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Grocery shopping dives into virtual worlds

How can food retail become virtual


Every other Wednesday, h/commerce provides in-depth analysis of the most impactful trends reshaping retail.

It is curious to see how the Metaverse and the NFTs have become part of our lives far more abruptly than progressively. Yet the majority of the public exposed to these new concepts are still unfamiliar with them and do not really have a clear idea of what they entail in their daily lives. 

What is certain is that, even if confusing and hugely abstract, this new channel that goes beyond virtual reality, the digital world and artificial intelligence, is increasingly being tested by companies and retailers around the world. 

Giants such as Coca-Cola, Balenciaga, Nike or BMW among others, have already reserved their “plots” in the metaverse, have invested and use NFT frequently. But this phenomenon now seems to be spreading to the grocery market. 

We found several cases of food retailers who are indeed using and moving in these worlds with apparent ease and confidence. 

Carrefour virtually watches over the preservation of bees

Social Commerce

Carrefour has announced its first NFT collection with a precise mission: to finance the French Foundation for the preservation of bees. The initiative is called “BEEFUND”. The platform that Carrefour has chosen to support the project is Sandbox. The company has developed a WEB3 strategy and has named its tokens “NFBEEs”. The money collected from the sale of the tokens will go to the preservation of bees in France. 

Casino strengthens the relationship with the consumer from the digital universe 

Also in cooperation with Sandbox, Casino is launching a collection of NFTs that will be available to consumers when they make their food orders. 

As is often de case, there is an underlying commercial objective, which justifies the launch of the NFTs: the intention to increase the feeling of belonging to the “Leader Price Club”, an application that allows the consumers to shop in the supermarkets available online and receive the products they order at home. The idea is to gradually democratize access to NFTs and what they can entail and, of course, to offer unique and personalized experiences to the consumer. 

The NFTs, in this case, will adopt the form of small avatars that will have access to available and specific promotions for those consumers who decide, in the same way as the retailer, to join the NFTs. While taking the big step into this digital world, Casino is still fully aware its revenue comes from the offline shopping process, and it has been able to lead this universe toward the benefits offered by one-to-one experience. 

MONOPRIX turns art and bakery into NFT

With the intention of not lagging behind and remaining at the vanguard, Monoprix also offers for sale two NFT collections: 

  • The 1st one is created with the pastry chef Yazid Ichemrahen  and presented in the form of a cake that can only be acquired digitally in the first instance. Later on, it will be presented in the same way in its physical and tangible form.  
  • In the second collection , French designer Vincent Darré offers 5 works created exclusively for the Monoprix NFTs and named Cadavre exquis, Nature morte, Déjeuner sur gazon, Les mélodies and Perspective métaphysique. In order to facilitate the process of accessing and purchasing NFTs for consumers, the company has set up a website where only transactions related to these features can be carried out. Monoprix aims to offer a personal and guided experience to its consumers so that they can enter this world without encountering major problems.

Walmart is still cautious but nevertheless moving towards the NFTs.

Although still shy in this sector, Walmart has also shown a clear intention to enter the worlds of NFTs, metaverse and cryptocurrencies. The company intends to offer goods such as electronic devices, home décor, toys, sports and personal care products on a digital platform. 

The company has presented several projects that are still in the brainstorming stage and are still not real. One of the proposals is called “Walmart Connect”, which aims at a financial exchange of virtual currency and advertising. Other initiatives, such as “Verse to Store”, “Verse to Curb” and “Verse to Home”, are aimed at metaverse shopping services.

Why is it interesting?

It is a fact that the creation of a digital world, parallel and intangible, mainly oriented towards consumption and exchange of goods, but still real, is happening. And it is also a fact that we will have to be able to fully immerse ourselves in it.

However, we can observe a common pattern in all the cases analyzed so far. The objectives of entering a virtual dimension lie within a tangible reality, the reality we have known up to now. The preservation of bees in France, the intention to get closer, curiously, in a physical way to the consumer or the simple recreation of a cake with a label bearing the word NFT, justifies that although immersed in this virtual bomb, companies have not yet let go human proximity. 


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Mikaela Barbosa

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