Filed under: australia, beverages, Brand, FMCG innovation, Food trends & info | Tags: australia, beverage, coca cola amatil, coke, fast moving consumer goods, FMCG, grocery, Innovation, Marketing, mother, product development, Retail, soft drink
I saw this in a sydney supermarket the other day and had to take a shot. It’s the new Mother drink from Coca Cola which offers the slogan “New..Tastes nothing like the old one!”. Is there a witty marketing-ism or product innovation positioning I’m not getting or is this really as stupid as it sounds?
I hate to say this because I too, work in innovation but isn’t this just the sort of new product development you expect to see out of an innovation company? I get that they probably had a whole bunch of research which says that Cadbury isn’t taking advantage of the in-home sharing occasions in front of the TV when families get together. So they looked at other formats beyond the bar, the block and the box, and they looked at other categories who successfully managed the in-home sharing experience. They would have looked at what sort of in-home sharing products were successful, they would have looked at the product formats that people liked and then well…they made one out of chocolate.
But all important marketing palava aside, isn’t this just a chocolate Pringle?
Filed under: australia, creativity, Future of Work, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Oz stats, Trends stuff
The conventional wisdom says homeownership is a growth spur. This was especially the case in the fordist mass production economy, where long-term employment was the rule for many and home-buying prompted purchases of automobiles, appliances and consumer durables.
Now, maybe not so much. That is, according to new analysis by Joe Cortright which suggests that homeownership may actually dampen economic performance in this highly mobile creative age.
Initial commentary from here (Creative Class Group).
People tout homeownership as a marker of economic success. But high levels of home ownership seem to be strikingly correlated with deeply troubled metro areas. Whereas really vibrant, flourishing cities have lower levels – New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are at the bottom in terms of home ownership.
There’s probably many things are at work here:
- New rental housing isn’t getting built in slow growth or declining metros.
- Prices are lower in declining metros, so more people can afford to buy.
- Slow growth cities have older average populations (Tampa and Pittsburgh are the two “oldest” cities in the US group sampled. Since older people are more likely to own their own homes, this probably accounts for a significant part of the difference in home ownership rates.)
- High growth cities are attracting new residents (and immigrants) who disproportionately rent their dwellings.
They noted that homeownership is what keeps stagnant or declining cities from losing people even faster: they are “sticky”, keeping people in declining cities longer than they should rationally stay given the opportunities elsewhere, because too much of their wealth is tied up in their house, with few potential buyers. People loathe to abandon functional capital stock like housing (although it is happening in places like Detroit). Non-homeowners are quicker to move to cities with more opportunity, leaving behind a population with a higher percentage of homeownership.
This was lifted from here (via CEOs for Cities).
Many of our parents’ generation worked toward the great Australian Dream and owning your own home in Australia is still thought to be the clearest and most quantifiable ticket to security & success :: there’s a certain amount of status attached to finally making the move to the mortgage side of the fence.
If you wanted more info on Australian stats – home ownership, affordability yad yada then check out the Australian Urban Housing Institute here.
ENVIRONMENTALISTS have pleaded with authorities to help cut waste caused by Australia’s increasing thirst for bottled water.
Demand for the product is growing by 10per cent annually, adding to the 118,000 tonnes of plastic drink containers manufactured each year.
Latest research by Clean Up Australia shows that just 35per cent of all plastic bottles are recycled. The rest end up in landfill sites.
Figures compiled by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) show the manufacture and transportation of bottled water is leaving a massive “carbon footprint”.
For every tonne of one-litre bottles of Evian water shipped to Australia each year, for example, at least 84kilograms of harmful emissions are created.
About 150 million litres of bottled water is consumed in Australia each year.
Clean Up Australia founder and activist Ian Kiernan said the bottled water industry was a “con”. He has called on governments to discourage people buying water in bottles.
He said a national deposit or refund scheme, similar to the one operating in South Australia, would encourage recycling.
Mr Kiernan said “world health quality water” is available from the tap for the equivalent of $1.20 a tonne, while standard bottled water costs $3000 a tonne.
Mr Kiernan said the bottled water industry is plundering aquifers.
Shadow minister for climate change, environment and heritage Peter Garrett joined the call for action, saying people needed to be responsible when choosing their water source and be aware of the consequences of the choice to drink bottled water.
