Hillshire Farm Is The Latest Food Brand To Enter The Metaverse

The digital world is full of opportunities, except maybe for the chance to dine. However, this is a minor setback for brands proving that the metaverse is just as much made for food culture as it is for everything else. While McDonald's, Chipotle, and Wendy's have already started to step into the virtual world (via Business Insider), you might be surprised to learn that Hillshire Farm's iconic red barn is also expected to grace the landscape.

To understand how brands like Hillshire Farm are entering the metaverse, the digital world must first be defined. According to Wired, the term doesn't refer to a specific type of technology but rather how we interact with tech in a way that integrates virtual and augmented reality with the physical world. At its core, the concept is focused on social connections, which is appealing for brands looking to interact with consumers. In fact, Food Industry Executive explains that creating virtual content is a great way to engage with fans in a modern (borderline futuristic) way, while increasing brand awareness and allegiance. Given that many foresee a new digital economy as a result of this new digital reality, claiming a place in the metaverse is vital.

"Virtual reality gives marketers a new way to creatively bring brands to life while providing entertainment value," explained Courtney Ballantini, Vice President of Marketing Communications with Tyson Foods in a press statement about the launch. "We're excited about the possibilities for our brands in the metaverse."

Farm-inspired quests, barn bucks, and wearables

When founder Fritz Bernegger started Hillshire Farm in 1934, his mission was simply to deliver quality meats to customers using the best farming practices. Reaching beyond deli meat, sausages, and smoked hams, the brand now plans to give fans the chance to experience the Hillshire Farm barn in the metaverse.

According to a recent press release, Hillshire Farm has partnered with the leader in metaverse building technology, LandVault, to offer fans an interactive gaming experience through the 3D virtual world browser-based platform known as Decentraland. Essentially, visitors will be greeted by a farmer-inspired, non-playable character who shares details about the quest, which includes a challenge to quickly build a sandwich using ingredients accessible on the farm. Earning non-monetary currency dubbed "Barn Bucks", players can unlock exclusive in-game wearables like a sausage rope belt, farm overalls, or barn boots.

"We're happy to partner with the Hillshire Farm brand as they enter the Metaverse and offer players a genuinely fun and rewarding experience," noted Samuel Huber, founder and CEO of LandVault. "As the Metaverse continues to gain more traction, it's becoming imperative for traditional and respected mainstream brands to get comfortable with virtual worlds and prepare to fully embrace the Web3-centric future."