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Metaverse Part I

Metaverse part one: the next big food journey

The metaverse has rapidly shifted from a technological testing zone for coders into accessible real-world platforms. On this journey it is attracting more people who are open to the next giant leap, and these are not just traditional early adopters. With advances in food tech and a wide consumer base that has integrated the internet and social media into so many aspects of their lives, the food and beverage sector has near infinite room to experiment and expand.

COVID pandemic as a digital door opener

One thing which has, accidentally, quickened interest in the metaverse is the COVID pandemic. Faced with restrictions on movement and the widespread closure of physical outlets, even the most internet-averse found themselves conducting more of their lives online. Through this necessity, many fears about technology were overcome. Online shopping, delivery apps, trading without cash and trusting that your click would lead to a problem-free purchase were all many of us had during pandemic lockdowns - and it worked. This demystified elements of the internet for those not already totally on board and turned more people on to the next stage in virtual living.

Copyrights: Innova Market Insights (iStock)

Copyrights: Innova Market Insights (iStock)

This consumer confidence, both in their own voice and with new ways of navigating life's choices, comes through loud and clear in Innova Market Insights’ research. Half of people surveyed globally by Innova agree or strongly agree that “social media has helped companies to bring consumer ideas to life.” Meanwhile, we have seen a significant increase in the use of apps and artificial intelligence to personalize nutritional and dietary choices, especially as health became a bigger priority throughout the pandemic. What all this tells us is that new technologies quickly find users willing to push it to the limits.

Metaverse creates new levels of communication

When it comes to potential, the metaverse is only limited by our imaginations and current technological advances. Perhaps the easiest way to begin thinking of it is as the next (very) big leap in the development of the internet. Just as social media propelled human interactions forward, from an age of email and message boards into a multi-media world of instant content and two-way conversations, so the metaverse will add new layers of communication, access and opportunity far beyond the limits of present digital environments.

Again, consumer feedback bears this out. Three in four respondents to Innova’s global survey say companies “should listen to consumers more when developing products, flavors or strategies,” while half want to see “more technological collaborations to create indulgent flavors, texture, and/or format combinations.” And trust in science is rising, with 40% saying they are more open to new tech having seen how innovations in plant-based products has progressed. Access to and understanding of the metaverse are needed now to match this greater openness of consumers.

Coming soon: Metaverse part two: from virtual to reality

Featured by Innova Market Insights