Such platforms could be used to showcase new food and drink pairings, and were better designed to allow pubs to explain in more detail why the pairings worked, according to market researcher Canadean.
Recent research found 35% of consumers worldwide thought about the food they would pair with a drink before buying it.
Such behaviour was more widespread among older adults, with 43% of those asked claiming their drink purchasing decision was affected by the dish they would eventually pair it with.
Ronan Stafford, senior analyst at Canadean, said: “Encouraging young adults to consider pairing alcohol with food will be a crucial way to grow volumes of wine, beer, and even some spirits.
Showcase exciting experiences
“Brands need to use highly visual social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat and even beverage-dedicated apps, to demonstrate to young adults the exciting experiences offered by food and drink pairing.”
To put the importance of such social media channels into context, more than 10 billion videos were posted by Snapchat users in April this year, up from 8 billion in February.
Stafford added: “Forget 140-character tweets, social media is now a visual medium. This should play into the hands of brands building around food and drink pairing: videos provide appealing ‘hero’ shots of the food and drink, help to explain the pairing thought process and educate consumers.”
It is inevitable using more visual social media platforms would benefit pub businesses, he added. But, operators should start thinking beyond social media to promote their offer if they wanted to stay ahead of the trend, claimed Stafford.
More functional software, such as near-field communication technology or virtual reality can send food and drink pairing suggestions straight to customers’ phones as soon as they are close to a business.
Already using virtual reality
Companies already using virtual reality technology include William Grant & Sons, with its Glenfiddich distillery tour, and more recently Innis & Gunn, which launched a virtual reality tour of the landscapes that inspired some of its brews.
Cognitive neuroscientist Dr Jacob Jolij explained why virtual reality could be beneficial to food and drink establishments.
“A taste experience is not just a matter of chemistry and biology. Whenever you take a sip of your favourite beer you do not just taste the water, the grains and the hops, your brain adds in your previous memories, surroundings and expectations.
“Immersing a drinker in this virtual reality world created by Innis & Gunn is a very powerful way of enhancing the taste experience.
“It will change the way your brain processes and interprets the signals coming from your taste buds, drawing on personal memories of sight and sounds to create a unique experience of the beer for every drinker.”