On-Pack AR experience tracks Orchard-to-Shelf journey

Blue Diamond is using Augmented Reality (AR) to educate and entertain consumers on their Almond Breeze plant based milk brand, with technology that links the packaging to a website, rather than a dedicated app, to provide consumer convenience. The AR experience is accessible from the dedicated website that opens up when users scan a QR code on the container, says the report in Packaging World..

More consumers are looking to food and beverage brands to supply them with greater transparency on the origins of the products they purchase, particularly plant-based, organic, and all-natural brands. This prompted Blue Diamond Growers to contact immersive creative and production studio Tactic to develop an on-pack AR experience for its non-dairy milk, yogurt, and creamer products.

“We reached out to Tactic and started engaging with them in 2019,” said Almond Breeze group marketing manager Micah Keith. “We saw how some brands were using AR technology to tell their own stories, and we felt this would be a great way to engage our consumers to tell the story of our cooperative of more than 3,000 almond growers and our delicious almond milk products.”

 “One of our main goals was to help consumers that already purchase from us to understand us even more, and with this experience, we are hoping they will fall even more in love with us and get to know us even better,” he explained.

According to Tactic President Peter Oberdorfer, “Blue Diamond was looking for a way to help activate the store shelves where the products exist and tell the story of how the cooperative growers in California make the product. We thought that a storybook/pop-up motif inside the carton would be a great experience for the consumer and an easy, shorthand way of conveying this message with visuals and an audio narration.”

Tactic’s script, divided into chapters, tells a farm-to-table story about the growers, as well as Almond Breeze’s ingredients and packaging. The studio also suggested a visual menu of alternating recipes that could be updated dynamically from season to season, as needed.

Consumers do not have to download an app to access the AR content. Using the webAR library from platform developer 8th Wall, Tactic developed the AR experience to be accessible from a dedicated website, ar.almondbreeze.com, which opens up when users scan the QR code on the packaging. 

To kick off the launch in March 2021 Almond Breeze collaborated with Tactic on an in-store fridge execution. Triggered by a QR code featured on Almond Breeze signage on store refrigerators, the AR experience launched a full diorama of an almond farm on any open space in front of the user. Featuring a farm with a barn, animated delivery trucks, a field of blossoming almond trees, beehives, a brook, and a roadway, the experience allowed users to freely move around the AR scene. The farm can also be accessed by users without a QR code or package, by visiting the dedicated website.

Since the launch of the AR experience, the brand has had almost 2,500 session startups, with a progressive growth of almost 50% more sessions each month. “Consumers are engaging with the AR experience for 1:18 seconds per view, which is certainly at the higher end of engagement time across all mediums in which we reach our loyal buyers,” he says. “Additionally, we’ve had almost 20% of AR users come back to the experience and try it again, which allows us to both entertain our consumers and continue to share our brand message and promote brand transparency.”

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