Nescafé and Google in virtual reality coffee experience: ‘People feel as if they are right there in the plantation’

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Google Cardboard lets viewers see the plantations where Nescafé is sourced from
Google Cardboard lets viewers see the plantations where Nescafé is sourced from

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Transparency on sustainability needs to go beyond data on packaging if it is to really engage consumers, says Nescafé, as it partners with Google to launch a virtual reality coffee experience. 

Nescafé is launching the ‘fully immersive’ virtual reality experience this week, which lets viewers see coffee fields in Brazil via a mobile phone app and Google viewer.

Michael Chrisment, global head of integrated marketing, Nescafé, told BeverageDaily the experience is targeted at millennials, who are more responsive to sustainability concerns than their parents and grandparents. They also want to consume content on their mobile phones.

An ‘immersive and engaging format’

Consumers can fit their mobile, with the downloaded app, into a Nescafé-​branded Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer. This viewer has two lenses for a stereoscopic image. The Nescafé 360˚ app is available for Android and iPhone.

When turning their head in any direction, viewers can experience the coffee fields via three 3D videos.

We are giving people a unique experience. It’s not often they get to connect with the farmers who produce their coffee, but with Nescafé 360° they feel as if they are right there standing in the coffee plantation,”​ said Chrisment.

There is a lot of research that says people care increasingly about where their food comes from. Globally, nine out of 10 consumers say transparency is important to them. This is particularly true for millennials, who are more responsive to sustainability concerns than previous generations.

We know transparency needs to go beyond data points on packaging to engage. People want brands to be mobile-centric, and our aim through Nescafé360˚ is to start to bring to life the Nescafé journey from plantlet to mug, in an immersive and engaging format.” 

nescafe google

The Nescafé 360˚ launch was set to coincide with International Coffee Day this week. 10,000 headsets are being distributed across 13 markets, through in-store events or as competition prizes. These markets are China, Egypt, Turkey, Belgium, France, the Nordics, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, Germany and Japan.

The videos are also available to view on YouTube as non-3D versions.

In another effort to engage with millennials, Nescafé announced earlier this month that it is abandoning traditional websites in favour of Tumblr.

Nescafe plan

The virtual reality coffee experience is designed to showcase Nestlé’s NescaféPlan – a project that aims to help farmers produce better quality coffee, achieve higher yields, and get a better income.

It’s a fun and engaging way to remind people of the work we do with more than 1m farmers to ensure their mug of Nescaféis sourced responsibly and has a positive impact on the local community,” ​said Chrisment.

Nescafé wants to source 90,000 tonnes of coffee compliant with Sustainable Agriculture Network principles by 2020.

The future supply of coffee is increasingly under threat because of climate change, crop disease, poor farming techniques and mass migration from farming regions to cities. We’re doing a lot to help tackle some of these issues,” ​continued Chrisment.    

Nescafé 360° will help boost the profile of these problems, he continued.

By bringing consumers closer to the coffee fields, and the journey their favourite coffee makes, we'll help to raise awareness and address some of theses issues globally.

Nescafé works with more farmers in more countries than any other coffee company, so the opportunities to build on this idea and innovate further are vast.” 

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