PLAYFUL PREMIUMS

As the fast casual sector continues to grow, brands and eateries are subverting expectations around what it means to offer premium, with companies at both the high and low end experimenting with mixed offerings.

GUILTY LUXE
McDonald’s, London

Earlier this McDonald’s turned their London High St Kensington branch into an experiential pop-up playing on that idea fast food can be a premium, gourmet experience. The branch was transformed into an exclusive reservation-only restaurant for one night only to launch it’s signature collection of upmarket alternatives. The experience was designed to delight keen Instagram snappy consumers and included a string quartet and dedicated waiters.

ITALIAN CHARM
Gucci Osteria, Florence

Gucci burst into 2018 unveiling a brand new restaurant and dining experience in Florence, Italy. Unlike other fashion brands who have explored cafes and bakeries, Gucci Osteria, is a collaboration between Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. The restaurant is part of the new Gucci Garden complex which includes the restaurant, a Gucci museum and a store. The restaurant serves up dishes designed to compliment the brand - without the designer price tag.

PALMING OFF THE INEVITABLE
Iceland & Selfridges, UK

Frozen food retailer Iceland, although typically considered a budget supermarket has teamed up with premium department store Selfridges to sell its mince pies. In April 2018 Iceland became the first UK supermarket to remove the destructive palm oil from all of its own brand products. Selfridges is following in this mission by going palm free from 2019. This high-low partnership plays on how the perspective of premium is now moving from price to ideology.

PEOPLE DINE OUT ABOUT
4 DAYS A MONTH.
I-AM (2018)
CUSTOMER NO-SHOWS
COST THE INDUSTRY Up
TO £16BN A YEAR.
I-AM (2018)

TAKEOUT

By playing on the idea of what traditionally constitues as 'premium', you can introduce your brand to new audiences to offer premium experiences where 'premium could be built around rituals, price or even ideology.