as friends, families and colleagues try to digitally replicate face-to-face communications and socialising.
Existing conspiracy theories in the UK about threats to health from the rollout of 5G internet have evolved to include the claim that the technology spreads Coronavirus. The UK communications regulator has warned broadcasters who repeat these baseless theories on air will be sanctioned.
Unable to leave their homes, Britons are retreating to family meal times – eating well and enjoying nostalgic family recipes. Adding a 21st-century twist, many are giving the recipes a vegetarian makeover.
Dutch studio Shift Architecture Urbanism has developed a model for a shared street food market where people can buy fresh produce without coming into contact with one another.