The metaverse is slowly becoming the target of many food and beverage businesses that are looking to expand their locations. The latest of these businesses is Jose Cuervo, one of the biggest names in tequila. In a recent announcement, the company planned to set up a virtual distillery in the metaverse. With this being the first virtual distillery, Jose Cuervo’s announcement raises some obvious questions, such as will this be successful, and what does it say about where the metaverse is headed as an industry?
Background: Virtual Restaurants
The metaverse has already seen an increase in the number of virtual restaurants being open in the space. While it may seem weird to open a restaurant where no one can eat the food, many companies are using virtual locations as a marketing strategy. Companies like Chipotle and McDonald’s have encouraged users to interact with their virtual locations, offering NFTs and coupons for real-world meals to a select few. Because eating has a strong link to gaming (and not in the healthiest way due to eating irregularities), restaurants try to use this link in order to encourage gamers and metaverse users to buy their food. While it’s already proven successful for many companies, will a link between drinking and gaming also prove successful?
Analysis: Tequila Going to New Places
Jose Cuervo is hoping to find this link between metaverse users and drinking in order to promote their products. With their virtual distillery coming to Decentraland in the summer, it will be interesting to see how the brand brings 21+ fans to the experience. The brand promises unique visual experiences along with limited edition products and tequila education. “Cuervo is no stranger to bringing tequila to places it’s never gone before,” explained Senior Vice President of Marketing for Proxima Spirits, Lander Otequi. “We were given the first license to distill in Tequila, Jalisco, where the Cuervo family created the national spirit over 260 years ago, and still produces it today in Latin America’s oldest distillery… It’s time for Cuervo to take on a new frontier and bring tequila to new audiences by opening the first-ever distillery in the metaverse.”
Outlook: Collaborations and an Increase in Popularity
Like other companies, Jose Cuervo is working with several metaverse experts to make sure the launch is a success. Their partners include Bompas& Parr, who will create the consumer and aesthetic experience of the virtual location, while the company M2 Studio will build the location in Decentraland. With partnerships like these, the launch does promise to be a unique experience.
Jose Cuervo is the newest company to move into the metaverse, but it won’t be the last to do so. The popularity of the metaverse continues to steadily increase. According to one poll, around 70% of Gen Z’s and Millennials are interested in virtual space. This shows an untapped market that many companies are currently looking into. Jose Cuervo’s move seems to be in line with the shift that this industry is taking overall, as more food and beverage companies inject themselves into this virtual territory.
Kenna Castleberry is a staff writer at the Debrief and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). She focuses on deep tech, the metaverse, and quantum technology. You can find more of her work at her website: https://kennacastleberry.com/