TAURANGA, New Zealand, March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Comvita, global market leader in Mānuka honey, has today announced the official opening of its state-of-the-art Wellness Lab experiential space in the Viaduct, Auckland – seamlessly integrating nature and science to take guests on a rich and unique multi-sensory journey that will bring an unparalleled depth to their perceptions of honey, Mānuka and bees.
Visitors to the world-class space will be guided through a tasting tour that engages each of the five senses (including smell, touch, sight and hearing) – celebrating the unique and complex flavour profile of each Comvita mono-floral honey as an expression both of where it was harvested, and the care and attention paid at every step of its journey to homes around the world.
The bookable signature tasting journey inside the Wellness Lab’s boutique 180-degree theatre is an unforgettable 45-minute experience, hosted by beekeeper and bee-breeder, Noelani Waters. Visitors will take an incredible journey through a tasting flight of honeys, accompanied by custom-designed audio-visual elements to further enhance their connection to the honeys’ origins, flavour and bio-active complexity.
The Wellness Lab tasting experience has been brought to life in close collaboration with leading gastrophysicist and sensory science expert, Professor Charles Spence, whose previous work includes collaborations with Heston Blumenthal (of The Fat Duck fame) among many other leading chefs, mixologists, and perfumers.
Group CEO of Comvita, David Banfield, says “New Zealand’s Mānuka honey industry is a uniquely vibrant one which encapsulates many of the principles and values so important to our nation. It enables us to tell our tale of efficacy, quality, product excellence, sustainability, and the broader principle of Kaitiakitanga (or guardianship over nature), and position New Zealand as a global leader on the world stage.
“With the launch of the Comvita Wellness Lab, we wanted to provide all New Zealanders with a world-class space where they can go to connect with Comvita’s scientific expertise and gain a new-found appreciation for New Zealand honey and our amazing friends, the bees. It’s our goal that the Lab will become a destination and educational hub for customers, schools and other interest groups,” says Banfield.
Global Head of Marketing Comvita, David Bathgate, says, “The Wellness Lab also serves as a world-leading response to the exponential acceleration and adoption of e-commerce, fueled by the global pandemic. As consumer behaviour fundamentally changes towards the act of shopping, we know that the future of retail will be to deliver immersive, memorable experiences that cannot be found in a traditional online store – where shops shift from places with stock to spaces that exist to educate, entertain, and build community.”
The Wellness Lab’s reimagining of the traditional retail experience continues with the simultaneous launch of Comvita’s online 3D virtual store – including a stunningly realistic New Zealand forest for users to explore and learn about the science of our native Mānuka tree, the bees and the hive.
“It was critical for the virtual store to seamlessly integrate with the physical Wellness Lab space, to continue that immersive brand and product purchase journey. The future of retail lies in the delivery of meaningful multi-channel consumer experiences, and we’re incredibly proud to be at the forefront of this movement,” says Bathgate.
Every element that consumers interact with as part of their Wellness Lab experience, from the theatre chairs to the tasting spoons, has been carefully designed and sourced (in partnership with lead design agency Blur the Lines) to reflect Comvita’s commitment to Kaitiakitanga, and the quality and authenticity of the brand. Collaborations with local New Zealand artisans and craftsmen were an integral part of this process.
The opening of the Wellness Lab in early March coincides with the global launch of Comvita’s new premium Special Reserve UMF 25+ (MGO 1200+) Mānuka honey. The Special Reserve UMF 25+ Mānuka honey can be purchased online via the Comvita virtual store, or at any Comvita retail outlet – including the Wellness Lab in Auckland.
The new Comvita virtual store can be experienced at www.wellnesslab.comvita.co.nz
The new Comvita Wellness Lab is located at 139 Quay Street, Viaduct Basin, Auckland.
For further information:
Mobile: +64 21 044 5226
About Comvita (www.comvita.co.nz) Comvita (NZX: CVT) was founded in 1974 and is the pioneer and global market leader of the Mānuka honey category. Comvita is committed to the long-term development of Mānuka and Bee products backed by unrivalled scientific knowhow. Comvita recently announced its sponsorship of the NZ pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai focusing on Kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection of the planet).
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