Yash Bhatia

Unlocking Maggi’s flavour in the NFT space

We spoke to Rajat Jain, head, foods business at Nestlé Maggi, and Supreet Raju, co-founder of OneRare, about entering the Metaverse.

Several FMCG brands, including Cadbury, Tata Tea and ITC, have entered the Metaverse. This month, Nestlé Maggi joined this list, by partnering with OneRare. 

Metaverse is basically a virtual space where brands can connect with users, fostering consumer engagement and brand loyalty. All this happens in the virtual realm, of course. According to Technavio industry analysis, the FMCG market within the Metaverse is projected to grow by $2.11 billion from 2021-26, at a CAGR of 21.8%.

Rajat Jain, head of foods business at Nestlé Maggi, explains, “Indians know Maggi quite well. We are in the food space and an ally to cooking. We aim to stay in step with the consumers and anticipate their future needs.” 

“We have recognised the Metaverse as a suitable space for us. Gaming has been around for a while. But gaming in cooking has not been explored, as it requires a more sophisticated experience.”

Supreet Raju, co-founder of OneRare, shares the excitement in bringing Maggi into the world of Web3 and NFTs, stating, “The objective was to introduce Maggi to new gamers.”

Maggi has introduced offerings like recipes made with its noodles, ‘Masala-ae-Magic’, Maggi Hot & Sweet sauce, etc. OneRare serves as a platform hosting this initiative, allowing the gamers to make their favourite dishes on the Blockchain and engage in games involving these NFTs.

Metaverse was the buzzword last year, with brands across categories making their foray into the space. Since then, the NFT market has experienced a cooling down and decline in sales. Additionally, oversaturation in the market with numerous NFTs, contributed to a decrease in their perceived value. So, is Maggi too late in entering the space?

Jain believes that the Metaverse is still a new space and brands, including Maggi, are currently in an experimental and learning phase.

Unlocking Maggi’s flavour in the NFT space

“It was a while ago when we first learned about the Metaverse, as consumers and marketers. Maggi purposely took its time to ensure clarity on the value it would bring to the consumers. Through our collaboration with OneRare, we have created a delightful experience, without the need for physical cooking.”

“By entering the Metaverse, we are staying true to the brand’s essence of being the cook’s ally. It’s an ongoing journey that will evolve over time. We have successfully incorporated the idea of cooking with Maggi in the virtual realm.”

Unlocking Maggi’s flavour in the NFT space

Raju adds, “When NFTs first emerged, many brands jumped on the bandwagon, without much thought. However, these NFTs have lost significance now, because they lack a thoughtful process.”

“In our collaboration with Maggi, we have ensured resonance with the customers and alignment with the brand’s values. For instance, when the players learn about how to cook cheesy Italiano Maggi in the virtual world, they realise how the brand’s products can enhance their real kitchen experience.”

Raju emphasises on the importance of thoughtfulness for any brand entering the Metaverse, highlighting that Maggi is not late, but rather among the first to introduce NFTs with utility.

Within the ‘foodverse’, Maggi offers 16 recipes, each requiring specific ingredients to cook the corresponding dish. Players must explore the virtual farm and farmer’s market to gather the necessary ingredients. Once the dish is cooked, players receive the (dish) NFT, which can be utilised in various games. One of these games is ‘Food Truck Wars’, where the players can operate their own Maggi food truck and earn rewards.

In the offline space, Maggi promotes its Metaverse initiative through packaging and plans to expand the promotion to ‘Maggi Hotspots’.

Jain emphasises that the initial group of consumers actively engaging with Maggi in the Metaverse, will primarily include individuals who are already well-versed in the Internet, social platforms and virtual environments. The brand aims to attract its initial user base from online sources, leveraging its extensive reach through active promotion and discussion on social media platforms.

The brand’s target audience ranges from 18-35 years, particularly those who are curious and eager to engage with the Metaverse concept.

A recent EY-FICCI report reveals that one of the most significant Metaverse use cases in India, is the creation of over 50 million avatars by 2025, opening up incredible opportunities for virtual commerce. When asked about this, Jain envisions the current Metaverse phase as ‘Season 1’, where the introductions are taking place. He anticipates that ‘Season 2’ will bring in possibilities, like merchandising, online and offline marketplaces, etc. 

Jain expresses excitement about how cooking in the Metaverse will evolve, emphasising that the experience itself is more important, than the merchandise value.

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