Why global fast food giants are serving NFTs to whet customer appetite and promote their brands


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From non-edible Pringles to Coca-Cola vintage coolers, people are developing an appetite for NFTs. 

Earlier this month, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee, announced the company’s plans to enter the NFT space. Starbucks’ announcement comes at a time when NFT adoption is picking up steam across the food and beverage industry, with many fast food chains displaying interest in this new asset class.

The Bored Breakfast Club’s NFTs serve as a membership token for the coffee subscription. In February 2022, Bored Breakfast Club teamed up with Yes Plz, a Los Angeles-based coffee chain, to offer a coffee subscription to its members. How does it work?  NFT holders can claim one bag of coffee per token during each coffee release. To claim the coffee, users must visit the reward section of the Bored Breakfast Club’s website and link their wallets with Bored Breakfast Club NFTs. With this, members can enjoy free coffee shipped right to their doorsteps. 

This demonstrates, how NFTs can improve subscription offerings and augment brand value. 

But what is NFT? A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a crypto asset that has been verified as unique by a digital ledger. The concept is based on the economic principle of fungibility, which implies that an item can be replaced with another that is identical. If something is non-fungible, there is nothing that can replace it in terms of features and characteristics. 

NFTs are being used by fast-food giants for various reasons, including short-term promotions, brand building, and to raise brand awareness.

Here is a quick look at NFT adoption by global brands in the fast-food sector.

1.McDonald’s triple cheeseburger NFT 

Would you prefer your fries with non-edible cheeseburgers? Yes, you heard that right. For fast-food chain McDonald’s Italy has collaborated with three digital artists — lettering artist Daniele Tozzi, illustrator Serena Gianoli, and designer Nicola Laurora to launch its NFT collection. It has curated 300 digital collectibles.

The NFTs were launched at the NFT marketplace OpenSea , where 300 NFTs were given away to customers in a contest. 

Prior to this, in 2021, the company’s US division released an NFT to highlight the reintroduction of the iconic McRibs sandwich to the menu. The food giant used NFTs as a tool to rebrand and engage with local artists to generate revenue. 

2. Burger King’s  Keep it Real NFT Campaign 

Burger King took its NFT game one step further by running an NFT promo as part of its “Keep It Real Campaign”. As part of the campaign, the fast-food giant eliminated 120 artificial ingredients from its menu.

On six million Burger King meal boxes, the company included QR codes that enabled customers to access three collective NFT game pieces. Once the customer collected all three, they were rewarded with one of the three unlockable benefits — a digital collectible, a year’s worth of burgers, or a phone call with one of the campaign’s celebrity spokesmen.

 Burger King incorporated NFTs in its digital branding strategy to increase brand awareness and revamp its customer loyalty programme. 

3.  Taco Bell’s Ever-Crunching NFT Tacos

In the year 2021, Taco Bell introduced its first batch of Taco-themed digital collectibles on NFT marketplace Rarible. The collection included five different NFTs that were quickly sold out. 

Taco Bell’s digital tacos – including “Ever-Crunching Tacos,” “Gimme That,” “‘Tato Dimensions,” “Transformative Taco,” and “Swivel Taco” – turned out to be popular and none of these products were either edible or real! They were photos, GIFs, and small video snippets.

Revenue generated from the sale was donated to the company’s public charity, The Taco Bell Foundation, and the fast-food giant demonstrated how it could use NFTs to enhance its consumer relationship. 

4. Pizza Hut’s One Byte Favourites NFTs

In March 2021, Pizza Hut Canada also jumped on the NFT bandwagon and introduced a digital-only pizza collection called “1 Byte Favorites”. The name suggests that 8 bits equal one byte.

During the launch week, the company introduced new NFTs of a pizza slice with a different recipe on Rarible. It featured its iconic pizza recipes including  Hawaain, Pepperoni, Canadian, and Margherita. The NFTs turned out to be popular and were quickly sold out. 

The company’s NFT collection was part of a marketing campaign to advertise their pan pizzas and attract customer attention. 

5. Papa John’s NFT Hot Bags 

The pizza take-out chain launched its NFT collection Hot Bags, featuring a series of handbag designs inspired by their pizza delivery bags. The NFT Hot Bags were minted on the Tezos Blockchain.

The NFT release was intended to promote its new venture — Papa John’s X Cheddar, a line of its merchandise. In this process, the fast-food chain introduced 19,000 NFTs to promote its merchandise. 

The firm plans to give away 20,000 NFTs to customers in the UK. NFTs were used by the global pizza take-out chain to promote awareness of its fashion line as part of a bigger marketing campaign focused on rebranding the company with modern technology.

6. Quiznos’ ‘Out of this World’ sandwich NFTs

Quiznos teamed up with Crypto.com and The NFT Agency to launch its digital collectibles. The collection features  Quiznos’ “Out of this World” sandwich coins, created by digital artist Sameer Baloch.

The company also awarded $1,000 worth of Dogecoin to two random users. It also offered Physical Quiznos Gift Cards to 33 winners who can avail their favourite real-life meals at the restaurant. The giveaway was limited to citizens of Canada and the US. 

Quiznos integrated NFTs to not only market its brand but also connect with the customers. 

 In March 2022, other global brands, including Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Hooters, and Dunkin Donuts, filed trademark applications to launch their NFT collections. Recently fintech company CurrencyWorks Inc teamed up with Restaurant.com to launch FoodiesNFT in an attempt to offer an NFT platform to the restaurant industry. 

Global fast food giants are discovering that customer loyalty is boosted by food tokenisation, as these tokens reward the individuals and promote the brand. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai



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