Food Vision 2017

From marketing to taste: How virtual reality will change the food industry

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Virtual reality has arrived and is set to change the way the food industry engages with consumers and even the way consumers taste food by creating multisensory experiences, according to one digital marketing expert.

Several food and drink manufacturers are already using virtual reality to convey their brand message, James Read, managing director at UK digital marketing agency Giant Peach told Food Vision delegates in London last week.

Premium tequila brand Patrón, for instance, uses the technology to convey the entire manufacturing process to the consumer through the eyes of a bee, starting at the very beginning with the pollination of the cactus.

“You really get to experience the process; it takes you to unexpected places and it just emphasises the story, telling it in a 3D space so you really get to understand what the brand is about,” Read said.

French cheese manufacturer Boursin has also created a CGI video which takes the viewer into a fridge to explain which foods work well in combination with it.

Virtual reality experience can have a very real, immediate impact. The multisensorial combination of taste, sight and sounds can heighten the senses and consumers report tasting new depth of flavour when eating food and watching a virtual reality video at the same time.

Does Read believe the food industry will embrace virtual reality? “I think industry will have to use it, it’s going to be that big you can’t ignore it. It’s going to change the world – marketing, retail, education, live music concerts, professional sports. It’s one of those things that can’t be ignored.”

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