Why global fast food giants are offering NFTs to whet customer appetites and promote their brands


From inedible Pringles to vintage Coca-Cola coolers, people are building an appetite for NFTs.

Earlier this month, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee, announced the company’s plans to enter the NFT space. Starbucks’ announcement comes at a time when NFT adoption is gaining momentum in the food and beverage industry, with many fast-food chains showing interest in the new asset class.

The Bored Breakfast Club NFTs serve as a membership token for the coffee subscription. In February 2022, Bored Breakfast Club has partnered with Yes Plz, a Los Angeles-based coffee chain, to offer a coffee subscription to its members. How it works? NFT holders can claim one bag of coffee per token on each coffee outing. To claim the coffee, users must visit the rewards section of the Bored Breakfast Club website and link their wallets to the Bored Breakfast Club NFTs. With this, members can enjoy free coffee shipped right to their doorstep.

This shows, how NFTs can improve subscription offers and increase brand value.

But what is NFT? A non-fungible token (NFT) is a cryptographic asset whose uniqueness has been verified by a digital ledger. The concept is based on the economic principle of fungibility, which implies that an asset can be replaced by an identical one. If something is non-fungible, nothing can replace it in terms of features and characteristics.

NFTs are used by fast food giants for a variety of reasons, including short-term promotions, brand building and to increase brand awareness.

Here is a brief overview of NFT adoption by global fast food brands.

1.McDonald’s triple cheeseburger NFT

Do you prefer your fries with inedible cheeseburgers? Yes, you heard right. For fast food chain McDonald’s Italy collaborated with three digital artists – lettering artist Daniele Tozzi, illustrator Serena Gianoli and designer Nicola Laurara to launch their NFT collection. It has curated 300 digital collectibles.

NFTs have been launched on the NFT market OpenSea where 300 NFTs were given away to customers in a contest.

Prior to that, in 2021, the company’s US division released an NFT to highlight the reintroduction of the iconic McRibs sandwich to the menu. The food giant has used NFTs as a tool to brand and engage with local artists to generate revenue.

2. Burger King’s Keep it Real NFT Campaign

Burger King has taken its NFT game one step further by launching an NFT promotion as part of its “Keep It Real” campaign. As part of the campaign, the fast-food giant eliminated 120 artificial ingredients from its menu.

On six million Burger King meal boxes, the company has included QR codes allowing customers to access three collective NFT game pieces. Once the customer collected all three, they were rewarded with one of three unlockable perks – a digital collectible, a year’s worth of burgers, or a phone call with one of the campaign’s celebrity spokespersons .

Burger King has incorporated NFTs into its digital brand strategy to increase brand awareness and revamp its customer loyalty program.

3. Taco Bell’s Always Crispy NFT Tacos

In 2021, Taco Bell introduced its first batch of Taco-themed digital collectibles to the NFT Rare Marketplace. The collection included five different NFTs that quickly sold out.

Taco Bell’s digital tacos – including “Ever-Crunching Tacos”, “Gimme That”, “‘Tato Dimensions”, “Transformative Taco”, and “Swivel Taco” – proved popular and none of these products were edible or real! These were photos, GIFs and small video clips.

Proceeds from the sale were donated to the company’s public charity, the Taco Bell Foundation, and the fast food giant demonstrated how it could use NFTs to improve its customer relationship.

4. Pizza Hut NFT One Byte Favorites

In March 2021, Pizza Hut Canada also jumped on the NFT bandwagon and launched a collection of digital-only pizzas called “1 Byte Favorites”. The name suggests that 8 bits equal one byte.

During launch week, the company showcased new NFTs of a slice of pizza with a different recipe on Rarible. It featured his signature pizza recipes including Hawaain, Pepperoni, Canadian and Margherita. NFTs proved popular and quickly sold out.

The company’s NFT collection was part of a marketing campaign to advertise their pan pizzas and grab customers’ attention.

5. Papa John’s NFT Hot Bags

The take-out pizza chain has launched its NFT collection hot bags, featuring a series of handbag designs inspired by their pizza delivery bags. NFT hot bags have been minted on the Tezos Blockchain.

NFT’s release was intended to promote his new venture – Papa John’s X Cheddar, a line of his products. In this process, the fast food chain introduced 19,000 NFTs to promote its products.

The company plans to give away 20,000 NFTs to customers in the UK. NFTs have been used by the global pizza-to-go chain to promote the notoriety of its fashion line as part of a larger marketing campaign focused on rebranding the company with modern technology.

6. Sandwiched NFT “Out of this World” from Quiznos

Quiznos has partnered with Crypto.com and NFT agency to launch its digital collectibles. The collection includes Quiznos’ “Out of this World” sandwich pieces, created by digital artist Sameer Baloch.

The company also awarded $1,000 worth of Dogecoin to two random users. It also gave away Physical Quiznos gift cards to 33 winners who can enjoy their favorite real-life restaurant meals. The giveaway was limited to citizens of Canada and the United States.

Quiznos integrated NFTs not only to market its brand, but also to connect with customers.

In March 2022, other global brands, including Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Hooters and Dunkin Donuts have filed trademark applications to launch their NFT collections. Recently, fintech company CurrencyWorks Inc partnered with Restaurant.com to launch FoodiesNFT with the aim of bringing an NFT platform to the restaurant industry.

Global fast food giants are discovering that customer loyalty is boosted by food tokenization, as these tokens reward individuals and promote the brand.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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