Augmented reality in the food industry has helped businesses earn millions. The use of augmented reality provides experiences that take the message of these industries to the next level. Many companies in the food industry are now investing their time, money, and resources in augmented reality. It allows them to get creative while delivering the best customer experience. 

In the year 2020, there were more than 43.7 million users who were using augmented reality daily. According to a study, around 68.7 million people interact with augmented reality involving food at least once a month. 

 Top reasons to use augmented reality in the food business

The best reason behind it is that it simplifies information and gives a better user experience. AR food applications are readily available for many and will soon become a part of our lives. Real-time customer engagement on virtual platforms has become possible by using augmented reality. 

It is useful when the company or industry cannot interact with its customers. Augmented reality in the food industry has a lot of strategic benefits attached to it, such as: 

  • You can quickly transform all the different fields of industries that use food promotion efficiently. 
  • Apart from good food, augmented reality provides entertainment and information, adding more user interest. 
  • Brands always look for innovative ways to promote their businesses using new technologies. AR happens to be one of them. 
  • A typical smartphone is more than enough to experience augmented reality. You can access it through an application or even a web browser.  
  • The virtual 3D food experience has elevated the customer experience a lot.

There has been a global rise in the food industry that has made most food and beverage companies consider using augmented reality in the services they provide. The use of augmented reality has been around for decades now. Augmented reality in the food and beverage industry has become the most exciting application. In no time, this technique will be used by most companies in marketing and promoting a type of food or its brand. 

How restaurants can use augmented reality

Augmented reality can easily replace the use of food samples in restaurants. There might have been a lot of times when you would have been unable to decide which food you wanted to taste. Using augmented reality may help you decide.

  1. You can easily find out what the dish looks like while sitting at your table in the restaurant. Sometimes more than a single photo on the menu card is needed to decide. Some dining places only provide some of the pictures of the food they offer on the menu. 
  2. An augmented reality food menu is a better option for foreigners visiting a restaurant in a different country without knowing what their food looks or tastes like. A customer may easily recognize the texture and ingredients used in the food with the help of augmented reality. 
  3. Augmented reality can provide better and more exciting training to newbies as a chef. Opposed to traditional training methods, with augmented reality, training a new chef will not take a lot of work.
  4. Less attention is required while using augmented reality in food processing. It helps decrease errors made under stress and pressure in a busy kitchen. 

The use of augmented reality in the food industry by online businesses 

We all know that online businesses have increased since the pandemic. People worldwide rely on the internet to buy everything from toothbrush to quality food. The new era is more dependent on electronic gadgets and applications, which will keep increasing with time, thus widening the use of Augmented reality in the food industry. Currently, it finds use in the following cases-

1. In food packaging

While selling a food product online, adding some augmented reality food packaging of your food product is a good idea. You can use it to add some extra information, the history of food manufacturing, or even a fun game related to the product that the buyer can access. An attractive augmented reality food packaging is bound to create more brand engagement. It is a very innovative marketing technique where customers can join the journey of preparing their food from raw material to the final product.

2. Highlighting less visible information through AR experiences

When it comes to food, the more information you provide, the more likely people will buy it. The nutritional values on the packet might be hard to read or even go unnoticed many times. You can duly convey such information to the customer through AR apps, where they can get the information needed by scanning the augmented reality labels and QR codes. 

3. Creating an AR menu

With an augmented reality menu, restaurants can suggest the customers choose the correct pairings that go with their dish full stop, such as the types of drinks or desserts that would complete the main dish. It increases the sale of other food products as well. The restaurant menus that use augmented reality can also inform diners about any seasonal food offerings or discounts the restaurants might provide. You can also use the Augmented Reality restaurant menu to provide information about the food’s ingredients, calories, nutritional content, and others.

Innovative ways the food industry uses AR to their advantage

Many food industries use AR to create unique experiences and perform something different from competitor brands. Augmented reality offers many options to make your services creative. Here are some real-world examples that helped brands earn millions of profits.

