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FOOD, FASHION, MUSIC, AND VIDEO GAMES COLLIDE AS FRAGRANCE & FLAVOR INNOVATIONS ABOUND

Multi-sensory products and experiences are a sweet spot for Trendincite LLC because the subject captures the parallel relationship between fragrances and flavors. Food, fashion, music, and video games collide as fragrance and flavor innovations abound.

Food & Fashion

Fashion and food collaborations continue. The latest fashion activity from Quick Service Restaurants is swimwear and streetwear. Vizzy, the hard seltzer brand debuted the Vizzy Seltzer Szn Swimwear, which features “scented suits that mimic the flavor mashups found in its hard seltzers.” It is offered in three one-piece bathing suits and three swim trunks with Strawberry Kiwi, Pineapple Mango, and Raspberry Lemonade designs and scents. Panera Bread released the Swim-Soup Collection based on the brand’s broccoli and cheddar soup. The limited-edition swimwear is available in two one-piece bathing suits and two swim trunks as well as a bread bowl pool float. One set highlights a broccoli and cheddar illustration that uses Panera’s signature green and yellow colors while the other set states the word “Soup” and the “Mother Bread” logo. Arby’s take on summer fun is the Beefy Aloha line, which showcases a red Hawaiian print with Arby’s Beef n’ Cheddar sandwiches. The merchandise includes a one-piece swimsuit, swim trunks, flip flops, bucket hat,  Hawaiian shirt, beach towel, and sunglasses. A yellow tank top displays “Sun’s Out Buns Out” while red swim trucks read “Body By Bacon.”

New York-based clothing brand FLAN (Forever Laughing At Nothing) collaborated with candy brand Warheads on a clothing collection. Inspired by Warheads’ iconic sour flavors, the “gender-fluid collaboration” offers “Extreme Sour Flavor Colorways” in hand dip-dyed t-shirts in “Apple,” “Blue Raspberry,” “Lemon,” and “Watermelon” and a Wally button-down shirt. Pizza Hut dropped its first streetwear collection dubbed Tastewear. Based on the iconic Pizza Hut styles and colors, there are five items: a Track Suit, Slides, T-Shirt, Cups, and a Chain. Under its new CheezItHQ shop, CheezIt debuted a line of merchandise and apparel as well as new limited-time Cheez-It flavors. Apparel includes a Hoodie, Beanie, and Socks. The three new Cheez-It flavors are Extra Toasty Cheddar Jack, Extra Toasty Extra Cheesy, and Extra Toasty Extra Spicy.

Good Enough To Eat

Flavor and scent are intricately connected. Food-inspired candles and food-scented technology are driving innovation. The supermarket chain H-E-B launched the Flavor Favorites candle collection “to bring some of our favorite foods to candle form.” The mouth-watering candles are available in seven scents: Blueberry Muffin, Butter Tortilla, Cinnamon Rolls, Cowboy Cookie, Creamy Creations Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, Texas Wildflower Honey, and Two-Bite Brownies. In honor of Ikea’s 10th anniversary of its free loyalty program and its “Store in a Box” campaign, Ikea dropped a limited-edition Huvudroll Meatball scented candle. The Ikea Store in a Box campaign is designed to “bring together the sensory experiences of visiting an IKEA store all in one compact box.” In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film, the Chocolate Box Hotel in Bournemouth, England has created a Willy Wonka-inspired room. The room features lickable wallpaper with a variety of fruity flavors, chocolate-scented toiletries, and a chocolate-filled bathtub for an additional cost.

Classic perfume commercials lend themselves to ad parodies. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is the latest brand to join the genre. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter released a phony digital scent ad called “Pas de Beurre,” which means “no butter” in French. Mimicking the seductive style of fine fragrance commercials, a couple whispers the scent’s “seductive,” “spritzy,” and “savory” qualities and then moves into a goofy conversation about whether noses have taste buds. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery introduced the Hoppy Variety Pack with four hop-forward beers including its new Blue Hen Pilsner. To attract consumers, the front of each box features a hop-scented Scratch and Sniff label made with real hop oils. AromaFlavor launched Sweet Lemon and Wild Berry beverage labels. These labels are infused with flavor aroma molecules that create a flavor-stimulating aroma instead of flavor additives. A fun launch is the Polaroid Play 3D Pen, which lets individuals draw their own edible candy. There are four candy cartridges formulated with edible printing material and six different sugar-free flavors: Apple, Cola, Grape, Lemon, Orange, and Strawberry. Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing unveiled its Aroma Kiosk, “a digital sensory tool designed to gather valuable consumer insights on flavors and products in real-time.” Consumers smell and rate different aroma profiles using the Aroma Kiosk and then the data is translated into product recommendations and personalized flavor preferences with an AI-based algorithm.

