When the subject of virtual reality is raised, most people picture teenage video game enthusiasts wearing VR headsets and motion tracking technology. Few people think of food. Yet virtual reality really is poised to change the food industry for the better. These changes have already begun.
VR’s Role in the Food Industry
Though it is not possible to taste food in a virtual reality environment, it is certainly possible to use VR to market food products. VR is altering the way in which food companies engage with consumers. Virtual reality is an incredibly powerful and rapidly growing medium that connects food companies and other businesses to consumers, especially those who are “influencers.” Trend-setters who are on the cutting edge of technology are inclined to use VR. Food companies and just about every other consumer-oriented business crave the opportunity to engage such influencers. VR does an excellent job of conveying a brand’s message to these influential trend-setters, greatly increasing the odds that they will pass the message on and use the advertiser’s products.
Tequila Creation in Virtual Reality
Take Patron for example. The popular tequila company makes use of virtual reality to showcase its unique manufacturing process to consumers across the globe. These prospective buyers view the creation of Patron tequila from the perspective of a buzzing bee. It all starts with the bee’s pollination of a cactus plants. VR viewers watch the production from this initial point all the way to the end product of Patron’s bottled tequila. There really is something magical about viewing the tequila creation process from beginning to end, especially through the eyes of a bee that initiated the entire sequence of events through cactus pollination.
The entire Patron tequila creation experience takes place in a virtual three-dimensional realm that feels incredibly realistic. Those who observe the manufacturing process in virtual reality are left with an indelible impression of the company’s brand. Such customers are inclined to purchase Patron tequila today as well as throughout the years to come.
VR for Consumer Education
One of the best ways to use virtual reality technology is for consumer education. VR is an immersive medium that heightens user awareness. It is an excellent vehicle to leave a lasting impression on highly stimulated prospective customers. Boursin, a popular French cheese maker, has made a captivating CGI video that brings the viewer directly into a refrigerator. Known as the “Boursin Sensorium 360-degree Virtual Reality Experience”, this video informs consumers about the types of foods that taste best with Boursin cheese products. It does an excellent job of establishing meaningful connections with an audience in a creative manner. The end resulted is stimulated customers who are inspired to pair Boursin cheeses to the odds and ends available in their refrigerator at any given time.
VR for Sensory Impact
The power of VR extends beyond visuals. Digital marketing experts are adamant that virtual reality will eventually progress to the point that it allows for consumers to gain a sense of taste and smell. Though VR doesn’t deliver actual food or aromas at this point in time, it does activate the senses through immersive imagery and highly detailed audio stimulation. Furthermore, studies have been performed to determine if people enjoy a wider range of flavors when eating food while engaging in a virtual reality experience. Indeed, flavors are enjoyed to a greater depth when watching VR video while chowing down.
It won’t be long until the vast majority of food companies make use of VR for customer outreach and marketing efforts. VR is on the edge of a mainstream tipping point. This is a force that cannot be denied.