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Picture perfect: 10 Instagram-friendly food and drink innovations

Posted By Amrin Walji, Senior Innovation Analyst at Mintel, Wednesday 22 August 2018
Updated: Tuesday 21 August 2018

In 2018, food must be as documentable as it is delicious. Flavour has long been the focus of innovation in the food and drink sector, but the rise of image-centric social media like Instagram is increasingly inspiring brands to focus on visually stimulating and shareable products. Brands are experimenting with vibrant colours, innovative shapes and multifaceted textures to make packaged products worthy of consumer praise and social media posts. There’s an opportunity to create products that engage more senses than just taste, be it through colour-changing special effects, by tapping into popular foodservice trends - like the ever-present smoothie bowls - or by creating a unique eating experience. 

Looking at Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), we highlight 10 products launched across the world which would get all the likes on social media.

Sharish Blue Magic Gin

Sharish Blue Magic Gin (UK), launched as a special edition in summer 2017, it changes from a vibrant blueish purple hue to pink when tonic is added. Colour-changing effects can help a product attract attention online and on social media, especially if the drinks are mixed by, or in front of, on-premise consumers who can take photos or videos of the special effect.



Fjordland Litt Mat Smoothie Bowl

Fjordland Litt Mat Smoothie Bowl with Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Ginger and Granola Topping (Norway)  
is designed for time-poor consumers. Smoothie bowls are extremely popular on Instagram, with influencers sharing their breakfast concoctions on a regular basis. 



Hershey Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Summer Snow Cone Glitter Gum


Hershey Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Summer Snow Cone Glitter Gum (US) adds an element of whimsy by incorporating edible glitter to make each piece of gum sparkle.




Wow Raspberry Activated Charcoal Drink



Wow Raspberry Activated Charcoal Drink (UK) is made with coconut shells transformed into activated charcoal and added to cold-pressed raspberry juice. The visual impact of black foods makes this especially Instagrammable!




Happy Cheeze Der Frische Spirulina Chili


Happy Cheeze Der Frische Spirulina Chili (Germany)  is a vegan cheese alternative made with cashew nuts and spirulina micro algae, which gives the product an unusual blue hue. The addition of chilli gives this vegan cheese a kick.



Doritos Corn Chips with Chilies and Spices



Doritos Corn Chips with Chilies and Spices (Mexico)  uses a unique packaging shape to introduce a new product. The pyramid-shaped bag opens horizontally to form an eat-from tray, making it the perfect snack to share with friends at parties.



Lolli & Pops Unicorn Bark


Lolli & Pops Unicorn Bark (US)  
is described as mystical swirls of artisan white chocolate adorned with sprinkles and colourful sweetness.




Baackes & Heimes Unicorn Sliced Mild Gouda


Baackes & Heimes Unicorn Sliced Mild Gouda (Germany) 
features lactose-free slices of gouda cheese cut into a unicorn shape.






Arnott's Tim Tam Chill Me! Iced Coffee Flavoured Biscuits

 Arnott's Tim Tam Chill Me! Iced Coffee Flavoured Biscuits (Australia) are inspired by Gelato Messina, who has been leading the gelato movement in Australia since 2002. They can be eaten at room temperature or chilled in the fridge, where the packaging will change colour when they’re ready.


Lidl Flamingo Shaped Chicken Nuggets

 Lidl Flamingo Shaped Chicken Nuggets with Curry and Sweet & Sour Dip (Austria) are made with seasoned, breaded and fried minced chicken meat. Flamingos are giving unicorns tough competition this year, with plenty of pink flamingo innovations popping up in the food and drink sector.



Aboutthe author

Amrin is a Senior Innovation Analyst who specialises in analysing trends driving product innovation and development across the food and drink industry.

Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.

For more information on how Mintel can help your business, contact Ciara Rafferty, Director Mintel Ireland on +44 (0)28 9024 1849 or

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Marketing Trends for 2019 with Meabh Quoirin

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 15 August 2018
Updated: Friday 3 August 2018

We recently hosted an open lecture in Dublin Institute of technology with Meabh Quoirin, CEO at Foresight Factory and lecturer on the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics

Meabh discussed the digital marketing trends that will impact 2019. The presentation deck is now available to view.

