On June 13, Kraft, the world’s second largest food company, submitted trademark applications for Metaverse, NFT and cryptocurrencies for its brands KRAFT, JELL-O, KOOL-AID, LUNCHABLES, PHILADELPHIA, etc., covering media, digital currency, NFT marketplaces, virtual restaurants, and food and beverages. This is after Coca-Cola launched its first Metaverse concept product in February, the food industry giant once again “involved yuan”.
Since Facebook changed its name to “Meta” in October last year, detonating the concept of “Metaverse”, virtual space has become a new battlefield for all walks of life and brands to compete for users and traffic. In the food industry, there are countless cases of using Metaverse to attract the attention of young users and update the brand image. Metaverse brings an all-round immersive experienceupgrade of “vision, hearing, smell, taste, emotion, emotion, psychology, physiology” , etc.; advertising marketing for Metaverse has also changed from two-dimensional plane to consumer-friendly. A four-dimensional space that can feel, participate, create and traverse.
According to Wunderman Thompson’s Metaverse report “New realities,” 76% of respondents believe restaurants and bars will be affected by the Metaverse, and 74% believe the food and beverage industry will also be affected.
New consumer preferences and interaction methods have brought a wealth of imagination to brand marketing. Food brands that have appeared in the Metaverse World have completed online interaction and brand promotion with Metaverse fans/players through different forms such as packaging design, virtual display, game scene advertisement placement, game plot interaction, and NFT virtual transactions. .
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Which virtual format is most helpful in enhancing brand image? Can eating and drinking in the game world promote real-world purchasing behavior? At a time when the public’s perception of the Metaverse is still in a “chaotic” state, food brands are trying to open up an infinitely vast business opportunity when they try various Metaverses, or is it a short-term marketing move of “hot spots, expired and voided” ?
Bringing virtual worlds to life: knocking on the door of the Metaverse with technology
Eating is a co-presentation of multi-sensory experiences that are difficult to replicate in a digital environment. So, how do food and beverages show their proper color, flavor, and shape in the virtual world?
In the Metaverse, games are the most intuitive and most friendly expression carrier. Many cutting-edge technologies designed to enhance the interactive experience of games have also increased the delicacy and fidelity of people’s whole-body sensory experience to an unprecedented level, becoming the technical support for the realization of indulgent eating in the Metaverse. From early gamepads, to VR eyes, to haptic gloves recently developed by Meta, which reproduce human sensations including texture, pressure, and vibration.
However, the vast majority of technological devices are still aimed at traditional entertainment dimensions such as hand feel and stereo vision, and how to simulate physical sensations such as taste, smell, and oral chewing during the eating process is the key to realizing virtual eating.
Image source: fastcompanyme.com
Smell simulation has become the first goal of the technology industry.
In 2022, OVR (Olfaction Virtual Reality) technology company in Vermont, USA has developed a bluetooth-enabled white snap-on ink cartridge with nine compounds pre-installed in the box, which can combine hundreds of scents to be released through digital programming prompts . At the University of Chicago, a group of computer doctoral students developed a Bluetooth device that can be worn on the head, which can convert the visual image seen by the wearer into specific odor information, and then convert it into tiny electrical pulse signals to stimulate the trigeminal nerve. Let the human body finally acquire odor perception. The technology won the “Experimental Design of the Year” award from Fast Company.
Around the world, olfactory virtual reality technology has become a research hotspot of many technology companies. UK-based OW Smell Digital raises $1.2 million to develop AI-powered ‘Scent Photoshop’ cloud service. The Spanish company Olorama Technology has developed a scent library with 400 scents, and the user can activate the scent box by voice to complete the release.
Image source: fastcompanyme.com
Although these technologies have not yet been applied to the in-game eating experience, they have shown great potential.
In addition to smell, taste perception in the mouth is also an essential element of the eating experience.
A team from Carnegie Mellon University has developed a virtual reality device that simulates the sense of touch in the mouth. The device houses a phased array of 64 tiny ultrasound transducers that create a realistic tactile sensation on the user’s lips, teeth and tongue. Such as drinking from a fountain, brushing your teeth, raindrops, or even the feeling of a breeze brushing your lips.
In contrast, the handheld “lickable screen” device developed by Meiji University in Japan in May 2020 makes the taste simulation more comfortable and smooth. When the user inserts the stick-shaped device into the mouth, all taste sensations associated with food can be reproduced. The device relies on electrolytes inserted into five gels to control the intensity of the five basic taste sensations (sour, sweet, bitter, salty, umami). Although it seems a bit “deliberate” to obtain the simulated food taste, Foodaily believes that with the continuous deepening of research and the improvement of the size and shape of the equipment, one day, when you have a ” lollipop ” in your mouth”When tasting food from various places in the game, even oneself may be difficult to distinguish between true and false.
Image credit: techxplore.com
Farming, brewing, collecting… the world of the Metaverse is more fun
Many early testers have said that getting into the Metaverse was initially just for marketing reasons. In the Metaverse, many things can be reinterpreted and presented in a new way, making it an excellent way for traditional brands to connect with the new generation of game groups.