Environmental campaigns running overseas encourage people to ditch the bottles and switch to tap water.
In New York, city officials have paid for advertising championing tap water, while in San Francisco officials are no longer able to use public money to buy water in plastic bottles if tap water is available.
Top restaurants in California and New York have agreed not to sell bottled water, serving customers tap water instead.
ACF research coordinator Elle Morrell said that despite recycling efforts, 65 per cent of plastic drink bottles still ended up in landfills. The recycling process itself can also have an impact on the environment.
“Even if bottled water is recycled, it uses a huge amount of water and energy in the process,” she said.
Cafes and restaurants should get on board and stop selling bottled water, offering customers a cooler full of tap water instead, Ms Morrell said. A note next to the cooler could reinforce the message that plastic should be shunned.
She said a government-run anti-waste campaign was needed. The ACF suggested a premium be put on the price of bottled water as a disincentive.
Delivering the huge variety of bottled water brands is also taking a serious toll on the environment, producing significant carbon emissions as it is imported from countries such as France, Italy and Fiji.
Source: The Sun-Herald
The great Aussie dream is dying. Owning a beautiful house with a Jamie Durie-styled garden is an unobtainable fantasy for many young Australians due to the nation’s current housing affordability crisis. With soaring rent and exorbitant housing prices—it’s practically impossible for young people to move out of home let alone even consider buying their first house.
The so called ‘housing crisis’ has been splashed across the media in recent months. There is no single solution to the problem, but federal, and state and territory governments need to work together to provide greater support to first home-buyers and low income earners who are being driven out of the housing market.
A lack of affordable housing is clearly making home ownership and even renting a nightmare for ordinary Australians. According to the 2006 Census, over 500,000 Australian households are facing ‘housing stress’, which means they spend more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. Similarly, ‘mortgage stress’ is affecting over 500,000 households, with home owners directing more than 30 per cent of their gross income into mortgage repayments.
Current strategies to resolve the escalating housing crisis do not address the need for ongoing financial support. The First Home Owner Grant and state government schemes that reduce stamp duties are great incentives to buy a home. Yet they remain only launching pads to home ownership, not ways of managing debt and avoiding mortgage stress. For instance, the $7000 First Home Owner Grant can only be a starting point when the median house price in Melbourne is $420,000.
The Howard Government’s solution to the housing crisis is to release more land on the outskirts of metropolitan areas in the hope that it will increase land affordability. While increasing the amount of available land may reduce housing demand, it’s also a one-way ticket to urban sprawl. This means metro regions rapidly grow, which can often result in a delay in establishing community infrastructure like public transport, schools and healthcare facilities.
In July this year, the federal Opposition pledged to create a $500 million fund to encourage local councils to cut infrastructure costs and red tape in the home building process. Local councils would receive grants if they proved they could reduce costs associated with developing new housing, such as installing sewerage, electricity and roads—which are traditionally shouldered by home buyers. Whilst the ALP recognises the burden of taxes, levies and stamp duties on home buyers and the long term benefits of investing in infrastructure in new communities, it remains uncertain whether their strategy can significantly lower housing prices.
One method of addressing the housing crisis is to examine land use in existing suburbs. Rather than simply bulldozing more trees on urban fringes to make way for more housing estates, land use should be in line with a long term housing plan. Usually implemented by state governments, such plans now require an open approach to new developments, recognising the need for a mixture of property types and dwellings, from apartments, to townhouses, to strata titled houses. The ideal of having a house on a quarter acre block is no longer feasible for most people, particularly for first home buyers.
Furthermore, critical ongoing financial support is urgently needed to cover a range of different circumstances—from supporting low income earners to pay their rent, to aiding first home-buyers to pay off their mortgages. Lobby group Australians for Affordable Housing (AFAH) has put forward a proposal for addressing housing affordability. They are calling for the First Home Owners Grant to be extended into a mortgage assistance scheme benefiting those who struggle to pay off their mortgages in the first few years of ownership. AFAH also proposes an increase in Commonwealth rental assistance to a maximum of $20 per week for low income earners who cannot afford their own homes or are unable to access public housing.
Even more pertinent is the need for public housing. In Western Australia, for example, there are 15,400 people on waiting lists for public housing. The WA Government announced a $417 million injection into a public housing ‘rescue package’. Yet the federal government has supported an initiative for private companies to develop public housing, potentially excluding state governments from providing public housing. Nevertheless without increased public housing, the rise of homelessness in Australia is a real possibility.
