Frozen food conglomerate McCain Foods wants young consumers to farm its metaverse potatoes in a new game on Roblox.
The world’s largest manufacturer of prepared potato products is hoping to educate them about challenges facing the farming community and the benefits of regenerative farming, it said in a release.
Integrated into Roblox’s popular Livetopia game, Farms of the Future allows players to virtually grow potatoes using regenerative farming methods that improve and restore soil health. The free-to-play game will launch today.
Players are rewarded when they apply regenerative practices such as planting cover crops, integrating livestock through rotational grazing and encouraging biodiversity.
“It is important we reach out to younger consumers with the right message, in the right location, at the right moments of receptivity – meeting them where they are. This will be important in raising awareness for building a more sustainable food system through regenerative agriculture,” said Christine Kalvenes, McCain’s global head of innovation and marketing.
The announcement comes at a time of growing concern around protecting underage players on platforms like Roblox. Part of that includes looking at how brands advertise to them, both in the form of more traditional ads and more subliminally through “experiences.”
It’s hardly a new phenomenon. Branded mini-games, sometimes called advergames, certainly precede the metaverse. Taco Bell gave away games with its kid’s meals over two decades ago on floppy disks and IKEA released a furniture range on the Sims 2. Many of the brands releasing web3 projects now released branded games in the early noughties.
Roblox is a popular choice for brand collaborations, but it’s not the only one McCain is working with. The company is also teaming up with Bored and Hungry, a Bored Ape Yacht Club-themed restaurant based in Long Beach, California.
The two are running pop-up locations in London and Toronto on Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 16-18, respectively, where McCain will promote its new “Regen Fries” grown using regenerative farming methods.