VEEN Scene Round-Up
VEEN Scene 012

Nuro Approved to Ride

Americans make a total of 220 billion vehicle trips a year. Of those, more than 20% are to shop or run errands. Nuro was founded in 2016 by leaders in robotics and AI with experience building some of the world’s first self-driving vehicles. They decided to start with groceries, working to make the convenience of grocery delivery accessible and affordable for customers everywhere. Customers place same-day delivery orders on the web or in a mobile app, and receive their orders at home from Nuro’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. Each order has the potential to replace one or more car trips — making our roads a little bit safer and less congested. This February, regulators have approved a driverless exemption for Nuro’s latest low-speed electric vehicle called the R2. The autonomous electric vehicle aims for local delivery service for restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses.

Petveda: Ayurvedic Care for Pets

Established in 2010 by Mr. Dhruv Kumar – a Delhi-based entrepreneur – Terrai Natural Products markets a range of quality skin and hair care products based on a 5000-year-old traditional practice, Ayurveda. It focuses on deriving properties of plants and using these properties to promote a balance of mind and body to restore good health. Based on the real knowledge of Ayurveda, Mr. Kumar, in 2014, expanded his horizons and moved into manufacturing quality pet care products. Petveda was born out of sheer love for animals and their well-being. As we try to eat organic, wear ethically made clothes, support local brands, recycle our waste. The all-natural touch is needed by our pets, too. A Herbal, Natural and Ayurveda-inspired range of pet care products that are pH balanced, sulfate free, with no harsh chemicals and made using pure essential oils. As modern pet parents continue to seek out only the best for their pets, Kumar feels they have become a “lot more aware, sensitive and conscious towards good care of their pets”.

Lifestyle Drinks: Responding to Alcohol-free Trends

Germans drink more beer per person than anyone besides the neighboring Czechs and Austrians, but consumption has fallen by a third over the past 25 years. Moreover, only 8.7% of young people up to the age of 17 state that they drink alcohol once a week. In 2004, this figure was at 21.2%. The most popular way of going alcohol-free is non-alcoholic beer. But specialized retailers, Lifestyle Drinks GmbH, an online-shop for lifestyle and functional premium drinks, makes it easy for Germans to try experiment with numerous other exotic, special and unique non-alcoholic options. Not only is demand for non-alcoholic variety getting stronger, it is increasingly being driven by female consumers.

Perrier Partners with SoScience to Launch Next Packaging Movement

With the desire to drive innovation in sustainable packaging, Nestlé-owned Perrier, backed three different start-ups through SoScience, a French company founded in 2014 with an aim to connect industries and provide sustainable solutions for the future. Through connecting worlds of Science, Innovation and Technology, SoScience matched Perrier with (1) PlasticSkul which promotes micro factories for waste transformation; (2) Biotic – a biodegradable plastic produced from agricultural waste; and (3) FlexiKeg, a producer of reusable flexible kegs. The newly formed team aims to offer concrete solution to the question of what new ideas, materials, or systems can we imagine to help us transform the packaging currently polluting the environment into opportunity for a cleaner planet and better human health. Each of the three start-ups aim to bring their products to market by 2025 with the help of €100,000 financial backing from Perrier.

Hilton Launches Tempo by Hilton

“Modern Achiever” – the newest guest profile, and a result of Hilton’s comprehensive approach to customer segmentation aiming to identify functional and emotional needs Hilton customers express. It took 10.000 consumer surveys to build this profile. And according to Hilton, the Modern Achiever is staying at Tempo by Hilton – an approachable lifestyle brand designed to accommodate travelers looking for a high-end product at an attainable price point. Further, Tempo guestrooms will provide accommodations that prepare Modern Achievers for the day ahead, featuring Power Up and Power Down content to combat stress and burnout, and improve traveler’s wellbeing. Tempo by Hilton has 30 committed and more than 30 working projects in its U.S. pipeline. Tempo by Hilton is also a 3rd brand launched by Hilton in last 18 months, after Motto by Hilton and Signia Hilton.

New Opening in Helsinki: Flavourium

For some, Flavorium may be difficult to pronounce. It describes an idea of teaching people new things about food tastes and how they are born. Located on the 5th floor of Mall of Tripla, the biggest shopping center in the Nordics, the newly opened Flavourium is all about the taste experience. Flavourium features a cocktail and wine bar The One, a fine-dining restaurant and in summer of 2020 will open a taste-experience museum, Heureka Flavor Discovery Center, with an aim of showcasing different flavors though guided tours, workshops and tasting events. Flavourium continues the legacy of Bar A21, an iconic downtown cocktail bar which closed its doors a year and a half ago. The restaurant also features a 6th Sense event space for private parties. It is suitable for seminars (360 people), dinners (300 people) and cocktail parties (almost 600 people).

There is a Prosecco ATM in London

Nothing strange about an ATM machine dispensing cash. But this Santander Bank in London closed down. And where once stood a large metal box, now shines its yellow look-alike. Only this one dispenses Prosecco instead of bank notes. Wine bar group Vagabond – one of UK’s leading wine brands – has come up with an ATM dispensing Prosecco, named “Vagabank”. Offering up cold fizz during two days, and promoting brand’s newest bar opening in Monument – joining seven other Vagabond Bar location around London. Located on Gracechurch in the heart of The City, the new opening lists 160 wines by the glass as well as 10 craft beers.

People on the Move: Frits van Paasschen Joins Sonder Board

In 2015, after eight years at the realm of Starwood, Frits van Paaschen left his position of CEO, only a few months before Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for $12.2 billion. Over the past 5 years, he has taken several part time positions with companies which he finds to be disruptors in the field, coping well in a rapidly changing world, including that of board member at Citizen M hotels and chairperson of Convene, meeting & working space company. With the beginning of 2020, Frtis has joined the board of Sonder, an alternative accommodations brand aiming to become the next-generation Marriott or Hilton with a strong focus on tech reshaping hospitality operations. Sonder’s business model is a cross between a serviced apartment and a hotel. The company, which is active in 28 cities with 14,300 units signed, works with developers to lease floors or full buildings, designs them, then offers them for booking either direct or on the likes of Expedia and Airbnb.

Bartenders’ Choice Awards 2019: Little or No Changes at the Top

Runar is the best bar in Finland. Tata is the best bar in Denmark. Himkok is on top in Norway, and Tjoget rules in Sweden. This is a list of repeat-winners, cocktail bars that proved their fine quality both in 2018 and 2019. In December 2019, hospitality & bar professionals from all over the Nordics joined the announcement of the 2019 Bartenders’ Choice Awards (BCA) at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm, Sweden. It as the 10th anniversary for BC Awards, for which Swedish jewelry designer Yasar Aydin once again created 50 one-of a-kind statues. The BCA is the most prestigious award for the Nordic bar and restaurant industry voted by more than 360 industry professionals.

The Plastic Pollution Crisis – Why it Matters and How we Can Solve it, by Venkatesh Kini

“There is a popular misconception that plastic pollution is an Asian problem. This stems from a statistic that 90% of the plastic pollution entering the oceans from rivers emanates from 10 rivers, 9 of which are in Asia. In fact, those 9 rivers only contribute to 18% of ocean plastic waste, and less than 0.5% of total worldwide plastic waste. Unfortunately, it has propagated the myth that attempts to regulate plastic waste in the USA and Europe are misguided because they contribute marginally to the problem. And that the real culprits are those “third world countries”. Read the full article via link below.