( Photo courtesy Zappar )

Fresh produce’s future  is in augmented reality

Augmented reality, or AR, has seen a meteoric rise in application for dozens of industries. In a consumer market that’s becoming more dependent on delivering creative and meaningful customer experiences, AR represents a major opportunity to every industry to provide a fully immersive interaction that educates and provides value before and after purchase.

There is perhaps no other industry this pertains to more strongly than the produce industry. What better industry to take advantage of being able to give their customers an immersive picture of how things operate or where their fruits and vegetables come from? As such, the role of AR in the produce industry is already taking shape in positive ways. Here’s how.

We live in a time where customers expect companies to be transparent about the source of their food and the work conditions therein. Savvy companies are taking note and using AR to show their customers a behind-the-scenes look. Take, for example, Chiquita bananas, which began using AR on its packaging to give customers a direct 360-degree look at where and how their bananas are harvested. By scanning the banana’s label using their phones, consumers can look around the plant and read pop-up dialogue attached to different areas on-screen.

Customers want to support brands that they feel a personal connection to. Connected AR labels allow companies to share their brand story by giving customers a look behind the curtain at brand culture, in addition to company practices. This helps customers feel connected to the brand on a deeper level, making purchasing a product feel more meaningful. Similar to Chiquita bananas, Bombay Sapphire gin partnered with Zappar and Shazam to create interactive experiences through scanning its labels to share more of the brand’s mission, style, and exclusive video content for creative cocktail creations using the product. 

Did you know that 55% of smartphone users think it would be good if they could simply point their phone at any object for more info? When it comes to fresh produce, customers want all possible information — from nutrition facts to details about where the produce is physically harvested. 

Most product packages are not able to provide this level of detail, much less entertainment. Enter interactive packaging. 

With the majority of consumers having access to smartphones and wanting quick access to info of this nature, the potential for creativity is ripe. In fact, a number of AR activations in this sector have already shown a key moment around the lunch break for engaging with AR content. 

Whether you want your customers to learn more about your company practices or have an inventive way to share your brand’s style, AR takes what would otherwise be a passive interaction and creates a way for customers to feel equally reassured and excited about your product.

Jeff Ridgeway is senior vice president of business development–North America at Zappar, which works in AR for product packaging and in stores on mobile.

 
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