The key to finding a solution to the housing crisis is cooperation. Federal, state and territory governments need to work together to support young people, ordinary Australians and those living on the poverty line. We need more financial initiatives, more public housing, and opportunities to develop both older and newer suburban areas with greater planning and foresight. Most of all we need these initiatives to begin now or risk severe problems such as rising homelessness.
( via ACT NOW written by Natasha Chow)
Filed under: australia, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Oz stats, Trends stuff
August 13, 2007
AUSTRALIANS are sending green power sales surging despite a lack of Federal Government support for renewable energy.
Nearly 8 per cent of all Australian households pay more for their electricity to ensure it is environmentally friendly.
For the average Australian family, a 100 per cent commitment to green power could cost as much as an extra $400 a year. Those buying 10 per cent green power, the minium offered by energy retailers, add more than $50 a year to their electricity bills.
Enthusiasm for renewable energy has prevented nearly 4.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere every year, according to the GreenPower office. “That’s equivalent to taking 930,000 cars off the road and is five times the emission reduction achieved by the Federal Government’s phase-out of incandescent light bulbs,” said Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Tony Mohr.
Householders who buy green power are paying for a certain amount of electricity to come from a renewable, clean source. Mr Mohr warned the Government and the Opposition not to squander the public’s efforts. “The Federal Government needs to catch up with ordinary Australians by committing to 25 per cent green power for Australia by 2020,” he said.
This story was lifted from The Age
Sydney’s growth & progress post-Federation left Melbourne for dead. Since then Melbourne has been stuck in the position of ugly sister, great personality shame about the face. There’s no question that Melbourne is the city who tries harder to compensate for the lack of natural attractions & global landmarks. In fact it is Melbourne’s inability to rely on big business or holiday weather that has seen it put its heart & soul into creating an innovative urban culture unlike no other.
It is this drive to compensate which has culminated in Melbourne’s push to become the cosmopolitan & cultural capital of the country. Melbourne’s streetscapes & city laneways, innovative buildings and relentless events programs have ensured that Melbourne remains a lively bustling urban metropolis that will never play second fiddle to Sydney.
Melbourne will become one of the leading creative business cities of the world. Just as Silicon Valley was the poster city for the nerd revolution, so too will Melbourne become the pin up girl for the creative generation. Due to its progressive culture & ethnic diversity, Melbourne will become the hot market for new products & entrepreneurs across the world. Melbourne will be the creative centre of Australia; a city that appeals to imaginative & inventive minds across the globe, participation will be the cost of entry.
In Sydney people you’ve just met will tell you over dinner how much they just dropped on their new pad at Double-Pay. In Melbourne the richest dude in the bar is probably the one in the corner dressed in the faded cords & rocking out with a glass of red. You wouldn’t have noticed him and that’s the point. In Sydney it’s great because anyone can make it here. In Melbourne it’s all about the “old boys” connections. You need to be from the right family, have the right connections or make friends with the right people. No matter how much your house is worth.
Sydney can be financially exclusive. Melbourne can be culturally exclusive.
Sydney means big business but Melbourne means creativity.
If Sydneysiders want to know ‘where do you work and how much do you earn ?’ then Melbournians want to know ‘What footy team do you barrack for and what are you into?’. f Sydney is a beer in the sun where you can be seen then Melbourne is a glass of red in a basement bar where you can’t be found.
If Sydney is the one night stand then Melbourne is the girl you bring home to mum.
Sydney is up there and in your face, showing you her ways. Melbourne says, ‘You have to discover me.’
Bernard Salt has a nice quote “What Melbournians see as a strong & vital Melbourne-based culture, other Australians sometimes perceive as nothing less than self-absorbed arrogance. It all depends on whether you are viewing Melbourne rom the outside in, or the inside out.” it’s probably true, but that doesn’t mean we’re not right now does it…?
Filed under: australia, Digital culture, Futures, Gen Y, Innovation, Lifestyle trends, Macro trends, Oz stats, Trends stuff
Boring myself stupid the other day I created this little Australian snapshot of statistics from ABS data cut with a few graff photos…After showing two girlfriends they both pointed out that it was rather depresssing…I see what they mean..nevertheless, there has to be a more interesting way to make demo trend data appealing…