News of the listing of the members’ club group is interesting on a few fronts.
There are too many food businesses in London. Many in London’s street food and restaurant scene are saying it right now. Competition is fierce, European workers are getting more scarce and ingredients are more expensive post-Brexit referendum, rents are going up and a Deliveroo-and-Netflix culture is leading more people to stay indoors.
It’s led many food operators to look outside the capital’s expensive central spots.
Street Feast has secured a site in Woolwich, food hubs are opening in Vauxhall and Hammersmith, and Boxpark is planning a food market in Wembley.
Many London chefs are pondering quitting the capital altogether.
Among those who have already done so include Dan Smith, who left the Clove Club in Shoreditch to set up The Fordwich Arms in ‘Britain’s smallest town’, in north Kent.
Dan Cox was a chef at Claridge’s. He quit last year to open a farm, pottery, brewery and restaurant in Cornwall.
And April Bloomfield and Tom Adams left Pitt Cue a couple of years ago, also to set up a ‘farm project’ in Cornwall, which also includes a restaurant and hotel.
It’s water, it tastes of rosemary and it costs £3 for 330ml.
Rather than focus on taste, No 1 Rosemary Water is pushing health benefits, with a thickly laid on story of an Italian village where people have long lives (a direct result, apparently, from ingesting rosemary). Its advertising was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority last week as a result of the claims. Amazingly, this article, published last summer before the ban, reveals the company took advice from the ASA’s chairman about how to word the copy and ‘stay compliant’.
The Chelsea-based company launched in March last year by David Spencer-Percival, a man with a background in setting up two recruitment companies.
He invested £2m of his own money and raised a further £1m, spending heavily on advertising in places like Metro and Time Out and getting stocked in Leon, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods, Carluccio’s, Whole Foods and Ocado. It recently agreed a deal to be stocked in Waitrose from April.
Visiting a doctor could well move from surgery to smartphone. But last week the UK’s powerful medical group, the British Medical Association, flagged a risk of the ‘digital divide’ forming. This would mean younger, educated and more affluent people having superior treatment, while older and poorer people are excluded.
Companies like Babylon, PushDoctor and Ada are trying to work deals with the NHS and other government healthcare services. This week, Babylon announced it had struck a deal with the Saudi Arabian government to provide AI health services. Around 65% of the population has a smartphone (similar to the UK’s 68%) and considerable government subsidy to healthcare.
Meanwhile, the potential for a tech revolution in US healthcare got mass attention last week as Warren Buffet, JPMorgan Chase and Amazon announced they were together creating a healthcare company ‘free from profit-making incentives and constraints’.
This piece by the excellent Ben Thompson on Amazon’s potential in the area are fascinating.
Beware international differences. This story of trying to sell deodorant to Chinese people is worth a read.
There are two main reasons why armpit protection has failed in China: