Virtual reality boosts trade at IFFA

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

VR technology caused a buzz at IFFA, but could it add value to the meat industry?
VR technology caused a buzz at IFFA, but could it add value to the meat industry?

Related tags: Iffa, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, Processing and packaging Innovation

Meat packaging company Nomax Trading has used virtual reality (VR) headsets to offer clients at IFFA a tour of its production facilities, which has helped boost new business.

Wearable VR headset technology is expected to enjoy a breakthrough year in the gaming industry and could be worth up to $1bn (€870m) in 2016, according to Deloitte. But its application in the business arena, particularly the meat industry, has not been known to generate the same number of headlines.

However, Poland’s meat netting and casing business Nomax, has spent €30,000 ($34,000) to develop a VR headset. This allows people to be totally immersed in the factory where Nomax produces its range of spiced meat casings and nettings used for hams and smoked meat products. 

Nomax, in numbers

  • 300 employees
  • Present in 40 countries across the Americas, the EU and Asia
  • Supplies 1,200 meat processors in Poland

Our virtual reality headset was launched especially for IFFA, where many international customers would not always have a chance to visit our production factories,​” said Marek Stepel, product manager from Nomax.

Over 60,000 visitors from 140 countries were expected to have visited IFFA as it drew to a close. Stepel said the VR headset had been especially “successful” in helping the company engage with new customers from coveted markets, like China.

Bona fide busienss

For a business interested in striking up a relationship with Nomax, the costs of flying a team out to Poland to look inside the production facility can be time- and resource-intensive. But this is removed through the use of VR technology, explained Stepel.

With many European companies keen to tap into the strong Asian market, the use of the VR headset could help speed up the process of turning an interested customer into bona fide business. Stepel said many companies during IFFA had shown a strong interest in using Nomax for its meat casing requirement because they were able to see inside the factory through the VR headset.

At a time when the meat industry can unfairly be derided for a lack of tech-savvy intelligence, Poland’s meat netting and casing business, Nomax, is using tech at the forefront of digital innovation to win new business. It is fresh take on marketing for the meat industry and, though primitive, the use of VR technology in the global meat trading sphere seems to present opportunities worth further exploration.

Related topics: Meat

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