Well-known beer brand Heineken took the lead in taking an unexpected step towards the Metaverse, playing a wave of reverse output.On March 17, 2022, Heineken built a virtual brewery on its immersive digital platform Decentraland and held a launch event to launch a fully computer-generated “pixel” beer, “Heineken Silver”. The virtual beer is brewed “from binary coded hops grown by NPC farmers on Decentraland”, the A-yeast required for beer brewing has been replaced by “A-Pixels”, and the entire brewing process is supervised by Heineken’s virtual brewing assistant. .
Image source: HEINEKEN
On the surface, the launch of virtual bars by alcohol brands is meaningless, but as a traditional brand that has long been eyeing Generation Z, Heineken has made no secret that our marketing strategy is to use the Metaverse to approach them.
“What we found: This generation sees the Metaverse as a place for more fun and more social experiences. They can experience our Heineken Silver like never before before the physical product. ” said Rob van Griensven, Global Digital Director, Heineken.
Image source: HEINEKEN
Holding the virtual launch, Heineken wanted to express a “Metaverse-obsessed” attack on numerous brands because people can’t taste the pixels and bytes at the moment. “So we wanted to make a joke and remind everyone that nothing beats the taste of a refreshing beer in the real world, not even our own new Heineken Silver.”
Although consumers understand that this is Heineken’s way of hyping into the Metaverse, this self-deprecating attitude and new marketing methods have triggered a large number of media reports one after another, gaining a good voice and public relations influence for it. Through media promotion, social media and KOL channels, Heineken virtual beer has received nearly 2 billion online clicks, which is a successful brand marketing.
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Unlike Heineken’s refusal, McDonald’s has expressed its importance to the Metaverse in a positive and positive way. Since 2021, McDonald’s has submitted more than 10 Metaverse-related trademark applications for its products, chain restaurants, and cafes. Chinese New Year and fashion designer Humberto Leon Liang Guowei launched the online “Metaverse Virtual Zodiac Hall” to provide the public with a VR 12 zodiac artwork experience inspired by the Chinese zodiac. Although it is only in the stage of virtual marketing, it also highlights The determination of this traditional old brand to take a share in the Metaverse.
Image credit: lbbonline
When it comes to embracing change and the digital frontier, fast food chain Wendy’s is definitely a brand to try. In Horizon Worlds, a virtual social experience, Wendy’s created a virtual meeting place for fans, Wendyverse. Players start at a virtual Wendy’s restaurant and enter an interactive world where they can order their own virtual fries at the Wendyverse City Center Plaza or at the Wendyverse Mall. Participate in games with special Wendy features.
Although the virtual restaurant is more of a brand implant in the game and cannot provide the essential functions of the actual restaurant, Wendy’s believes that the virtual restaurant, as the “first stage” of its brand Metaverse strategy, is a project worth trying.
Image credit: lbbonline
“The possibilities for the Metaverse are endless,” said Jimmy Bennett, vice president of media and social at Wendy’s . “It’s important to find real opportunities for brands to enter the burgeoning digital space or fall behind the competition.”
Integration of virtual and real: brand experience is improved in deep participation
The various Metaverse ideas that focus on play look interesting and diverse, but the experience that only stays in the virtual world can at best be regarded as an introduction to the Metaverse, or an extension of existing game concepts. To enter the true Metaverse, the fusion of the virtual world and the real world is essential.
Also a beverage brand, Coca-Cola has taken the exact opposite approach of Heineken – step by step the concept of the Metaverse is turned into a real product.
In February this year, The Coca-Cola Company released its first limited product inspired by space – “Coca-Cola Starlight”, and simultaneously launched the global creative platform behind it – “Coca-Cola Creations” , aims to closely link young consumers with trendy and innovative products and experiences.
Image credit: Coca-Cola
There is a beautiful vision behind the development of “Star Walk”-in a world full of infinite possibilities, somewhere in the universe, there may be another kind of [Coca-Cola], and there is another way to connect with each other. If this product with “outer space” elements is the first connection between Coca-Cola’s Metaverse and reality, then its “Pixel Flavor-Rhythm Cube” Zero Sugar Byte Coke launched in April goes beyond the digital and physical worlds. Limit, bring the taste of pixels to life.
Oana Vlad, Senior Director of Global Strategy at Coca-Cola, said: “Zero Sugar Bytes is inspired by the playfulness of pixels, rooted in the creativity of games that make experiences possible. Just as pixels power digital connectivity, Zero Sugar Bytes will People come together and share Real Magic moments.”
Image credit: Coca-Cola
In addition to the “monetization” of the product, the beverage giant wants to provide an immersive digital experience. Consumers will be able to use Starlight AR filters on social media and have an immersive audio ASMR experience. Scanning a can or bottle of a new flavor through the Coca-Cola Creative website will open an AR concert by American singer and brand ambassador Ava Max; or join an AR game by Byte-BYTE.
