New Allman Brothers Band 1971 Live Album To Premiere On SiriusXM’s JamOn This Week

first_imgThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band, whose first rehearsal together took place on March 26th.Related: Inside The First-Ever Allman Brothers Band RehearsalIn honor of the important milestone, Sirius XM’s JamOn (ch. 29) is giving listeners the exclusive first listen of an unreleased Allman Brothers Band concert album captured live at San Francisco, CA’s Fillmore West in 1971, which is officially due out later this year.The Allman Brothers Band: Fillmore West 1971 premieres on JamOn tomorrow, Tuesday, March 26th at 2:00 pm ET, hosted by former ABB guitarist Warren Haynes and his wife, JamOn’s own Stef Scamardo. The segment will air again at various times throughout the week.The counterpart to 1971’s live album At Fillmore East, the forthcoming record is expected to include the top performances from the January 29th performance–which happened just a month before the legendary NYC run that would go on to become a platinum-certified live album. It was only eight months later that bandleader and guitar virtuoso Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident. Original bassist Berry Oakley Jr. died one year later in almost the exact same place. In honor of the original lineup–which also featured Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, and Dickey Betts–the Allman Brothers Band continued to tour with a rotating lineup for 45 years and officially had their final show in 2014.According to a 2017 interview with longtime Allman Brothers Band manager Bert Holman, there’s still a great deal of music in the Allman Brothers Band archives that has yet to be released via the band’s own label and RED distribution. “We’ll keep putting things out as long as there’s an appetite for it,” Holman told Billboard. “There’s a great deal of material [left], and still a lot of interest in hearing these things, we think.”Check out the full schedule below and pick a time to listen to this unreleased live Allman Brothers gem on SiriusXM’s JamOn (ch. 29) this week.The Allman Brothers Band: Fillmore West 1971 – Airtime ScheduleTuesday 3/26 @ 2pm ETWeds 3/27 @ 11am ETThursday 3/28 @ 6pm ETFriday 3/29 @ 8am ETSaturday 3/30 @ 3pm ETSunday 3/31 @ Noon ETlast_img read more

A hot idea for conserving energy

first_imgWhen winter temperatures drop to frigid in Cambridge, the air inside some rooms at Eliot House soars to downright tropical.That’s because Eliot, an upperclassman dormitory built in 1931, uses a steam-driven heat exchanger to pump hot water through the building whenever the outdoor temperature drops below 48 degrees. To ensure that enough steam reaches radiators at the end of the line, radiators in rooms closer to the input get hotter than necessary.With limited temperature controls in their dorm rooms, some sweltering students resort to cracking windows to let some of the heat escape. Aldís Elfarsdóttir ’18, an environmental science and engineering concentrator at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), didn’t like the environmental implications of that.Curious about the impact of wasting all that energy, she took on an extracurricular project through her work with the Harvard Office for Sustainability (OFS) to quantify the amount of energy flying out the windows during wintertime. This inefficiency is one reason undergraduate Houses are undergoing a renewal that includes state-of-the-art heating systems and energy-efficient windows.Working with Siemens energy engineer Christopher Bitzas, Elfarsdóttir discovered that if all its windows were kept closed through the winter, Eliot House could save 358 million BTUs of thermal energy — slightly more energy than an average person in the United States consumes during an entire year. Based on the cost of purchasing steam, closing the windows would save nearly $14,000 each winter.With that data in mind, Elfarsdóttir attended a design-thinking workshop at SEAS, organized in conjunction with OFS. There she met Patrick Kuiper, M.E. ’16, then an applied mathematics master’s student, who introduced her to Patrick Day, S.M. ’16, an engineering sciences master’s student. Together, they launched a data-gathering project to help Eliot House conserve energy. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Office of Physical Resources and Planning provided funding, and OFS advised the team. House reopens after 15-month renewal project No loss of character in new-look Dunster The project involved installing Intel Edison Internet of Things development boards, retrofitted with temperature and humidity sensors, into 15 Eliot House dorm rooms to gather real-time environmental data.“We had been using these devices for fun, and then Aldís came along and had a great application for them,” Kuiper said. “These simple devices give us a way to quantitatively analyze people’s temperature perceptions.”Fine-tuning the miniature computers and connecting them to Amazon Web Service to collect and organize data was an iterative process that involved its share of trial and error, Day said.But the biggest challenge the team faced came when they arrived at Eliot House in early August to install the devices. Due to a scheduling conflict with a move-in day, they had less than 24 hours to set up all 15 computers. They had to work late into the night to installing the sensors in all four floors of the House.The devices now provide temperature and humidity information twice an hour. The team intends to use that data, in conjunction with qualitative input from resident surveys, to help students select rooms they are likely to find more comfortable.So far, 106 residents have completed a survey that asks their temperature preferences and demographic background. In the spring, Elfarsdóttir will survey residents again to determine whether their room felt too hot or too cold for them during the winter.That data will lay the foundation for a model that can be used to make suggestions to students when it comes time for room selection, said Kuiper. For instance, a student who hails from the Deep South and loves beach weather might be more comfortable in a room that gets warmer in winter, he said.“I am so excited to see this project come to life,” Elfarsdóttir said. “Our hope is that, by increasing occupant comfort, we can simultaneously save energy because there will be reduced window-opening during winter.”In addition to reducing energy usage, the team hopes the data generated will contribute to other research projects, at Harvard and beyond.“Maybe this project will help inform the upcoming renovations at Eliot House,” Day said. “Hopefully, this will provide some real data that will help decision-makers select a heating system that will work better for the building.”Heather Henriksen, who directs the OFS, said one of her office’s primary goals is to facilitate projects like this that use the campus as a test bed for student and faculty research.For Elfarsdóttir, it was especially rewarding to work on a project that could impact the future of her House, which is due to be renovated in three years.As she travels through narrow hallways and up creaky flights of stairs, checking the sensors and chatting with housemates about the project’s progress, it’s clear to Elfarsdóttir that stately Eliot House has become a living laboratory.“This project has impressed upon me how data can show us, in a completely quantitative way, how we are interacting with our living environment,” she said. Relatedlast_img read more