We are still taking applications for the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics starting in September. If you'd like to know more contact Etain Kidney at


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Why Marketers Should Develop Their Career Capital

Posted By Steven Roberts, Head of Marketing at Griffith College, Wednesday 1 August 2018
Updated: Tuesday 31 July 2018

career capital

A recent report identified that 85% of the jobs today’s learners will be doing in 2030 have not yet been invented. In a world where roles are emerging and disappearing with increased frequency, how do marketers build a successful career?

In our profession, we are given certain advice on where to get the best training – a position with one of the big brands, international experience or joining a big tech firm. Exposure to a number of roles while we’re still in our twenties. Perhaps a mix of agency and client-side work. 

Apart from the obvious goal of role advancement, what should we be seeking from each of these positions? 


You are your own CEO

Firstly, it’s important to remember no-one owes you a career. In that sense, we are all ultimately self-employed. This is a difficult but essential message to absorb. As your own CEO, how are you investing to improve your skills and the value you generate as a marketer?

Would you invest in a company that wasn’t setting aside resources to upskill and develop its staff? Why should it be any different for an individual in the current market?

“Managing oneself demands that each knowledge worker think and behave like a chief executive officer.”  Peter Drucker


Build your Career Capital

So what steps can we take to reinforce our employability and job options? 

A great way to frame your thinking is the concept of Career Capital, discussed by author Cal Newport in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You. He posits that by developing a set of rare and valuable skills, employees can increase control over their career.

Doing this requires a craftsperson’s mindset. Forget the idea that you have arrived at the conclusion of your training; rather, consider each day how you can improve and add to your existing skillset. In this respect, it is very similar to the idea of a growth mindset that I have discussed previously.

These skills will deliver what Newport identifies as the ultimate goal for any career – autonomy to choose the roles you want, competence in your chosen area, and a related set of skills that give flexibility and insurance against the vagaries of the job market. 

A core element is commitment to continuous personal improvement. It seems simple, but the compound effect of your actions means that any activity you devote time to consistently on a daily basis will deliver substantial results if done correctly. 


Undertake Deliberate Practice

 The next step is to use deliberate practice. This involves improving specific skills in a targeted and strategic manner. It is how sportspeople and musicians improve. They identify a weakness and focus their regime on strengthening this area through repeated training.

“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve.” Anders Ericsson

Athletes build muscle and endurance through exercises that push them to the edge of their current ability. Musicians practice their scales for hours to improve speed and dexterity. Newport argues that developing your own skillset is no different; there is an element of strain involved in order to push through to the next level of accomplishment.


Test Yourself

 How do you know if you have really absorbed and understood a new skill? Try presenting at your next team meeting, write a blog article or contribute to an industry or in-house journal on the subject.

“No one learns as much as the person who must teach his subject.” Peter Drucker


Develop a Routine

So, how to build this into a workable plan that fits within our own busy lives? 

Firstly, identify your current skillset. Then assess which aspects of your career capital need enhancing. There can be a trade-off. Do you focus on improving existing strengths or on reducing a weakness? Some experts such as Drucker advise to take the former route – in many cases it’s easier to go from good to great in an area where you are already showing competence. 

Next, take steps daily towards your goal. This will provide small wins that will give you encouragement and motivation to progress further. 
Build a routine. Ultimately, so much of life comes down to process and habit. It could be taking 30 minutes in the morning or evening and devoting this specifically to skills development. 

If that doesn’t fit your schedule, try setting aside a chunk of time once or twice a week where you can really immerse yourself. Focus on the process first, results will follow. 
If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive – no matter how skilled or talented you are. Cal Newport.

None of us can predict the future. However, taking a focused, strategic approach to our career capital and skills development will pay dividends no matter what challenges we face in our working lives.

About the author

Steven Roberts is head of marketing at Griffith College and a certified data protection officer. He writes on marketing, GDPR, data protection and personal development.


