Sex-month-old virtual 'baby' Elis

Swedish supermarket chain Ica launches what may be the first virtual baby influencer in the market. The six-month-old artificial 'baby' was born in efforts to promote the company's latest line of baby food and expand its childcare offering by providing nutritional advice and expertise.

Since its announcement on Wednesday, Ellis' Instagram account @bebiselis has gained over 2,000 followers. The platform is used to document the virtual influencer's everyday life and provide active dialogue in childcare, as well as engage with its audience.

Despite strong reactions from the public, the company is hopeful that the launch will affectively appeal to new parents.

"Becoming a parent for many people is fun, scary and confusing; with Elis we want to help in this confusion and create an entertaining, informative and hopefully very rewarding place where people can get answers on diet, health and everyday things," said Ica dietician Paula Frösell.