The metaverse provided brands with the opportunity to create their own virtual space. With the basis of one being the digital realm and the other being firmly rooted in the physical world, the pairing of the food industry and the metaverse may not seem to be the most obvious. The food industry can be forward-thinking and be ready to take up new challenges. Food brands are getting involved in creating virtual goods and services to make their mark in this digital realm. They are holding festivals and events where participants can immerse themselves.

Culinary experience with a difference

People often eat at a stadium after a big game. Now they can watch a virtual game and eat virtually. The avatar of a person can visit a street food market and try out a virtual dish. Restaurants will be affected by the metaverse as a wealth of imagination  will be brought to the marketing of their brands in the metaverse. Two friends living far away from each other can meet in a virtual restaurant and order meals. Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Chipotle have opened up virtual locations in the metaverse. This helps such brands to incorporate digital tools in their offerings. The potential for food brands in this space is huge as they can interact with customers in new ways.

New methods of interaction

The food industry may not have benefitted as much as the other industries with the digital shift from the real world to the virtual world, but things are changing now. For instance, Coca Cola participated in an NFT campaign and designed virtual goodie bags that had digital collectibles. The NFTs were auctioned and were packaged as loot boxes. The loot boxes contained items that were characterized by novelty. There was a Coca Cola bubble jacket that looked futuristic and reminded people of retro delivery uniforms. Wendy’s has also enjoyed popularity in the metaverse. Wendy’s used Fortnite and created its own game mode called ‘ Food Fight’. The players were given a challenge. The challenge was to ensure that the world does not use frozen beef anymore. This was aligned with Wendy’s aim of not to use frozen beef in its products.

Creating new pathways

This foray into the metaverse can be seen as the future of food content and a shift away from the tried-and-tested methods. With the consumer landscape constantly evolving, this will open up avenues and possibilities that will no longer be restricted by geographical locations. Family and friends can share food and people can do anything from sharing food to taking cooking classes. For instance, Bored Breakfast Club, an NFT project, actually delivers real world coffee shipments together with digital experiences to its customers. There are 5000 unique breakfast scenes that are NFTs and members can use these NFTs to get access to freshly roasted coffee, live events, and discounts. This is an example of the metaverse and the real world colliding in a unique way. Technological devices are being used so that physical sensations such as chewing and taste can be simulated. This would be the key to virtual eating. A team has already developed a device that helps to stimulate the sense of touch in the mouth.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.