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Rugby Success Drives Sponsor First-Half Wins

Posted By Onside, Wednesday 1 August 2018
Updated: Tuesday 31 July 2018

John trainor Onside

22nd July 2018: In what is traditionally the busier of the two-halves in a calendar year for sponsorship deals, 2018 continues to uncover growing levels of investment in sponsorship by businesses in Ireland, with ONSIDE consultants tracking a 12% rise in sponsorship investments in Ireland in the first half of this year.

Sport continues to command a lion’s share of the sponsorship activity in Ireland in 2018, with 6 in 10 deals reported so far this year played out in the sports arena. It was a busy start in terms of high-profile major renewal deals including Aviva’s 5 year extension of the Aviva Stadium sponsorship, AIG’s sponsorship of Dublin GAA, and Supermac’s tie with Galway GAA.  Landmark new venue deals included Energia’s deal with European Champions Leinster Rugby’s Donnybrook Stadium and the Nissan Driving school sponsorship at Tayto Park.

Strong year on year gains were made by rights holders across Rugby, GAA, basketball, and hockey in particular in the first half of 2018.  Meanwhile broadcast and cause and community-based announcements, including Boots new deal with the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day, were also significantly ahead so far this year according to the ONSIDE sponsorship market monitor.

Commenting on sponsorship market dynamics at play to date in 2018, John Trainor, Founder and CEO of ONSIDE notes that “sectors most active in terms of closing new deals included financial services and retail, with the auto sector also driving more deals in H1 2018 than the same period in 2017.” Other areas of momentum included brands in what Trainor identified as ‘less traditional big spenders’ including firms in the professional services, including Grant Thornton’s innovative partnership with Dublin Airport Fast Track service, as well as B2B and tech based sectors that are “upping their game in this sponsorship arena.”

Also noteworthy is the continued momentum behind brands developing sponsorship deals
geared specifically toward women’s sport and entertainment, with as many such deals completed in the year to date than across all of 2017.

In terms of the Irish public’s buy-in to sponsors advances, Trainor notes “a sharp rise in admiration for sponsors has developed so far this year as sponsors invest in better activation of their rights.” 9 in 10 Irish people have a sports sponsorship that appeals most to them to date in 2018 – up from 2 in 3 the same period last year. 

Telecoms brands again topped the ONSIDE list of most appealing sport sponsors among Irish adults for the seventh quarter in a row, with Vodafone again retaining No.1 most appealing sports sponsor through a period of unprecedented success for the Irish Rugby team.  Rugby and Community Games sponsor Aldi also was also singled out by the public research as being noteworthy across both sport and non-sport investments in the past 12 months, while sponsors Bank of Ireland, Lidl and Heineken also show good momentum in the latest research.

Despite the FIFA World Cup 2018, a quieter start to the year was recorded for soccer related sponsorship deals, although
looking ahead to the second half of the year, the ONSIDE consultants note that a new cycle set to kick off shortly for UEFA Euro 2020 in 12 different European cities including Dublin in summer 2020 will undoubtedly reboot interest in soccer opportunities as sponsorship planning for 2019 begins this autumn.

About Onside

ONSIDE is a leading specialist in marketing and sponsorship consulting and research services – With a proven track record and strong industry experience in a cross section of sectors, ONSIDE is currently feeding into the marketing and sponsorship decision making of circa €50m+ of Irish spend – working on many of Ireland’s premier sponsorships – on sporting, music, cause-related, broadcast and other platforms.


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The GDPR - another disaster that never was?

Posted By Nikita Smits-Jørgensen, BusinessBrew, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Updated: Thursday 12 July 2018

gdpr the disaster that never was

May 25th 2018, the GDPR enforcement date, has passed and the sky didn’t fall. The panic and media attention around the new regulation have died down. Suddenly, the GDPR feels like the Y2K disaster that never was. But is that really true? Can marketing teams breathe easy and take a step back from personal data privacy and compliance? The answer is no, and here’s why.


GDPR and Y2K - The big difference

We are hearing one phrase more than any other when it comes to the GDPR at the moment: “GDPR is just like Y2K. Big panic that disaster will strike and then nothing happens.”

