Namah Chawla
Points of View

Who will ‘eat’ the Maggi NFT?

Brands like Coca-Cola, Yum! Brands and Wow! Momo have also launched their food NFTs in the past.

Nestle’s Maggi recently announced that it is launching its first-ever Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in the ‘OneRare Foodverse.’ Maggi will be launching its offerings like recipes made with its Noodles, ‘Masala-ae-Magic’ and Maggi Hot & Sweet as NFTs that can be used in the foodverse. 

However, this is not the first time that a food and beverage brand has launched its NFT. Early last year, brands like Coca-Cola, Yum! Brands (parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC) created their NFTs of digital assets such as images, videos, memes, GIFs and audio tracks. More recently, in March 2023, QSR brand Wow! Momo also forayed into the metaverse to launch its NFT. 

Brands started to foray into the metaverse and launched their NFTs for the first time in January 2022 when the NFT trend was at its peak. The NFT market has seen a cooling down and a decline in sales, since its peak in early 2022. 

This decline can be due to the initial hype and frenzy around NFTs fading away, and some buyers and collectors having lost interest in them. As per experts, a saturation of the market with too many NFTs being sold has also led to a decline in the perceived value of NFTs. 

How can a food brand benefit by entering the foodverse and what is the long-term impact of launching such NFTs? 

afaqs! reached out to four experts to know what they think about Maggi’s NFT. Here is what they had to say:

Edited excerpts: 

Amit Dhawan, partner and CEO, Art-E

Amit Dhawan
Amit Dhawan

Maggi may be a bit late to the NFT trend, but it's never too late to experiment with new technologies and marketing strategies. In fact, being late to the party can sometimes work in a brand's favour as they can learn from the mistakes and successes of early adopters.

The purpose of a food NFT for a brand like Maggi could be multi-faceted. For instance, it could be used as a loyalty program for customers, where they can earn or redeem NFTs to buy Maggi products. Alternatively, Maggi could launch limited-edition recipe NFTs, which could be sold or auctioned to fans or collectors. They can also be used to build a social media community of Maggi enthusiasts who share their cooking tips, recipes and experiences.

While Maggi's NFT launch is an interesting move and demonstrates the brand's willingness to experiment with new technologies, it remains to be seen how successful this initiative will be in the long term.

Sukrit Singh, founder, XP&DLand

Sukrit Singh
Sukrit Singh

The NFT market has slowed down significantly since the last quarter of 2022 due to the slump in the crypto market and the global economy. However, the NFT community is still very invested in collections. 

The growth of metaverse has been phenomenal. With the more widespread acceptance of the new internet, the NFT market will also witness growth.

This can be an excellent opportunity for Maggi because food NFT will allow consumers to engage deeply with the brand. In addition, the metaverse experience attached to the NFT collection gamifies the user experience in the foodverse, allowing them to learn new recipes for ‘Meri Maggi’ with its products, which ensures that the consumer stays invested in the brand and is taking their love for the brand to new dimensions.

Vivek Kumar Anand, director- business and innovation, DViO Digital

Vivek Kumar Anand
Vivek Kumar Anand

Currently, the Metaverse is considered a distant technological innovation with an uncertain timeline for its arrival and limited consumer interest. Hence, it makes sense for businesses to deprioritise their urgency. Therefore, if brands venture into such technologies, they must have a clear vision of what they expect to achieve through such experiments. 

Maggi's foray into the metaverse signals its willingness to adapt to the changing times. NFTs are still in their early stages and do not have a clearly defined use case for long-term brand benefits. Therefore, investing in NFTs at this stage can still be a slightly early move rather than a delayed one. However, it will undoubtedly generate positive PR and appeal to Gen Z consumers.

Moreover, this move reinforces its image as an innovative brand and enhances its market position. Partnering with OneRare will also enable them to engage and incentivise fans on the platform. However, creating additional revenue streams through NFTs has yet to be a sustainable channel for any brand.

Muskan Mirwani, business development head, Django Digital

Muskan Mirwani
Muskan Mirwani

Meta recently announced that it is winding up its NFT projects to focus on other elements. The NFT hype has definitely slowed to a crawl. On the world’s largest NFT marketplace OpenSea, trading volume has dropped to 99% in four months around August last year. 

This is a testament to the fact that the hype around NFTs has faded now. But it would be wrong to say that the hype is over and that the future is bleak. 

For Maggi, the introduction of NFTs may inflate the brand image through a marketing lens in the areas of technology and innovation. However, when it comes to real value addition and engaging with the audience, it is unlikely that Maggi may get to that point.

Maggi could have entered this space earlier when the hype was at its peak. When it comes to building a community and interacting with Maggi fanatics, NFTs may not prove as useful for the brand.

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