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Boss of Taiwan's Simple Mart suggests metaverse grocery stores coming soon

Chiu speculates users could even lose weight by 'eating' virtual food

Users trial a VR experience through Chunghua Telecom's HamiVideo platform. 

Users trial a VR experience through Chunghua Telecom's HamiVideo platform.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With interest in the metaverse growing, Simple Mart Retail's General Manager Chiu Kuang-long (邱光隆) is musing over the possibilities for virtual grocery experiences, speculating that they could even arrive as early as 2022.

He imagines customers pushing virtual “shopping carts” in their homes, taking items off the shelf, and heading to a cashier. In reality, a home delivery service would then bring the items purchased in the virtual space to their physical home, according to an ETToday report.

Simple Mart has rigorously pursued digitization strategies in recent years, including a special home delivery partnership with the Food Panda platform. They boast their fastest time for delivering groceries is 19 minutes.

Chiu says truly immersive digital experiences enabling users to touch, taste, and smell their environment, which have been out of reach, could now be realized through the metaverse. If the brain receives the right sensory input, it could open up all sorts of new possibilities for customers, he believes.

Chiu jokes that perhaps such virtual grocers would help shoppers lose weight since they could have the sensual experience of eating without actually digesting food and increasing their calorie intake. Chiu thinks a prototype of this kind of virtual experience could be just around the corner.

“Perhaps it will be available next year,” he suggests. “We just have to see whether or not consumers would really enjoy such an experience.”