The one thing that is truly impossible to accomplish online is eating. Yet, it doesn’t seem to be deterring food businesses from setting up shop in the metaverse.
Food brands are beginning to investigate the opportunities the metaverse presents for connecting with and interacting with consumers, including CPG firms, quick-service restaurants, and their suppliers. Yet the possibility is far greater since this technology, which is still very young, has the ability to revolutionise everything from how businesses promote their goods to how they teach their employees.
What is Metaverse?
What precisely is the metaverse, then? Users interact with the environment and other users via avatars in this 3D virtual reality environment.
WIRED’s Eric Ravenscraft suggests mentally changing “the metaverse” to “cyberspace” as a simple way to think about it. 90% of the time, the meaning won’t alter significantly, he claims. The reason behind this is that the phrase really refers to a wide (and frequently hypothetical) shift in how we engage with technology rather than to any one particular sort of technology.
When seen in this light, the idea is somewhat simpler to understand, especially when you consider how drastically our relationships with technology have changed over the previous 20 years. It is only a virtual, interactive universe, the metaverse which can be created by IT consulting companies.
Metaverse’s Opportunities In Food Industry
According to a recent PwC poll, 82% of executives stated they anticipate metaverse plans to be a part of their company operations within three years, and 66% of executives indicated their organisations are actively involved in the metaverse.
As compared to the amount of equipment manufacturers who began providing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) alternatives for service and training during the epidemic, those figures seem low. Virtual tours of manufacturing facilities, digital twins of machinery, and AR-enhanced service calls have all proliferated in recent years. Even though they weren’t mentioned officially as belonging to “the metaverse,” they all fitted the criteria.
As technology advances and businesses begin to understand the very real bottom-line advantages, such as the money saved by testing a piece of equipment before it is ever built, the trend towards the usage of virtual worlds is likely to continue. According to Keith Shaw, a contributing editor for the Society for Advancing Automation, the top five advantages of the industrial metaverse for manufacturers are as follows:
- Faster and safer staff training
- Prior to actual deployments, simulations can identify improvements.
- Field service personnel may use AR and VR to fix equipment while working.
- Virtual global cooperation in product design
- Creating tangible things from computer ideas; incorporating actual objects with digital assets
Food manufacturers have a lot of opportunity to engage with consumers in new ways thanks to the metaverse.
According to the PwC poll, 36% of CEOs want to use the metaverse to produce virtual content that users can interact with. Among food and beverage companies, Coca-Cola is the market leader in this regard.
Coca-Cola released a new digital collectable last month to commemorate its first year in the metaverse, of which there are currently more than 4,000. Owners of these digital treasures get access to exclusive benefits including Coke Studio experiences, gaming gatherings, and first access to the release of limited-edition goods.
Offering these kinds of experiences may be crucial for food brands to re-engage consumers who have become more interested in private label since pandemic-related shortages meant they couldn’t find their normal brands, according to EY senior analyst Jon Copestake. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola launched the limited-edition Coca-Cola® Zero Sugar Byte, a gaming-inspired sparkling beverage that “brings” the flavour of pixels to life.
Moreover, restaurant businesses are using the metaverse with the help of metaverse development companies . Burger King, Yum Brands, and Chick-Fil-A have all registered trademarks to join the other businesses that have already built up virtual sites on Facebook’s metaverse, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Chipotle (see Business Insider for details and photographs).
How can businesses get ready for the Metaverse?
The metaverse has much to offer, whether you’re a food brand searching for new ways to connect with customers or an industrial supplier integrating digital technologies into your products.
Companies must begin with a plan, just like they would with any new investment. PwC offers several bits of guidance. A quick summary of a couple of their suggestions is provided below:
Establish People and Tech Priorities: The metaverse includes everything from blockchain and bitcoin to augmented and virtual reality, but not all technologies are appropriate for all businesses. To reap both short- and long-term gains, invest flexibly.
Assess your Risk and Engage Key Stakeholders: Include experts in tax, security, privacy, risk, and compliance right at the start of your metaverse journey.
Use Data with Care: Have a data plan in place to protect privacy and guarantee that you can achieve your objectives.
Be Relevant, Useful, and Purposeful: Provide one-of-a-kind services and adventures with enduring value, and make sure your metaverse endeavours align with your business goals.