‘Sketching’ with clay

first_img“The most difficult part about being a potter is having that steady hand to work the clay,” master potter Ben Owen III tells an appreciative crowd at a recent workshop at the Harvard Ceramics Building in Allston.The third-generation artisan from North Carolina dispensed advice and stories from behind the wheel as he shaped vases and teapots. “Major in the minors,” he said, encouraging the student and community potters to pay attention to the details.“I have never seen a visiting artist make as many works in such a short amount of time,” said Kathy King, director of education for the ceramics program. “This enthusiasm for his craft and generosity in sharing his techniques was impressive.”Owen said his grandfather began teaching him pottery when he was 9 years old. He would say, “Each pot is a sketch for the next one.”,Owen recalled being 13 when his grandfather was bedridden with arthritis and leg pain from years at the kick wheel, worsened by a cold. The teenager snuck out to the studio with one of his elder’s teapots to use as a model, and made three of his own.“I did the best I could with my skill,” Owen said. “I took them into the house to show him. I was so proud to show him I made three teapots.“He sat right up, and he had been in the bed most of the day. … ‘You made your knob too small. You made your handle too thin. You made your spout too big.’ And the next day he was right back out there with me. ‘We’re going to try these teapots again.’” Owen laughed. “The reason why my grandfather lived longer was he never knew what I was going to do next. He was such a great mentor.”Graduate student Ana Paula Hirano, a relative newcomer to pottery, said she learned new techniques from Owen, such as using a potter’s tool called the rib to dry the clay.“He talked about how he wedges, and how that creates a certain spiral on the clay,” added Alex Kim ’21. “He then showed us how putting that spiral on the wheel in the wrong direction can have an effect on the structural quality of a clay piece. … I am eager to apply this new method to my craft.”last_img read more

