Tech Trend in Canada: ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’

Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. After its initial U.S. launch, the gaming app quickly topped Twitter in daily users and began engaging users for a longer amount of time each day than leading social media apps, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. The game has experienced similar success since its Canadian launch on July 17. In a Global News Ipsos poll conducted July 20–25, male users reported playing the app for an average of 2.2 hours per day, compared to women who average about 1.6 hours per day. This high level of engagement is something that shouldn’t be ignored by the foodservice industry. Here are just a few ways operators can take advantage of the Pokemon Go phenomenon.

In-Store Promotions: Restaurant operators are already beginning to see the potential in Pokemon Go with the launch of themed in-store marketing. Some concepts are inviting guests to share photos of Pokemon caught in their locations to earn discounts or free items. Others are simply asserting their concept as Pokemon-friendly by posting signs welcoming “trainers” or making rules that monsters found within restaurants can be caught by guests only.

Lure Modules: For roughly 99 cents for 30 minutes, users can drop what they call a “lure module” within the Pokemon Go app. This feature acts as a way to draw hordes of players to a single location to catch an amplified number of Pokemon. This can serve as a very effective way for foodservice venues to quickly increase foot traffic while staying current and hip to the popularity of the game. By drawing Pokemon trainers to their unit, operators can increase the odds of walk-in traffic and food or beverage purchases. These lures could also be particularly appealing for food trucks looking to quickly draw in large groups to their continuously rotating locations.

This renewed excitement surrounding the Pokemon universe is a chance for industry operators to tap into the nostalgia of millennials and novelty for Gen Z. Gamers are walking around, interacting and exploring more of their neighbourhoods. And after hours of Pokemon hunting, where might they turn for sustenance?

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Patrick Noone

With more than 15 years of experience in the research/consulting industry, Patrick Noone, Executive Vice President, Business Development, is integrally involved in the sales, development and marketing of Technomic's online resources, reports and custom studies—tools that provide clients with actionable industry data that supports their strategic and tactical business planning processes. He also manages Technomic's Business Development and Client Service teams.

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