Global Digest Paris - Old meets New
Paris is a city steeped in history, where people take great pleasure in passing their traditions down through the generations. From recovering old-world wellness techniques, to upholding classic customs like the mid-day “gôuter” break, Parisians are proud of their heritage and what it represents: ways of living that have lasted the test of time.
But with innovative technology and ideas breaking new ground every day, brands in this city have increasingly had to negotiate the clash between heritage and novelty. What are some of the ways that they have tried to bridge this gap, so as to introduce disruptive ideas to consumers while still maintaining trustworthiness?
Hank is one of the many veggie- and vegan-friendly eateries in Paris that serves up high-tech culinary innovations in rustic settings. Although the brand’s juicy patty has been labelled “the future of protein” by wellness enthusiasts across the city, it is served in a retail space that harks back to the past – with peeling plaster, exposed wood grain, and overall, a carefully stylised aesthetic of decay predominating. Like many other futuristic wellness F&B outlets across the city, Hank cleverly borrows the visuals of the past to give its disruptive, potentially alien/intimidating, product a shine of authenticity.
Zzzen Bar à Sieste is a nap and relaxation bar located in the bustling centre of Paris, which offers a range of unfamiliar services from fish foot-spas, to ‘VR naps’ where consumers can be immersed in projections of calming, natural imagery. But by referencing the ancient tradition of “zen” in their name, the bar signals that all of these newfangled wellness techniques are part of a much longer lineage, which human beings have benefited from for centuries.
Dozo uses an intelligently engineered bottle to let consumers experience the age-old, Japanese ritual of fresh tea infusion. Although the bottle can be purchased on-shelf, it does not contain a pre-made tea product. Rather, when consumers twist the bottle cap for the first time, it releases dry matcha powder into the bottle of water beneath, thereby enacting the tea-making process from scratch. For this brand, modern engineering becomes a way of enabling and re-enacting the traditions of old, making them relevant in today’s fast-paced, grab-and-go world.