Cherry Jones to Headline The Glass Menagerie in the West End

first_img Star Files Two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones will appear alongside Michael Esper, Kate O’Flynn and Brian J. Smith in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie in the West End. Directed by John Tiffany, the Broadway and Edinburgh International Festival hit production will begin previews on January 26, 2017 at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Opening night is set for February 2.Time is the longest distance between two places. A domineering mother. A daughter lost in a world of her own. A son determined to leave. Former Southern Belle, Amanda Wingfield, is desperate to find a husband for her fragile daughter Laura, whilst son Tom dreams of breaking free from their faded St. Louis home. But will the long-awaited “gentleman caller” fulfill or shatter the family’s delicate dreams?Jones will reprise her Tony Award-nominated Broadway role as Amanda Wingfield, with fellow Edinburgh International Festival cast members Michael Esper as Tom and Kate O’Flynn as Laura. Brian J. Smith will reprise his Tony Award-nominated Broadway role as the Gentleman Caller.The production, which originated in 2013 at the American Repertory Theater, will feature movement by Steven Hoggett, design by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Paul Arditti and music by Nico Muhly.The limited engagement will run through April 29. Cherry Jones in ‘The Glass Menagerie'(Photo: Michael J. Lutch/American Repertory Theater) Cherry Jones View Commentslast_img read more

Skelos Corruption Trial: No Mention of Son’s Ties in AbTech-Agency Meeting

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The general counsel for New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) brokered a meeting between the state Department of Health and a company employing the senator’s son without disclosing that link, a witness said.James Clancy, a former deputy state Health Department commissioner who was at the meeting, said Elizabeth Garvey, one of the senator’s top attorneys, first contacted him about setting up a sit-down between AbTech Industries and agency staffers who were reviewing the environmental health impacts of fracking before it was banned in New York last year, Clancy testified Wednesday at the senator and son’s corruption trial at Manhattan federal court.“Find it curious that [state] senate Republican is reaching out to me directly,” Clancy wrote in an email to his colleagues and members of the governor’s staff on Jan. 28, 2014, according to court testimony. Concerned with the potentially controversial nature of the request, the next day he also forwarded the lawyer’s email to another one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aides, adding: “This is a biggie.”Arizona-based AbTech is one of three companies that the former state Senate Majority Leader allegedly coerced $300,000 from in the form of no-show jobs for his son, Adam, in exchange for illegally manipulating legislation. Both men deny the accusations.Clancy said he told Garvey, counsel to the state senate’s GOP majority, which Skelos led at the time, that Clancy would talk to his department colleagues and find out if such a meeting was “deemed to be appropriate.” After a back and forth, AbTech got the meeting on May 2, 2014, when company representatives pitched their product’s ability to filter fracking waste water. The issue was important because one of the issues being debated in Albany was whether fracking waste water would be trucked from well sites—clogging upstate roads with countless big rigs—or recycled on-site using filters such as AbTech’s. Late last year, Cuomo decided to ban fracking.Sen. Skelos’ defense attorney, Robert Gage, asked Clancy about another email that the deputy commissioner had sent to his colleagues in which he said it “sounded legit” and “I’m feeling OK about it.” Gage also asked “if anything inappropriate had occurred” in the meeting—such as AbTech’s representatives asking about fracking regulations or asking for a permit—and whether that would have triggered Clancy to “shut it down.” Clancy said yes, but the hour-long meeting ended without issue.Prosecutors subsequently asked Clancy if he knew how Skelos’ general counsel had found out about AbTech. Clancy said he didn’t know. Prosecutors also followed up to ask if Clancy knew that the senator’s son stood to potentially make money off AbTech’s fracking waste-water filters, if such drilling were legalized in the state and if AbTech secured those contracts. Again, Clancy said he didn’t.After Clancy testified, Kelly Ann Cummings, the spokeswoman for the state senate’s GOP majority, took the stand, but questions didn’t get beyond the biographical before the judge adjourned the case for the day. Her testimony is scheduled to continue Thursday.last_img read more

