Augmented Reality Food and Drinks

5 augmented reality food and drinks effects you can build

By Cristina Ferrandez

As Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease up and restaurants and bars to reopen, the food and drinks industry is dealing with lower-than-usual customer numbers and higher competition. While schemes such as Eat Out To Help Out encouraged people to support their local businesses, restaurants and bars are still facing huge disruption.

One of the ways industry brands can stand out from competitors is through augmented reality. Whether it’s an effect on social media to promote your alcohol brand or an augmented menu to show customers what ingredients go into their dish, there are many innovative ways to use AR to increase engagement with your customers.

In this article we outline just a few of the kinds of augmented reality food and drinks campaigns you could get started with.

1. Augmented menus

An example of an AR restaurant menu
An example of an AR restaurant menu

Due to Covid19 restrictions, some restaurants are beginning to offer augmented menus. These allow customers to explore the items on the menu using their phone: no need to touch any physical menus!

Augmented menus are great ways of allowing customers to find out more about the items they can order: from ingredients to calorie information.

Augmented menus can also lower the need to speak to a waiter physically, as plenty of information that would usually be beyond the scope of a physical menu can easily be included in an AR experience. Integrate this into a mobile ordering app and you can reduce the need for customer-to-waiter contact even further.

2. Product launch and promotion

Launching a new product but unable to hold a launch event? AR is the perfect alternative, because it allows you to engage customers in a different way while still promoting your products.

For example, for the launch of their summer line ‘Absolut Juice’, Absolut created this mini-game for Snapchat, which prompted the user to catch the strawberries in their glass by opening and closing their mouth. This proved a fun gamified experience that brought the new product line to more people’s attention.

Our AR campaign with Absolut Juice

Flipz, the pretzels company, launched a similar mini-game, but in their case it was a tongue-in-cheek effect that produced a scrumptious-sounding crunch each time the user captured a pretzel in their mouth.

Our AR campaign with Flipz

These kinds of mini-games, when shared on social media, are great ways to keep customers in mind at a time when they’re spending less time shopping for groceries or attending events.

3. Augmented packaging

Augmented packaging brings AR to the actual product, making it a really exciting experience for the user when purchasing it. This may be used in a number of ways; for example, scanning a product while shopping at the supermarket might reveal additional information about the product that wouldn’t usually fit on the label.

Augmented packaging can also produce experiences that are fun rather than educational. We’re really big fans of this Christmas-themed effect from Starbucks, which augmented the Starbucks cups and triggered amazing festive experiences.

Augmented Christmas cups from Starbucks

4. Interactive recipes

Augmented packaging also offers a great opportunity to provide valuable content to your customers, such as interactive recipes. For example, you could allow customers to scan your product in order to access exclusive interactive recipes and even mini-games. These could take the customer through the recipe step by step, or allow them to virtually cook a dish or mix a cocktail.

A great example is this campaign from Heinz, which allowed customers to unlock an augmented reality recipe book by scanning their Tomato Ketchup bottle. These recipes provided customers with ideas of what to make using the famous ketchup:

Augmented recipes from Heinz

5. Portals

Finally, another way to create brand loyalty is by using AR to educate consumers about your products. This might be through a portal that gives end-users access to your factory or to the region of origin of your product.

For example, this AR campaign we did with Jack Daniels allowed customers who ordered a Lynchburg Lemonade at Slug & Lettuce restaurants to access an exclusive AR experience. This was a portal that transported the users to the Lynchburg factory, where they were able to see how their signature whiskey is produced.

This provided a real wow effect, taking the drinking experience to another level while educating the end consumer.

Our AR project with Jack Daniels

Final words

In this article we outlined just a few of the ways augmented reality food and drinks effects can help you stand out and engage more with your consumers, particularly at a time of great global crisis. However, there is no end to the number of AR experiences you could create.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how AR could help you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here.

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