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May Coffee and Connect Wrap Up


Coffee & Connect May 2018 Wrap Up

May Coffee & Connect Wrap Up

The room was buzzing at our May Coffee & Connect meeting. Both members and guests enjoyed meeting lots of new people, creating connections, giving and receiving advice and marketing their business. It sure was a great opportunity to network, learn, get ideas and find customers.

Q & A with Litel Green from Inspire Cowork

We love hearing from ShireWomen members and this month Lital Green, owner of Inspire Cowork - a coworking and office space located in Miranda - joined us on stage for a Q&A session. Lital explained the concept of “coworking"; how sharing office space and coworking are totally different things; and how coworking has many advantages over working in a shared or serviced office. Lital talked about the sharing economy - ownership, whether through sharing, swapping, renting or streaming - and how coworking fits into this trend. Lital told stories of businesses that had benefited from joining the Inspire Cowork space and finished by telling us all about her exciting plans for the expansion of offices and services at Inspire Cowork.

Consumer Trend - "It's in the DNA. I'm so special"

As identified by Euromonitor, during the educational session we looked at the global phenomenon consumer genomics - and the new markets the "It's in the DNA. I'm so special" trend is creating.

This trend is all about individual curiosity regarding genetic make-up and how it is fuelling demand for home DNA kits. The market leaders -” AncestryDNA”, “23andMe” and “DNAFit” - have already tested over 2 million consumer samples, mapping genetic code from simple saliva samples and then explaining what it all means.

Target consumers range from people who are curious about their origins, to those interested in personalised health and beauty, to hard-core fitness and nutrition fanatics, to those who are “worried well” and want to know if they have a genetic risk of developing particular illnesses. Some companies find the results while others aggregate the results.

This means that consumers can get an overall picture of a their DNA and can then, for example:

  • Identify how their genes affect their muscle mass, endurance, fat burning ability and metabolism then get a personalised training and nutrition plan based on these results,
  • Learn how their genes affect how their body metabolises fats, carbohydrates and proteins and get a tailored lifestyle reports, and/or,
  • Find out how well they can tolerate caffeine or whether they are likely to be lactose-intolerant.

So, if someone is interested in staying fit or losing weight they can:

  • Upload their genetic information and send it to a personalised meal delivery service, such as “Fuel” who will use this information to craft an individual meal plan for them; then
  • Integrate this with a fitness tracker or smartwatch.

If they live in the UK and believe the claim that ageing is 60% influenced by genes they can:

  • Go into Selfridges - get same-day DNA test from “Geneu” - fill in lifestyle questionnaire; then
  • Buy a personalised prescription anti-ageing serum based on their DNA.

It has reached a point where the industry is becoming mainstream. There is amazing growth in the space as prices are falling; marketing and distribution methods are improving; and; there are positive regulatory changes. Aggregation services and secondary support companies are launching. The first online genetics marketplace “Helix” recently launched, we are going to see more and more innovative start-ups in this space.

According to Credence Research current revenue from this industry is a USD70 million and is expected to soar to USD340 million by 2022.

A recent US-based survey conducted by UBS found that although currently only 13% of consumers had already taken a genomics test, a further 25% said they planned to do so in the next 12 months. To put this into perspective currently and 23andMe have processed a combined 2.7m samples, which is 0.04% of the World population. In the next 12 months another approximately 5.2 million people will play to have their DNA tested.

We ended up by talking about how commercial DNA companies will need to be clear and upfront with consumers about the limitations of findings, or risk losing their trust.

This sentiment was discussed later in the meeting when we were joined by our guest speaker, Brad Argent from Brad Argent was involved in the business rollout of the AncestryDNA genetic genealogy test in the UK and Australian markets as well as an additional 29 countries. Brad shared some of his experiences over his 11 years at and discussed consumer engagement and market response to this exciting new trend.

All attendants were enthralled and Brad was inundated with questions at the end. Brad was extremely generous with his time and everyone thoroughly enjoyed his presentation.

All in attendance agreed that "It's in the DNA. I'm so special" is a significant consumer trend.

Consumer Trend - "The Survivors"

We then moved on to review a completely different consumer group - “The Survivors”.

Even though Australia has not experienced the great recession felt elsewhere in the world

The gap between rich and poor is widening and there is growing demand for charitable support and discount stores.

This growing need is leading to new thinking - and out of this new way of thinking, we are seeing new ways of providing support. Charities like “OzHarvest” and “Good360” are rescuing goods and distributing them to charities. Platforms like “GiveNow” help crowdsource funds for charities. Charities like “BeautyBank” and “Give and Take Families” are finding innovative ways to provide niche support services.

It is even leading to new types of retail outlets. We have had factory seconds stores here in Australia for a decades but in Europe they have started taking the idea further. “Social supermarkets” are emerging and selling food with expired best-before dates, incorrect labels or damaged packaging at discounts of up to 50%. Some are online and some allow you to buy the food and send it to a charity.

We looked at how second-hand stores are helping drive retail growth. Charity shops especially were a strong driver of retail growth in the UK in 2017 and in the USA the traditional thrift store market is reportedly growing by 8% annually.

In response some high street retailers such as “Urban Outfitters” are incorporating second-hand offerings into their retail operations - featuring dedicated second-hand sections. Soon we may see Australian fashion chains and department stores incorporating “vintage clothing” departments into their stores.

According to NACR (National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations) in Australia there are 2,500 op shops with 76,000 volunteer staff working in them. They contribute $500 million to gross national retail sales and complete 40 million transactions a year - the equivalent of every Australian making a purchase at least twice a year. Further, privately owned companies export second hand clothing to 59 countries - sending 93,502,966 kilos and making $72,980,420 in revenue in the 2017 financial year.

We went on to review how consumers are pushing prices down and encouraging demand for retail and second hand outlets. That there is growth in resale shops, online stock aggregators and grocery discounters. For example in North America, dollar stores are one of the fastest growing areas in retail.

Value-based retailers are responding by expanding aggressively. “Aldi” is now the 3rd biggest supermarket chain with a 13.2% share of Australia’s $90 billion supermarket spend. These type of value-based retailers keep costs low by buying in bulk directly from factories and purchasing surplus stock.

Globally deep discounters are amongst the only retailers that have proved resilient to the rise of internet retailing. We all agreed that they are themselves a disruptive force in retail.

Sadly it was time for the meeting to end… but everyone was too interested to leave! People stayed back for more than half an hour to discuss all they had heard. And to enjoy the muffins, the Devonshire tea and the great chat!

Our next Coffee & Connect is on 1st June. Click HERE to get your tickets.