Study sheds light on lethality of 1918 flu virus

first_imgJan 17, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A virus recovered from victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic kills by replicating so rapidly that it revs the immune system into overdrive, turning the body against itself, a team of scientists report in today’s issue of the journal Nature.The finding, from a small study done in cynomolgus macaque monkeys, appears to confirm historical accounts of the 1918 pandemic that describe victims drowning from within as their lungs filled with blood and fluid.And it may offer a starting place for interventions against future pandemics, because avian influenza H5N1, the viral strain currently considered the most substantial pandemic threat, causes a similar intense immune reaction in human victims.H5N1 “appears to do this in a way that is quite similar to the 1918 virus, ” Darwyn Kobasa of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiological Laboratory, the paper’s first author, said in a media briefing before the paper’s release. “So we think a greater understanding of the viruses that cause pandemics will help us predict what might be expected and how to plan to use our knowledge and resources to reduce the impact of a new pandemic.”The study, led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, used a virus that was reassembled in 2005 out of fragments recovered from the tissues of 1918 victims and now is held in only two high-security biosafety level 4 laboratories: the Canadian lab in Winnipeg and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.The researchers compared clinical course, pathology, and genomic analyses for seven monkeys experimentally infected with high doses of the 1918 virus and three monkeys infected with a modern virus from the same H1N1 family as the 1918 strain.Monkeys from both groups were euthanized on the third and sixth days after infection for analysis. The scientists had planned to let the experiment run for 21 days, but the 1918-infected monkeys were so gravely ill that they had to be euthanized at day 8.Pathologic analysis revealed that the lungs of the 1918-infected group, but not the modern-virus group, were filled with blood and watery fluid and had widespread tissue destruction. Viral isolation from the tissues showed that the 1918 virus kept replicating throughout the monkeys’ respiratory systems until they were put to death—unlike the modern virus, which the last monkey from the modern-virus group largely cleared from its system.And analyses of gene expression in bronchial tissues from both sets of monkeys uncovered striking differences in the reactions of the monkeys’ immune systems. The macaques that received the conventional virus spiked an immune response after three days, but that response faded by day 6 as healing began. The 1918-infected group, on the other hand, experienced an initially muted immune response that grew progressively stronger and never abated.”There was an uncontrolled or aberrant inflammatory response,” co-author Michael Katze of the University of Washington, Seattle, said in the media briefing. As in case reports from 1918, he said, “instead of protecting the individuals that were infected with the highly pathogenic virus, the immune response is actually contributing to the lethality of the virus.”That over-revved reaction, commonly called a “cytokine storm” after overproduction of one type of immune-system proteins, was recorded last fall in mice experimentally infected with the same recovered 1918 virus, by a team that included some of the authors of today’s paper.Kawaoka, who was not an author on the mouse study, told reporters it was important to repeat the work in nonhuman primates because organisms that are lethal to mice in the laboratory often show lesser effects on larger animals.An uncontrolled immune system reaction has been hypothesized as the cause of death for 1918 victims, who were described in autopsy accounts as having lungs that resembled sodden sponges, and it has been identified in several deaths from H5N1 in Vietnam.But it also has suggested a possible defense strategy if a pandemic begins — something dearly sought by public health planners, who acknowledge that vaccines cannot be produced quickly and antivirals will be in short supply.On the basis of their findings, the authors of today’s article recommend additional research into drugs that damp down the immune-system response triggered by the 1918 virus. “One can image that first-responders, the people on the front lines in the hospital, could perhaps be treated with a combination of drugs—let’s say an antiviral drug like Tamiflu and drugs that already exist which may control that inflammatory response,” Katze said in the briefing.One possible pharmaceutical defense strategy hinges on statins, a class of drugs used against cardiovascular disease that target the same inflammatory response observed in the flu studies. Several studies have found that patients who are taking statins experience less sepsis and bacteremia.And a forthcoming article in the journal Critical Care Medicine follows a group of 11,400 patients with atherosclerotic disease, half of whom were taking statins, and finds that statin use cut the risk of death from infections—mostly pneumonia—by two thirds.”This is a clinical and epidemiologic signal of protection that we ought to pay attention to, that statins are beneficial in serious infectious disease syndromes that are associated with elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines,” David Fedson, a former professor of medicine and pharmaceutical researcher who recommended exploring statins as a defense against a pandemic in a 2006 article in Clinical Infectious Diseases, said in an interview.Unlike pandemic vaccine, he said, statins can be produced in advance—and unlike the antivirals used against flu, they are widely produced around the world in generic format, and therefore both abundant and cheap.But interventions that affect the immune system should be approached with caution until further research is conducted, said Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site.”The immune wiring of the human body is so complicated that what might appear at the outset to be an obvious way of dampening the immune system may have unseen complications,” he said.And distributing even inexpensive, widely available drugs may be impractical, he added, given the social and economic disruption that a pandemic would cause: “Given our lack of surge capacity, and the fact that the vast majority of pharmaceutical products we use in this country today are produced offshore, I have no sense those drugs would really be available.”Kobasa D, Jones S, Shinya K, et al. Aberrant innate immune response in lethal infection of macaques with the 1918 influenza virus. (Letter) Nature 2007 Jan 18;445 [Full text]last_img read more

