Subscription-free fresh food Meal Kits in Germany (by Amazon and Marley Spoon)

Marley Spoon, the Berlin-based meal kit company announced its cooperation with Amazon Fresh. Customers can order 8 different Marley Spoon meal kits over Amazon Fresh, each containing a 2-person meal. Amazon customers can order the up until the day of delivery.

Flexibility

With this new option, Marley Spoon gives consumers the option to spontaneously decide to order a meal kit, without a subscription.

Founder and CEO Fabian Siegel: “we want to create a new standard in the meal-kit industry, in which we offer flexible delivery options and a broad choice of recipes. This partnership gives consumers who want to make their daily eating routines easier, either for a single evening or more evenings in a week."

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Online-Supermarkt Picnic launched in Germany 

A new competitor for Amazon Fresh and REWE: the online supermarket Picnic recently launched  in a few German cities. Shoppers order their groceries with an app, the delivery is for free. 

Dutch grocery delivery service Picnic recently launched in Germany. It starts off in the North Rhine-Westphalia region in cities like Kaarst, Neuss, Meerbusch and Düsseldorf-Oberkassel. Other cities will follow soon according to the company’s management. The Picnic services are already used by 80,000 consumers in the Netherlands, according to the company.  In the end Picnic wants to deliver to all consumers, not just those in cities. Before their launch, a pilot was held in the city of Kaarst.

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Hudson's Bay in the Netherlands: their chances from the consumer's perspective

Hudson's Bay

In September last year, the Hudson’s Bay Company opened their first Hudson’s Bay stores in the Netherlands, the first outside Canada in their 347-year history.  With the expansion, the company strengthens its position as a player in Northwestern Europe.  

What happened to them? 

It has been awfully silent around the company ever since, until yesterday, when they told the press they will not have 20 stores in the Netherlands as they earlier announced, but that they will focus on having 15, of which 10 are already up and running.  

It's  hard to hide for them that the first results have been disappointing for the company in the Netherlands. Some experts question whether they will succeed at al within the Dutch retail landscape, in which recently some larger retail formulas have disappeared due to changing consumer preferences and a consumers’ shift to online.

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MainTool makes Classic Watches Smart

In the past five years or so in retail, one of the biggest trends to have gone viral are smartwatches, particularly those that measure our levels of fitness and exercise. From the Apple Watch to the Fitbit, fitness enthusiasts everywhere are obsessed with getting their hands on the latest gadget to improve their exercise and calorie intake.

But what happens when you want to combine fitness with fashion? A lot of the time, smartwatch wearers everywhere want to record their activity levels every single second of the day, meaning not just at the gym, but at work, dates, family events or just generally out and about. The problem with most smartwatch technology is that they’re so obvious - a big, bulky piece of technology strapped to your wrist, making everyone aware that you are wearing one. MainTool have created an ideal concept for both fitness and fashion lovers everywhere.

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No message in this bottle: Letterbox friendly wine bottles by Garçon Wines

- By Lottie Atkin

There’s nothing worse to coming home after a hard day at work to realise that there’s no wine in the house. So, if only you had a wine subscription, right? But as well as wine-less shelves, we’ve all faced the inconvenience of missing a parcel quite a few times in our life. You spend ages looking forward to your package finally being delivered, only to arrive home to the dreaded ‘Sorry we missed you...’ slip. You then have to go through the notion of the awkward encounters with the neighbours it was left with, or driving miles to your local distribution centre and queuing for ages while wondering if this parcel is really worth it.

What if there was a way to never miss a delivery, specifically, an alcohol filled delivery? London start up company Garçon Wines have created slim, plastic wine bottles that fit through your letterbox, allowing for home delivery even when you’re not home. Made from heavy duty, glass like plastic, the bottles appear thinner and longer than a typically shaped wine bottle

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Print Peter: "You Chill, We Print"

As a student, you’ll know that one of the biggest bane of your life is the cost of printing. You pay a certain amount of tuition each year to attend university, in some countries more than others, and you’re still expected to pay money to print off the work for a university you’re paying to attend and eventually graduate from. It has been said that European countries have a higher quality of student life for the tuition fees they ask, compared to those say in the US or in the UK. 

