Interest in the metaverse is leaving no industry untouched—even food brands are getting involved, inventing virtual worlds and experimenting with web3 concepts from NFTs to DAOs.

Opportunistic food brands are racing to file trademarks for virtual goods and services, indicating their intent to make a mark in the metaverse. In February, McDonald’s filed several trademarks hinting at plans to sell virtual food and beverages in the digital space. The same month, US bakery and cafe chain Panera Bread filed a trademark application for the “Paneraverse,” staking their claim in the restaurant and café territory in the metaverse.

WEB Carrefour X Fortnite 01
The Healthy Map by Fortnite and Carrefour.

Fortnite is no stranger to brand collaborations but in an industry first, they teamed up with French hypermarket chain Carrefour. The partnership resulted in Healthy Map, a new game level where players must eat healthily in a virtual Carrefour supermarket to recoup hit points and heal their characters for a healthy boost. The game hopes to encourage healthier eating habits among younger generations in the real world.

Throughout November and December 2021, Tiger Beer hosted their second Street Food Virtual Festival. Attendees could immerse themselves in the virtual world whilst ordering real-life food and drinks from a number of local Malaysian food vendors. The virtual world housed a number of games and activities where winner’s rewards were translated to real-world food discounts, happy hour promotions, and exclusive merchandise.

Both newly launched and established food and drink brands are forging new revenue streams by investing in NFTs and participating in their trade. In September 2021, Burger King launched Keep It Real Meals. The campaign saw the fast-food company fix QR codes to meal boxes. Once scanned, these codes unlocked digital collectibles and bonus NFTs. Bored Breakfast Club is taking a different approach by using NFTs to kickstart their direct-to-consumer coffee subscription. Having ownership of an NFT from their collection of 5,000 unique digital assets unlocks the brand's exclusive coffee shipments.

What does a dining experience look like in the metaverse? Despite not being able to eat digitally, food and drink brands are experimenting with new ways to experience food. The metaverse offers new channels of engagement for food brands and the adoption of food-based web3 concepts may prove crucial in ensuring the industry's relevance in the metaverse in years to come.

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