VR & ARThe food sector can be innovative too. Opportunities for VR and AR


When we talk about immersive technologies, we generally associate them with certain uses and sectors that are already big on innovation, like automotives or design. We rarely make the connection with the world of food, and yet there is plenty going on in the food sector. It’s not just related to precision agriculture and the traceability of products, it’s also starting to pervade aspects of communication as well. Food is more than just a basic need and a necessity, it’s also an opportunity to gain knowledge, connections and relations. In fact, many food brands are starting to feel the insistent but quickly changing needs of the market, to meet the demands of increasingly attentive customers. These customers want to know more about the origins, production methods and content of their food. It’s a hunger for knowledge that also presents opportunities, and better yet if it can be an immersive experience. They need to know what they’re eating right that moment, what the elements of the food on their plate are, or maybe how their meal has been cooked. It’s a moment as part of the overall experience that determines its success.  

Kabaq, the augmented reality platform

One example is Kabaq, a food tech startup that gives brands the ability to present their products in 3D and create visualizations of dishes using advanced scanning technology. This technology has attracted attention from major brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway to name a few. Guler, the founder of Kabaq, highlights their objective as linking food to a contemporary vision, or to bring the tech world together with social channels to create an immersive dimension where the user feels free and emotionally involved.

“ Our main goal is to help customers to decide what to eat. While doing that, we are helping restaurants push premium items and tell stories about their food”.

Guler explains that their goal is to incentivize the in-store experience, and also to focus on marketing campaigns with 3D banners on social channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. It’s impossible to forget that food already has growing aesthetic value. One aspect that’s exploded is the phenomenon of food photography, which inevitably impacts the experience of food in any moment of consumption and sharing.

Carluccio’s, the restaurant chain with its eye on virtual reality

“The introduction of a significant menu change, the launch of new generation stores and updated brand signatures are a monumental step in Carluccio’s evolution. Our approach to eating out has changed dramatically since the inception of the brand 17 years ago and is no longer just about the food. Today, diners are looking for an experience above all else and by embracing new technologies such as VR, we are confident that Carluccio’s will remain as relevant today as the brand was in 1999.”

Neil Wickers CEO di Carluccio’s

This UK chain of Italian restaurants founded by Antonio Carluccio has decided to focus on virtual reality. In November of 2016, the chain launched 50,000 cardboard headsets in their new stores, encouraging the emotional and participative dimension for its customers. What could be better for people enjoying Italian food than to be instantly transported to the land where the products are grown? Customers find themselves in Taormina, and are swept away by the charm and flavors of Sicily. It’s a 360-degree experience that immerses and excites diners, and enhances the taste of their meal.

Michela Di Nuzzo

« Se scrivo ciò che sento è perché così facendo abbasso la febbre di sentire». - Fernando Pessoa Giornalista e co-founder, vivo il digital come imprenditrice e appassionata. Percepisco il cambiamento come un'opportunitá mai una minaccia. Occhi spalancati e orecchie aperte, sempre pronta alla condivisione, la chiave di ogni evoluzione.

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