Coincidentally, on June 14, 2022, Chobani, the leading brand of yogurt in the United States, also announced its entry into the Metaverse, launching “Chobani™ Oatmilk Cosmic Race” on Roblox . Participants compete through a virtual galaxy in the Chobani™ Oatmilk spacecraft to deliver oat milk to planets. Completing the race, winning, will be eligible for experience rewards, including custom Chobani™ merchandise.
Image source: marketingdive
Chobani uses food as a force for good, and his forays into the Metaverse are a positive reflection of this philosophy. Runners who complete the track will earn points, which will be counted on the charity chart, and when the projected goal is reached, Chobani will donate $75,000 to Hunger Free America. Let the participants’ game achievements be transformed and realized in the real world, giving players a unique experience and a sense of achievement, and making Chobani more closely linked with consumers.
Image credit: foodnavigator
Virtual deals: helping brands outline the possibilities
For seasoned gamers, going back and forth between virtual and reality, jumping in and out, can never feel immersive enough. So, how should food brands design product experiences for users who want to make a difference in the Metaverse? Can you create an immersive experience that runs through the entire industry chain?
On March 24 this year, OneRare, the world’s first food Metaverse (Foodverse) project, was officially launched in the United States.Developed by real-life husband-and-wife team Gaurav Gupta and Supreet Raju, it brings the global restaurant industry to a unique Web3-based source-to-table virtual food experience for the first time, building a bridge to interact with foodies around the world.
Image source: nftqt
In OneRare, the food world is designed similar to the real world, with various geographic areas such as beaches, forests, and lakesides, and users can explore the open world at will. There is also an exclusive gaming area where players earn NFTs by exploring and fighting.
OneRare allows users to create exclusive dishes by collecting ingredients and following recipes, including global favorites, holiday specials, keto and vegan-friendly recipes, and signature recipes from celebrity chefs and restaurants. OneRare CEO Supreet Raju said: “As the project matures, users can also transform these virtual dishes into real food, thereby merging real and virtual life.”
Image credit: nftplazas
In addition, OneRare also partners with food brands such as Trufflin NYC to promote ingredients and recipes, creating unique opportunities for food businesses around the world to explore new technology and use it for marketing, growth, and social impact.
“Because OneRare is a food-based platform, the social value of the project cannot be expressed without contributing to the problem of world hunger. By partnering with numerous food and catering businesses, we aim to sell and sell through special NFTs. Food market events to raise money.”
Business Opportunity or Gimmick: A Cool Look at the Food Metaverse
On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 BTC, the first recorded commercial Bitcoin transaction.In this sense, the seemingly unrelated Metaverse is indeed closely linked to the food industry.
From the early online virtual restaurants, to today’s food companies galloping across the Metaverse in a variety of ways, the Metaverse has become the fastest way to approach them due to the growing number of young game groups .
Image credit: cointelegraph.com
However, for brands that want to enter the Metaverse world, two facts need to be recognized.
1. The essence of the Metaverse is not just entertainment
No matter how the realism of the 3D world is created by technological means, and the user is encouraged to complete social and virtual transactions as a virtual identity, or to carry out various display and marketing activities in the virtual world, these are an MMO (massively multiplayer online game) basic functions.
The reason why the Metaverse is hailed as “the future of the Internet” is not only because its presentation form is more in line with the preferences of the Internet generation, but also because of its experience beyond reality. What makes the Metaverse valuable for commercial development is its ability to “connect with the real world”.
In the traditional game world, people’s economic activities do not affect the real world. Not so in the Metaverse. In the OneRare food Metaverse introduced above, users can convert virtual dishes into real food; or, like Chobani, points in the game can be converted into real-world charitable acts, which forms the essential difference between the Metaverse and online games.
2. For brands, Metaverse is more than just a store
Virtual scenes and activities can realize food marketing activities that are difficult to achieve in the real world or require high costs, such as personalized eating experiences for different scenes, or immersive feelings about certain raw materials and special processes.Therefore, considering the Metaverse as an extension and expansion of real marketing has become the original intention of most brands to enter the game.
However, the Metaverse has absorbed a large number of young groups through intuitive and easy game forms, and the online world has become a part of many people’s lives—relaxing oneself in virtual time and space, completing the cognition of interpersonal relationships and society, realizing knowledge accumulation and Skill learning. Different from the complexity and heaviness of reality, the online world is full of idealization and individuality. Young people are more willing to see the brand’s sincere dedication and more patient original content, not just the “constant shouting” sales scene. .
Image source: expatguideturkey.com
In the Metaverse era, brands need to establish cooperative relationships with users to help users achieve “self-promotion”. Gen Z wants to be their own superheroes, not a brand of marionettes. It is difficult for brands that want to use the concept of Metaverse to gain traffic and gain popularity.
Liu Cixin, a well-known science fiction writer, once said: “There are two paths in front of human beings, one is outward, leading to the sea of stars; the other is inward, leading to virtual reality.”
The future of the food industry will also have two paths, one is to solve the problem of eating in the real world, and the other is to build a “food life” in the Metaverse.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/in-the-world-of-the-metaverse-how-can-food-brands-expand-their-territory/
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