In Berlin, the latest way to make the life of a student even more convenient and frugal is a free printing service, a startup called ‘Print Peter’. Founded by three friends at university, it is a platform where students can upload their university material for free. ‘Print Peter’ prints the pages and binds them within 48 hours, all completely for free. With such a rising demand of dissertations, thesis’ and deadlines, the service has become of great value to the university students of Berlin and beyond. The offer is open to all students enrolled at a German university, and due to it’s success and popular demand, the company is now able to spread internationally, and wants to bring its services to Australia and Switzerland 

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Flavourspace knows what you'd like to eat tonight

- by Lottie Atkin

It’s one of the hardest decisions we face on nearly a daily basis – what should I cook for dinner? Am I feeling lazy or productive? What do I feel like eating? What needs eating up in the fridge? It nearly always ends the same way – you’re faced with too many decisions, and up going for a standard pasta pesto. Its quick, tasty and requires little thought or effort. But what if there was a way to utilise your ingredients to their maximum efficiency? What if there was a space to provide inspiration for your evening meal, that gives you suggestions for additional ingredients, that makes cooking feel worthwhile again?

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Ford ensures you get a good night’s sleep

- by Lottie Atkin

Parents across the world are constantly trying to figure out new ways to make their baby sleep easier and longer. It seems an emerging pattern would be that babies sleep soundly and without disturbance when on a long car journey – which adults might find too! The gentle vibrating and rocking of the car has been proven to soothe people into a gentle lull, but what if there was a way to recreate this sensation for babies when they’re not in a car?

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The succes of Dean&David: Healthy Food for the Go

If you live in German, Austria or Switzerland, you are probably familiar with the Dean&David restaurants. This is a company that started as the first salad bar in Munich back in 2007. Nowadays, it is the most successful healthy fast food franchise in Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Everything began in 2005, when its founder, David Baumgartner, went on a long trip around the world, being the USA, Australia and Asia the most remarkable places for what he was planning to do. What he found in those countries was a quick access to healthy food that was also available anywhere.

It was something that he could not find in Germany back then, so when he came back to Munich, he created Dean&David. At the beginning, he had little to no rest from work since he was the one cutting vegetables, the one cleaning the floor and tables, and the one in charge of financial niches and organizing working schedules.

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#riseandshine: Wake up with Hipster Coffee

-by Lottie Atkin

Everywhere you look, restaurants, catering services and retail organisations appear to be doing their absolute best to 'hipster'-ize everything. From serving food in shoes or using a shovel as a plate, to pouring alcoholic beverages in test tubes or creating latte art - anything to let millennials capture that perfect Instagram worthy picture. The younger generation of 2017 appear to jump through hoops to get their hands on the latest unique product to give their life a little edge. When scrolling through the popular pages of every social media platform, you'll find an aerial view photograph of a beauty blogger hugging a cup of coffee alongside a bowl of fruit and oats, captioned #riseandshine #blessed. So what happens when you can up your game with the perfect, 21st century must have?

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Yeay is the eBay for Generation Z

The selling power of the internet is enormous, especially if you know the browsing habits of your audience. According to KPCB.com, video content will make up 74% of online traffic this year. Almost half of all internet users search for product-related video content before checking out a store. These facts have not gone unnoticed. It’s what sparked the inspiration for Berlin-based startup, Generation Z.

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FoodNotify: A Hassle-Free Food Service

- by  Lottie Atkin

What happens when you find the ideal recipe to fit your ingredients, time limit and cravings – but you have no idea where to start when it comes to breaking down the nutritional values, additives and potentially allergy hazards? What is delicious for some can become seriously dangerous for someone else. Peanuts, shellfish and soya contain one of the fourteen worst allergies, and one of the most frequent triggers for allergies and intolerances. This can become a huge headache for manufacturers, who must therefore specify exactly what is present in their products according to the European packaging laws.

