- Angry Orchard, the brand of hard cider marketed by Samuel Adams brewer Boston Beer Co., this week debuted its Cider+Food app for Apple smartphones and tablets. The app features an augmented reality (AR) experience that helps users find the best food to pair with hard cider, the company announced.
- The app lets mobile users scan specially marked bottles of Angry Orchard to unlock a digital experience guided by head cider maker Ryan Burk, who shares his tasting notes, recipe pairings and more. Angry Orchard worked with technology partner Rightpoint to develop the AR app, which also lets users take a virtual 360-degree tour of the apple trees at its cidery.
- Similarly, Miller Lite will launch a St. Patrick's Day AR experience, according to details shared with Mobile Marketer. The experience runs March 15-17 and is previewed on a microsite.
Angry Orchard is among the brands riding a wave of record growth for the cider industry as millennials seek alternatives to traditional beer. One of the biggest challenges to growth is educating consumers about hard cider, including recommendations about different styles and food pairings. Angry Orchard aims to tackle that challenge with special packaging that activates an immersive AR experience to convey the brand's in-house expertise to shoppers.
As the cider brand tries to stand out amid store aisles cluttered with rival brands and a plethora of craft beers, it can deliver additional information that store employees may not have through its AR tool. The scannable packaging delivers users an on-demand commercial at a fraction of the cost of a broadcast TV spot.
While details around Miller Lite's AR experience are still unknown, the beer giant doesn't have the same brand awareness challenges of Angry Orchard. Instead, its AR experience allows Miller Lite to commemorate St. Patrick's Day, an upcoming holiday known for beer consumption.
Angry Orchard and Miller Lite join the brands that have added AR tech to their product packaging in the past few years since Apple introduced its ARKit to ease the development of AR-equipped apps. Craft brewery Devils Backbone last month brought its latest packaging to life on mobile screens with QR codes that users could scan to see an immersive brand story. Similarly, Black Red Ale last year added bottle labels equipped with near-field communication (NFC) tech to interact with smartphones and provide AR facial recognition.