Let’s just remind ourselves of what Y2K meant. In 1999, there was concern that when the new millennium kicked off all computers including your PC, onboard facilities on planes, government devices and everything else would malfunction and therefore disaster would occur. Today, we know this didn’t happen and Y2K is known as the disaster that never was.

The only similarity to the GDPR is the fact that both had a D-Day - 1/1/2000 and 25/5/2018 respectively. And perhaps that the hysteria created around both days was bigger than it needed to be. But seriously, that’s where it ends.

The GDPR compared to Y2K is very real. It’s is a law that has come into force. Businesses have to adhere to the rules and have to change how they work with personal data going forward. While the news cycle may have moved on and hysteria has died down, the enforcement of the GDPR hasn’t.


What happened after 25/05/2018?

The point of this article is not to scare anyone, it’s to show that the belief that the GDPR has no bite and will not be enforced is untrue. My advice to you is simple, if you haven’t completed your GDPR compliance project, you need to get started. The legislation is being enforced as we speak:

Just 5 days after the deadline, on May 30th the first ruling came in. ICANN (WHOIS / The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers vs EPAG. A German court ruled that EPAG is not obliged to collect additional personal data.

Cases have been filed by Max Schrems, and La Quadrature du Net against the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Google’s Android, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn across different European countries.

US businesses like the LA Times are as of writing this post still not providing services to European visitors. They are willing to forego advertising revenue until they are sure they are fully GDPR compliant.

And if you feel the GDPR is only affecting big businesses:

France has seen a 50% increase in the number of complaints in relation to data privacy and Austria has seen 100+ complaints and 59 breach notification filed in the month post May 25th (that’s the same amount they’d receive in 8 months usually) according to

From a home perspective, Helen Dixon, our Irish DPA, said this in May 2018: “There will be fines, and they will be significant.[...] I think it is quite clear that when we do identify an infringement that’s of the gravity, duration and scope that is serious, then we are obliged considerably to administer an administrative fine.” 

These are really just a handful of examples of how businesses, privacy advocates, courts and citizens like you and me are using the GDPR to ensure that personal data is handled as it should be. They demonstrate the reality of the GDPR and the need to become compliant as well as maintaining compliance.


It’s not too late to get compliant

It’s never too late to become compliant! Compliance is an ongoing processes and many businesses are only now starting to wrap their heads around it. So if that’s you, you are not alone. But you really need to get your compliance skates on! 

Often, the GDPR is left with the legal and / or IT department of the business. And while both of these have a big part to play, commercial teams like sales and marketing have to up their compliance game, too.

Most sales and marketing teams today collect data online through forms like a “contact us”. Ecommerce businesses, of course, work with order forms that collect personal data. This data is often pulled into a CRM system where it is processed. This processing may include order fulfillment, invoicing or using the data to make a sales call or send a marketing email. Regardless of whether you are working in a B2B or B2C business and regardless of whether the order is fulfilled in Europe or not, if your business in based in Europe the GDPR applies and has to be included in your sales & marketing tasks.

The first step to becoming compliant is to understand the law. Easier said than done, right? The difficulties for many marketers are around avoiding miscommunication and myths as well as finding information that explains the GDPR in human-speak, not legal. 

MII together with BusinessBrew understands this; we are marketers not lawyers. Our online course is based on my experience as a Privacy Professional accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and ISO standard 17024:2012 as well as my experience as a marketing strategist. This mix means that I can explain the GDPR in human-speak as well as give you real life sales & marketing examples applying the regulation. The next intake for the online course starts on 13th August, be sure to register your interest here!


About Nikita Smits-Jørgensen

Nikita Smits-Jørgensen is co-founder of inbound marketing and GDPR consultancy BusinessBrew. While being ISO certified in privacy regulations for sales and marketing (GDPR / PECR) she aims to work with marketers in plain English to get GDPR-ready.

Nikita met fellow BusinessBrew founder Evelyn Wolf during their tenure at inbound marketingpowerhouse HubSpot where they assisted businesses of all sizes and industries as well as marketing agencies in building their lead to customer generation funnels.

BusinessBrew is geared to help companies make the most out of their inbound marketing and privacy efforts in the most time and cost-efficient manner through workshops, training and the delivery of strategic playbooks.


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