Unilever pilots Robomart automated on-demand delivery to 'revolutionize' the ice cream truck

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever ice cream, brands including Ben & Jerry's are piloting a 'revolutionary' new approach to delivery in LA / Pic: Ben & Jerry's
Unilever ice cream, brands including Ben & Jerry's are piloting a 'revolutionary' new approach to delivery in LA / Pic: Ben & Jerry's

Related tags: Unilever, delivery formats, Food tech

Unilever will launch a US ice cream delivery pilot in partnership with food tech group Robomart, which describes itself as the ‘world’s first store hailing service’.

Robmart and Unilever will trial on-demand mobile mini-marts under virtual storefront ‘The Ice Cream Shop’ this summer. The world’s largest ice cream producer will deploy a fleet of Ice Cream Robomarts offering Unilever brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor, Magnum and Talenti.

"Robomart’s spin on the classic ice cream truck makes it faster and more accessible than ever to secure your favorite ice cream treats from Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers and more in as little as two minutes by delivering the entire store to your front door via a mini-mobile mart,"​ explained Unilever. 

The Ice Cream Robomarts are on demand, automated mobile stores that are operated using patented ‘one-tap’ grocery ordering technology, allowing consumers to ‘hail’ The Ice Cream Shop Robomarts to their location using the start-up’s proprietary mobile app.

The ‘fastest and most accessible’ way to shop

The Robomart concept has been designed with convenience at its core. Robomart's ability to deliver ‘the entire store’ directly to homes cuts out the need for consumers to shop on a website, create a basket, check out with a credit card, select a delivery window and communicate with delivery drivers.

When The Ice Cream Shop arrives, the user swipes across the app to open the vehicle door and Robomart’s checkout-free system allows consumers to pick out their treats and walk away – no need to physically checkout.

“We’re excited to work with Unilever – the world’s largest ice cream maker – to pilot The Ice Cream Shop as one of the flagship storefronts on our new marketplace,”​ said Ali Ahmed, Robomart co-founder and CEO.

“Putting a spin on the classic ice cream truck by bringing it to consumers on-demand, we have pioneered a new way for everyone to get their favourite ice cream treats in as little as two minutes. This rollout brings to life the original vision my co-founder and I had over a decade ago while working at Unilever to create ‘The Everywhere Store’ – the fastest and most accessible way to get all your essentials.”

The Ice Cream Shop Robomart
The Ice Cream Shop / Pic: Robomart

‘Revolutionizing ice cream delivery’ with on-demand service

The trial will see The Ice Cream Shop made available to shoppers across Los Angeles.

Unilever North American Ice Cream General Manager Russel Lilly said the company was ‘thrilled’ to partner with Robomart to test this innovative approach to ice cream delivery.

“Our pilot program with Robomart is revolutionizing ice cream delivery for consumers and making it even faster to get our beloved brands to our ice cream fans,”​ Lilly commented. “What better way to shop for your favorite ice cream than just a few steps from your front door?”

Robomart launched to consumers in Los Angeles in June 2021 and has experienced what it describes as ‘tremendous growth’ since. As the company increases market share, it has recorded 9% user growth and 10% order growth per week.

Robomart recorded its fastest end-to-end experience, from the time a consumer opens the app to the time they have goods in hand, at under two minutes. Active users of Robomart, on average, hail a Robomart to their location 2.3 times a week, the company revealed.

Related topics: Ice Cream, Unilever, Manufacturers

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