Crowning glory as Aberdeen set for biggest pre-let in years

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

PREMIUMPLN projects lower electricity consumption over coronavirus

first_imgFacebook Linkedin State-owned electricity company PLN projects lower consumption by corporate users this year as worries over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has caused a significant decline in trade and industrial activities.PLN’s executive vice president in charge of marketing and customer service, Edison Sipahutar, estimates electricity consumption will fall between 0.6 percent and 1.2 percent in 2020  from 245.52 terawatt-hours (TWh), assuming sluggish factory, office and retail activities continue over the next nine months.“Household electricity consumption will increase but we also expect a decrease in business and industry consumption,” Edison told The Jakarta Post on Monday (23/3).He said that, next month alone, household consumption is projected to rise by up to 2 percent while industrial and business consumption decreases as much as 2.4 percent and 1.8 per… Google Indonesia electricity PLN consumption decline COVID-19 retailer manufacturing Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in contact with Lyon over Moussa Dembele

first_imgDembele would have a host of Premier League clubs to choose from (Picture: Getty)Lyon do expect to receive bids for Dembele in the coming weeks, but are keen to hold onto the Frenchman as they expect to lose several key players.AdvertisementAdvertisementChelsea have had a long-standing interest in Dembele having tracked the goalscorer since his days at Fulham, but their move for him depends on whether they can overturn their rapidly approaching transfer ban.United too have been repeatedly linked with Dembele, with some French reports claiming the Red Devils lodged a £35m bid for the forward last month. Advertisement Comment Dembele could be sold this summer (Picture: Getty)Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal have all been in contact with Lyon about signing Moussa Dembele, reports say.Dembele joined Lyon last year from Celtic in a £19.7m move and bagged 21 goals in his first season with the Ligue 1 side.The 22-year-old’s form has again caught the attention of a host of Premier League sides and he is on the radar of four teams, according to Duncan Castles, speaking on the Transfer Window podcast.Chelsea, United, Liverpool and Arsenal have asked Lyon to alert them if they decide to cash in on Dembele and if any offers come in for the striker this summer.ADVERTISEMENT Coral BarryThursday 6 Jun 2019 11:38 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.4kSharescenter_img Emery is the driving force behind Arsenal’s move for Dembele (Picture: Getty)Liverpool’s interest stems from their need for a new striker after it was confirmed Daniel Sturridge will leave the club at the end of his current deal.United see Dembele as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku, as the Belgian continues to be courted by Italian club, Inter.Arsenal’s interest is said to be driven by Unai Emery, who is a big fan of Dembele and would like the youngster at the Emirates should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette leave the club this summer.Dembele’s former club will take a cut of any sale, having successfully included a sell-on clause in the deal that saw Dembele join Lyon last year.MORE: Liverpool fans in hysterics as Virgil van Dijk gains instant revenge over Raheem SterlingMORE: Liverpool & Spurs enter transfer race to sign Man Utd target Bruno FernandesMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in contact with Lyon over Moussa Dembele Advertisementlast_img read more