Digital Fragrance

From digital-based fragrances and AI technology to touchless sampling fragrance technology continues to advance. Germany-based Look Labs engineered the Cyber Eau de Parfum using blockchain technology. The digital fragrance created by Sean Caruso is encoded into ten limited edition NFT art pieces. In July, Paco Rabanne launched Phantom for men, which contains lemon, vetiver, lavender, and woody vanilla notes. The scent is unique in its packaging, which is refillable and connects with a user’s phone. Users have access to interactive games and filters, personalized playlists, and augmented reality. Smart Fragrance Diffuser brand Pura partnered with candle brand Homesick on two new fragrances, Let’s Toast and New Home. Let’s Toast highlights mandarin, grapefruit, apple, pineapple, and champagne grape notes while New Home has notes of jasmine, cedarwood, lime, sandalwood, oakmoss, and musk. Both fragrances are available in the diffuser format and candles.

Scentmatic Co. and Nose Shop in Japan collaborated on the Nose Shop x Kaorium limited pop-up in April. Kaorium “is an AI system that converts scents to words through technology” and enables consumers to choose their favorite scents from 20 unique fragrances creating a new “axis” for scent selection. Currently available in Europe, Firmenich designed Scentmate, “an AI-enabled platform that streamlines and simplifies fragrance co-creation for entrepreneurs and independent brands.” Coty Inc. and Êverie created touchless fragrance testers for consumers to try a scent without having to touch anything. The technology delivers a single droplet of fragrance to an arm or a blotter. It is expected to roll out to global retailers within the next 12 months. ScentCatcher AromaCone by Aftelier is “a scent amplifier device that acts as a magnifying glass for the nose and maintains nasal distancing as part of a contact-free smelling experience.”

Music To My Ears

Music and pop culture are en vogue muses for limited-edition collaborations. 75-year-old country music icon Dolly Parton launched her first fragrance Dolly-Scent From Above and with it dropped a new single “Sent From Above.” Reese’s introduced a trio of limited-edition Reese’s Puffs cereal boxes that transform into music boxes. In partnership with Anomaly, the RP-FX special cereal boxes utilize an accompanying PuffsFX AR app to create a step-sequencing drum machine and two synths. The RP-FX comes in three variations: Crunchy Drum Machine, Creamy Lead Synth, and Chocolatey Bass Synth. Consumers plug into the back of each cereal box and use the app to make beats individually or in tandem. Reese’s Puffs also created the RP-PRO, “a hyper-exclusive physical version of the RP-FX” made to mimic a Reese’s Puffs cereal box with keys modeled after Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups and Puffs. As a tribute to Wright brand’s founding in 1922, Tyson Meals’ Wright brand and Ogilvy partnered on the “Bacon Beats” record. It is 19 minutes and 22 seconds long with the sounds of bacon sizzling on side A and interviews with Wright Brand employees on side B. Pioneer DJ and Off-White teamed up on the release of the limited-edition DDJ-1000-OW, an exclusive DJ controller. As a continuation of the collaboration, Off-White plans to launch a “Sound Engineering” capsule collection of clothing.

Game On

Video games are not only a muse for new products, but they are the latest platform that brands are using to reach and interact with consumers. Fairytail Parfum launched new perfumes inspired by Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske characters from the Guilty Gear video game series. Soap and Glory debuted Soap and Glory Land within the social gaming platform RecRoom. It’s the first beauty brand launch within this network. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Xbox, Krispy Kreme in the UK has partnered on The Nexus Level doughnut with a chance to win the Xbox Series S and a free month of Game Pass. The doughnut features a gooey brownie batter, dipped in icing, and decorated with the Xbox logo. Similarly, Krispy Kreme Brazil released the Infinite Doughnut inspired by Halo Infinite.

In March, Pizza Hut partnered with Pac-Man on a limited edition box that showcased the augmented reality game to use with smartphones and a chance to win a custom Pac-Man game cabinet. LA-based virtual concepts Codename Burg3r founded by brother and sister Josh Sugarman and Kara Wheeler is about “eatertainment” and “dinneractive” experiences. Customers order food off of the Codename Burg3r menu and choose a mission from the Bureau of the Unexplained. The meal comes with a QR code to unlock the chosen virtual mission, which takes an average of 60-90 minutes and gives prizes such as coupons. Eternal Circus, Training Day, and The Maleficar’s Lexicon are the current missions, which are described as “a cross between an arcade and escape room.” Vampire (dot) Pizza is another virtual concept similar in design, but the food is pizza, and the experience is based on Vampires. Earlier this year, Sony filed a patent that would allow game users to experience scents and tastes through a mouthpiece for upcoming PlayStation games.

Pop culture, food, fashion, music, and video games will continue to inspire fragrance and flavor innovation that lead to multi-sensory products and experiences.

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