With the number of different products and fads currently populating the market, it can be difficult to sift through what's good and what isn't and so this is where we come in. Despite the fact that we're only two-thirds of the way through 2018, the recent good weather has put us in such a good mood that we're willing to reveal some of the best trends of the year so far. So, get comfortable, find your purse and get your tablet ready because you may just be forced to go on a spending spree when you've finished reading this article.
Healthy Pet Food
It's only right that our furry friends eat as well as we do, right? Right. Thankfully, healthy pet food is all the rage at the moment and there are a number of places you can obtain it without breaking the bank but, in terms of value for money, Castor & Pollux seem to be leading the charge with their organic-based meat products.
Next Level Skincare
Nowadays, our skin needs protection from more than mere sun rays and, thankfully, the new wave of skin products prevents damage from other harmful rays such as blue light from laptops and pollution.
The latest ranges from companies like Allies of Skin and Biossance are using ingredients such as adaptogens and ceramides in order to help our skin build up its own natural barriers.
This tobacco substitute has been on the market for a while but, with around 1 in 5 users now women, there's a whole new market online here, which includes a much wider range of different flavors designed to target the fairer sex. They're all imported tax-free from Scandinavia too. What's more, they're definitely cooler than e-cigarettes.
In our opinion, it's about time that technology was brought into the bedroom in order to help us
improve our Zzz's. Serta Simmons is pioneering a range of smart mattresses which analyze your REM cycles and wake you up via a smart alarm when you're in your lightest stage of sleep. Apparently, it'll make us a little less grumpy in the morning. Result.
Moringa is basically a higher caliber version of Turmeric - it allegedly has greater anti-inflammatory properties and has twice the protein of spinach, as well as three times as much iron. What's more, the veggie seeds have a likable and sweet taste while the ground leaves are a little more nutty, creating the perfect contrast. Delicious and healthy, what more could you want?
But Wait, There's More
With the rate at which trends and fads become obsolete, there's bound to be something new piquing people's interests by the time that winter rolls around. However, for now, it's all about enjoying the last bits of sunshine before the big red ball in the sky decides to abandon us once again. Most of the items on this list are certainly to be enjoyed throughout the sunny months. Happy shopping.
I walk into a room full of men and I know exactly what they're thinking: "What does she know about whisky?"
I know this because many men have asked me that same question from the moment I started my career in spirits a decade ago.
In a male-dominated industry, I realized early on that I would always have to work harder than my male counterparts to prove my credibility, ability and knowledge in order to earn the trust of leadership stakeholders, coworkers, vendors and even consumers of our products. I am no stranger to hard work and appreciate that everyone needs to prove their worth when starting any career or role. What struck me however, was how the recognition and opportunities seemed to differ between genders. Women usually had to prove themselves before they were accepted and promoted ("do the work first and earn it"), whereas men often were more easily accepted and promoted on future potential. It seemed like their credibility was automatically and immediately assumed. Regardless of the challenges and adversity I faced, my focus was on proving my worth within the industry, and I know many other women were doing the same.
Thankfully, the industry has advanced in the last few years since those first uncomfortable meetings. The rooms I walk into are no longer filled with just men, and perceptions are starting to change significantly. There are more women than ever before making, educating, selling, marketing and conceptualizing whiskies and spirits of all kinds. Times are changing for the better and it's benefitting the industry overall, which is exciting to see.
For me, starting a career in the spirits business was a happy accident. Before spirits, I had worked in the hospitality industry and on the creative agency side. That background just happened to be what a spirits company was looking for at the time and thus began my journey in the industry. I was lucky that my gender did not play a deciding role in the hiring process, as I know that might not have been the case for everyone at that time.
Now, ten plus years later, I am fortunate to work for and lead one of the most renowned and prestigious Whisky brands in the world.. What was once an accident now feels like my destiny. The talent and skill that goes into the whisky-making process is what inspired me to come back and live and breathe those brands as if they were my own. It gave me a deep understanding and appreciation of an industry that although quite large, still has an incredible amount of handmade qualities and a specific and meticulous craft I have not seen in any other industry before. Of course, my journey has not been without challenges, but those obstacles have only continued to light my passion for the industry.
The good news is, we're on the right track. When you look at how many females hold roles in the spirits industry today compared to what it looked like 15 years ago, there has been a significant increase in both the number of women working and the types of roles women are hired for. From whisky makers and distillers to brand ambassadors and brand marketers, we're seeing more women in positions of influence and more spirits companies willing to stand up and provide a platform for women to make an impact. Many would likely be surprised to learn that one of our team's Whisky Makers is a woman. They might even be more surprised to learn that women, with a heightened sense of smell compared to our male counterparts, might actually be a better fit for the role! We're nowhere near equality, but the numbers are certainly improving.
It was recently reported by the Distilled Spirits Council that women today represent a large percentage of whisky drinkers and that has helped drive U.S. sales of distilled spirits to a record high in 2017. Today, women represent about 37% of the whisky drinkers in the United States, which is a large increase compared to the 1990s when a mere 15% of whisky drinkers were women. As for what's causing this change? I believe it's a mix of the acceptance of women to hold roles within the spirits industry partnered with thoughtful programs and initiatives to engage with female consumers.
While whisky was previously known for being a man's drink, reserved for after-dinner cigars behind closed doors, it is now out in the open and accessible for women to learn about and enjoy too.
What was once subculture is now becoming the norm and women are really breaking through and grabbing coveted roles in the spirits business. That said, it's up to the industry as a whole to continue to push it forward. When you work for a company that values diversity, you're afforded the opportunity to be who you are and let that benefit your business. Working under the model that the best brand initiatives come from passionate groups of people with diverse backgrounds, we are able to offer different points of view and challenge our full team to bring their best work forward, which in turn creates better experiences for our audience. We must continue to diversify the industry and break against the status quo if we really want to continue evolving.
While we've made great strides as an industry, there is still a lot of work to be done. To make a change and finally achieve gender equality in the workplace, both men and women need to stand behind the cause as we are better collectively as a balanced industry. We have proved that we have the ability to not only meet the bar, but to also raise it - now we just need everyone else to catch up.