Biscuits: How innovative formats are tempting a nation of comfort eaters

first_imgMini BiscuitsLaunch date: August 2018Manufacturer: Heavenly Tasty Organics The latest addition to the Heavenly Tasty Organics kids’ range, Mini Biscuits are suitable for all children over 12 months, with an alphabet design and no added sugars, colours, preservatives or palm oil. The Apple and Strawberry snack bags (rsp: 69p/15g) contain organic ingredients including oats and spelt flour and are available at Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Morrisons.  The idea of reliability and comfort is rooted in what consumers are buying. For the vast majority of Brits tend to always stick to a tried-and-tested choice. Three in 10 consumers polled said they always bought their favourite biscuit at the supermarket, while 43% reported buying their favourite more often than not. Only 27% of consumers said they bought a variety of biscuits.It’s not necessarily bad news for biscuits as a whole. After all, Britain’s reliable love of biscuits has seen sales climb £114.6m over the past year to £2.9bn, marking the first period of growth since 2015 [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 17 June 2018]. Volumes also climbed 1.5%. “Biscuits are undoubtedly a national treasure,” says James Thomas, customer marketing director at Pladis UK & Ireland, who points out Britain has “the highest per capita biscuit consumption in the world”.But that could prove a stumbling block for more innovative products. While shoppers don’t think of biscuits as exciting, there’s an even more worrying insight: they don’t actually want any more excitement. Almost nine in 10 shoppers polled felt there is already a large enough variety of biscuits in their local supermarket. Essentially, they have settled for the biscuit they want and have sacrificed excitement for a dependable hit of taste. Wholey Moly CookiesLaunch date: August 2018Manufacturer: Wholey MolyMade using 100% natural ingredients, new Wholey Moly cookies entered the vegan market in August, touting high fibre, low sugar, healthy fats and antioxidants. Originally launched in Selfridges, the individually packaged cookies (£2.20/43g) have since gained listings in Whole Foods and Sourced Market, and come in Cacao & Orange, Cacao & Hazelnut and Almond, Hemp & Chia flavours, with the latter containing 8g of plant protein. The first task for the Imagination team was to identify the key factors behind the decline of savoury biscuits. ”The consumption of savoury biscuits tends to be during an occasion,” says creative director Jiri Bures. “They are often considered as something you’d have while entertaining guests at a dinner party, paired with cheese and wine, rather than a regular snack.” To change this perception and introduce new eating occasions, the team created GOAT biscuits, a range of all-natural savoury biscuits that  provide one of your five a day. “As well as being nutritious, filling and full of flavour, we wanted the packs to be convenient,” says Bures. The 23g packs (rsp: £1.29) come in 100% recyclable, on-the-go pouches to provide a quick and easy snack solution for health-conscious shoppers. The four GOAT flavours – Beetroot, Pumpkin & Flax Seed; Carrot, Parsnip & Fennel; Sundried Tomato, Lentil & Thyme and Courgette, Pea & Parmesan  – were inspired by a chef and developed to include plant proteins, low sugar and high vegetable content. No, the products don’t contain any goat. But there was a clear reason behind the name. “GOAT has a double meaning for the brand – it’s an animal but it’s also an acronym for Greatest Of All Time,” explains Bures. “We want to inspire our customers to be the best they can be, and a part of that is looking after your body and eating well. Also, just like goats, the biscuits are surprising, tenacious, and come in lots of varieties.”The launch will be supported with a social media campaign urging consumers to ‘find their inner goat’. “Our target audience is everyday, hardworking consumers with fast-paced lifestyles who need healthy, quick snacks to stay on top,” says Bures. “The campaign would centre around promoting unconventional influencers, people that are amazing in their fields but are likely unknown to our customers, who we feel embody the brand ethos of being strong, resilient and hardworking.” With increasingly hectic lifestyles driving more and more shoppers into the snack aisle, a healthy, convenient and sustainable savoury biscuit option could be just what the sector needs to get back in growth next year. The biscuit innovations tempting shoppers away from their usual favourites It’s a British tradition as well-worn as the Queen’s speech at Christmas or strawberries at Wimbledon. When times get tough, the nation turns to tea and a biscuit. Whether a chocolate digestive, custard cream or ginger nut, biscuits have established themselves as the ultimate comfort food.Yet that positive association could have some negative implications. Exclusive research conducted by Harris Interactive for The Grocer shows there is an element of boredom in the nation’s biscuit habits. Just 7% of the 1,026 consumers polled this month thought the biscuit aisle was innovative and exciting. Instead, the prevailing opinion was that biscuits were reliable and comforting (39%). In other words, the nation’s relationship with biscuits is losing its sparkle. And that could prove a challenge for brands trying to shake things up. Flipz White FudgeLaunch date: October 2018Manufacturer: PladisPladis is looking to build on the success of sweet and savoury combo brand Flipz, launched in May (see above), with a new, limited edition flavour. White Fudge is the third in the Flipz UK range (joining Milk and Dark variants), selected for its popularity in the US, where it remains the second highest grossing flavour for the brand, beating other US variants Birthday Cake and Caramel Sea Salt. The NPD hit Asda shelves last month just in time for the festive season (rsp: £1.50/100g). center_img Bahlsen believes it is possible for new ideas to strike a chord with habit-driven biscuit shoppers. It has aimed to tempt consumers away from their routine with the launch of its Choco Leibniz Snack Packs and Choco Moments range in February. Admittedly, these ranges aren’t a large departure from its standard offering – Choco Moments are essentially its signature biscuits topped with Crunchy Hazelnut and Crunchy Mint flavours. But it still had to work hard to grab consumer attention with a media campaign, in-store sampling and smartphone app coupons. “When introducing a new product into the biscuit category, it’s important to disrupt consumer habits close to the point of purchase,” says marketing manager Julien Lacrampe. He points out more than 50% of biscuit purchases are unplanned – making in-store activity a particularly crucial tool.McVitie’s took a similarly disruptive approach in summer with an experiential campaign at London’s Westfield shopping centre. The experience, part of the brand’s ‘Sweeter Together’ marketing campaign, included interactive challenges with prizes up for grabs and 800,000 biscuit samples. “You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of shoppers with a new product,” says brand director Emma Stowers. “We do this by employing numerous trial-driving activities, such as events, highly visible displays and valuable competitions, depending on the innovation and the audience we’re trying to attract.”Watch: What could make shoppers stray from their favourite biscuit? Christmas Biscuit Selection BoxLaunch date: November 2018Manufacturer: Elizabeth ShawTargeting Christmas shoppers, Elizabeth Shaw’s new premium selection box includes White Chocolate & Cranberry, Mint & Cocoa and Coconut & Hazelnut biscuits, available at Sainsbury’s for £5 (420g). Containing between 71 and 77 calories per biscuit, the Christmas packs offer maximum indulgence for the festive period.  This perhaps explains why NPD in biscuits tends to be a variation on a popular favourite, rather than ground-breaking innovation. It can be a popular tactic. Take the McVitie’s Thins range, which expanded to include Hobnobs and Chocfilled variants in July this year. Since launching in January 2017, Thins have accumulated £26m in sales, according to Pladis. Both Oreo and Burton’s Maryland have introduced similarly thinned versions of their classic SKUs over the past two years, with the former range now encompassing seven flavours.Still, some brands are looking to tempt consumers away from their regular habit with more unusual propositions. One such innovation was Pladis’ Flipz, which finally made its way from the US to the UK this summer. The milk and dark chocolate ‘swavoury’ pretzels – designed to tap the growing appetite for sweet and savoury combinations in snacking – have since accrued £2.7m in sales.Mondelez also took the plunge with the launch of Joyfills in August. Brand manager Carly Sharpe says the mini cream-filled biscuits, available in Oreo and Cadbury variants, were developed in response to modern consumer needs. “With increasingly busy lives and an always-on mindset shoppers are increasingly looking for convenient, bite-sized treats that deliver on delicious taste, but won’t weigh them down,” explains Sharpe. “The range offers something different to consumers, it’s unlike anything else on the market and is designed specifically to meet the changing lifestyle of the consumer.” It may also help that the biscuits are chocolate-based – the type favoured by 37% of consumers polled. It could prove a successful tack. Our Harris Interactive research found that, with the right motivation, biscuit shoppers can be convinced to stray away from their regular brand. When asked what could persuade them to try a new biscuit, 43% said they’d be tempted by a promotion or deal, while 41% would respond to a free sample or trial of a new product. More than one in five (21%) said they would be interested in trying a new biscuit if they had enjoyed the ad, and a quarter would be swayed by attractive packaging.Perhaps reliable and comforting isn’t the only way to win in biscuits, after all. With the right marketing and investment, new products might just be able to inject a bit of excitement into the biscuit aisle. So those who trade solely on habit had better watch their backs.Creative Challenge: GOATSavoury is the only type of biscuit in decline, having shed £13.4m this year [Kantar Worldpanel]. We asked global brand agency Imagination to inject some excitement into the sector with a new range of savoury biscuits. Here’s what they came up with.GOAT biscuit creative challenge 2018focallength 64flash 16cameramake Canonheight 705fnumber 11exposuretime 0.1orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 6/16/2016 5:30:39 PMwidth 940cameramodel Canon EOS 6Dfocallength 64flash 16cameramake Canonheight 705fnumber 11exposuretime 0.1orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 6/16/2016 5:30:39 PMwidth 940cameramodel Canon EOS 6Dlast_img read more