1. Use of AR in the menu and payment system

Some well-known brands that are famous for their food globally use AR for simple actions like ordering food. A few Mexican restaurant groups have created a full augmented reality restaurant menu for their customers with the help of augmented reality studios in the following ways-

  • First, they use augmented reality labels and QR codes that your smartphone can scan, and you can easily navigate among the dishes offered by the restaurant. This sustainable practice also reduces using paper and leather in a menu card. 
  • Their whole concept is web-based, so the customers don’t even have to go through the long process of downloading a particular application for this. It reduces their time and effort. With an augmented reality menu, they don’t have to ask the waiter many questions. The AR also allows users to pay digitally, making the process safer and contactless. 

In 2018, another food company created a unique feature involving AR. Using this feature, customers could make their dream food and view it using augmented reality. It helped them find out how their food looked with their preferences and extra ingredients. 

2. Augmented reality for storytelling about the brand

One of the famous brands of Tennessee whiskey also created its food augmented reality application. The AR helped through the following changes-

  • The application takes the customers on a virtual journey of the brand’s distillery through different pop-ups like a book diorama. 
  • Their consumers can look at the making process of their whisky and learn more stories from the creator and all the people involved in its making. 
  • They split their brand’s experiences into three parts, all of which integrated real-time lighting and textures and looked like hand-crafted models.
  • In just one month after the company launched its AR app, millions of users watched their augmented reality, with each person watching their AR for a little less than 6 minutes.

 It helped the brand attract a lot of international news coverage and a positive consumer response worldwide. The media director of the same company said that in today’s world, it’s important for them to reach their consumers and customers wherever they are. 

3. Use of augmented reality on social media platforms

The use of augmented reality is seen widely on social media too. An American-based fast food chain company used augmented reality to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (a yearly celebration to mark Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla in 1862). So, this is how they used AR work here:

  • The company launched a weird filter on a famous social media platform for this day. In the filter, a giant food will swap your face when used in selfie camera mode. 
  • The filter had more than 224 million views in just a single day. 
  • On average, most users on social media platforms used the filter for more than 24 seconds. 
  • This crazy filter soon broke the record of all the previous filters on the same platform. 

The company’s augmented reality filter became the most famous campaign ever created using AR technology. On social media, food augmented reality is used in the form of filters by almost every creator online. These social media platforms include applications like Instagram or Snapchat. In 2021, these users increased by more than 5 million.

4. Use of in-store augmented reality experiences for customers.

Some well-known beverage corporations, like an American multinational coffeehouse chain, also offered the augmented reality experience in their stores. According to the senior vice president and the chief marketing officer of this beverage company, it’s a very magical experience. It is to imagine a fully integrated in-store and digital experience using augmented reality. The company used AR in the following ways- 

  • They used the impressive art of telling the story of your food preparation using AR. 
  • The company offered the first AR experience at all their major store outlets that were famous worldwide. 
  • The brand also made it easier for its buyers so that even if you didn’t have their company’s app, you could still experience and access virtual reality using a simple QR code reader on your smartphone. 
  • In a fun way, they also used augmented reality labels to help their customers understand how they make their food, prepare them from scratch, and bring them to their customers’ plates. 

It helped them see a visible increase in the sales of those major outlets offering this experience to their users. One can even compare it to something similar to Alice in Wonderland and the story of Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. 

Using PlugXR to integrate AR in the food business

With PlugXR, you can integrate AR in multiple ways:

  1. Promotion and marketing
  2. Food packaging
  3. Food Menu
  4. Social media campaigns
  5. Enhanced brand storytelling

Personalized Patisseries at Regaliz (a small business in Europe) is one of the many interesting case studies of PlugXR in the F&B industry. They could provide unique experiences to their customers and increase revenue by transforming their traditional way of selling patisseries. Regaliz would ask for images and videos from their customers and turn them into AR experiences. It was then added to their purchases. This project also gathered a lot of attention on Regaliz’s social media channels.

The food industry has estimated a market value of around 50 billion by the end of 2024. Consumers between the ages of 15 to 45 are aware of augmented reality and what it exactly means. It empowers companies to encourage augmented reality in the food and beverage industry and find great opportunities to engage their customers and boost food sales.


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