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Green Guru’s: a win-win using the leftovers

Ever since the trend of startups has erupted, the life of a general human being has improved! Even though they are a bit tormenting for the planner and executors, they make life easier for the customers they are serving! One of such startups gaining momentum in Berlin is Green Guru’s. If you are someone who has decided to change your life and start living healthy, Green Guru is here for your help. We all know that taking the New Year’s resolution to live healthy is easy but actually implementing it is quite difficult. Now, who has the time and energy to sit and plan your meal and actually make all the healthy stuff? Also, a lot of people who have a full time job usually do not find spare time to make the healthy food items. Thus is when Green Guru comes to your assistance. It helps you in living a better life by providing you with the most delicious and well-made salads and smoothies!

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Erdbär wants kids to fall in love with fruits and vegetables

- by Lottie Atkin

German start up company Erdbär wanted to make fruit and vegetables tasty and appealing for children, and created a new product under the name of Freche Fruende (literally translated as ‘Naughty Friends). Not only do founders, married couple Alexaner and Natacha Neumann, want to get children to love their fruits and vegetables again, but they also want to make the buying of such products quick, convenient and immediate. Think Hello Fresh! combined with Graze, but purely for children. The Freche Freunde snacks are all made of fruit and vegetables, and all ingredients are 100% organic. Freche Freunde offer a choice of fun, colourful and easy snacks without any additives. They are ideal for taking out and about, and can be ordered on online supermarket websites.

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The Rise of Electronic Shelf Labels

by Lottie Atkin

Electronic shelf labels refer to systems used by retailers to sell their products in stores. Typically, the display modules are attached to the front edge of retail shelving, and display the pricing and additional information of the product, such as sell by dates and nutritional value for food products, or product information for electronics. The concept dates all the way back to 1991, when Scandinavian based tech company Pricer was founded in Sweden. The first ever Pricer ESL system was installed in a Cash & Carry store in 1995. The modules use electronic paper or liquid crystal paper to display this information. A communication network allows the price display to be automatically updated whenever a product price is changed, and it is this what makes ESL a strong solution for modern retail. In order to operate properly, the wireless communication must have a reasonable range, speed, battery life and reliability, which can be based on radio, infrared or even visible light communication. 

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DrexCode: the Italian Way of Curated Shopping

by Lottie Atkin

Fashion enthusiasts all over the world have faced this dilemma at least once - you have been invited to a formal dinner, a charity ball, an awards ceremony or a lavish event that requires an equally lavish outfit. You want to wear a beautiful and luxurious dress, but the event is not quite important enough to invest your life savings into an outfit. Besides, just like a wedding dress, you’re likely to only wear this once, so why would you take out a second mortgage just so you can impress your colleagues for just one evening? This is where Drexcode comes to the rescue.

Drexcode is an online platform for luxury clothing hire, and has recently closed a second round of financing for a cool half a million euros. It was founded in May 2014 bt Frederica Storace and Valeria Cambrea, two business women with more than ten years marketing experience behind them. The process is very simple thanks to their easy to use website. In four simple steps, a designer dress will land on your doorstep for your chosen occasion. First you register, then you choose your look and have it delivered. You wear the dress, feel fabulous and have UPS pick it up again for return as quickly as the morning after the night before. With additional free stylist advice, a free second size and a free refund within 24 hours policy, it is the ideal website for those looking to add a bit of designer style to their lives but aren’t quite ready to make the financial commitment yet.

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Cavacave: a Game Changer for Wine Lovers everywhere

The process of Cavacave is a simple one - the seller creates an account where they can describe in detail the characteristics of their bottle of wine, such as age, price, traceability, domain and location. Any interested buyer pays for the bottle and receives the bottle in person or by delivery. ‘We have sold around 4,000 bottles with an average of €243.60 per transaction.’ Deubler confirms.

To step up it’s unique game, Cavacave also offers an online auction service which is dedicated to rare and exceptional wines and spirits. It can include over a hundred lots distributed over auction rooms, some lasting ten days. In the auction rooms you can find several different rare wines, such as bottles of Chateaux Sénéjac - Haut Médoc, dating from 1945.

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