Flying ice cream? Unilever partners with drone delivery service Flytrex

Diving brief:

  • Unilever has partnered with drone delivery service Flytrex to deliver ice cream from giant CPG’s “The Ice Cream Shop” virtual storefront, according to a press release emailed Wednesday.
  • Shoppers in Flytrex’s coverage area, which currently includes Holly Springs, Fayetteville and Raeford, North Carolina, and Granbury, Texas, will be able to order brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Breyers through the Flytrex app for delivery. in less than three minutes. As part of this partnership, Unilever and Flytrex are also offering exclusive ice packs available for purchase.
  • The announcement comes at a time when retailers and brands are exploring super-fast delivery options and looking to meet shoppers’ instant needs.

Overview of the dive:

Unilever and Flytrex said they would be able to reach “thousands of potential households” through the roughly one-mile delivery radius of the ice cream delivery service, which operates under a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Flytrex, which is available to 10,000 homes in North Carolina and Texas, has made “thousands” of drone deliveries, according to the press release. The company is working with Causey Aviation Unmanned, which specializes in drone delivery service technology, on the combination with Unilever, according to the announcement.

Through the Flytrex app, shoppers will be able to get real-time delivery updates.

Together with Flytrex, Unilever offers six exclusive bundles available from The Ice Cream Shop, such as “Chocolate Lover’s Bundle”, which includes Breyers Chocolate Truffle, a Klondike Original Vanilla Bar, Magnum Mini Double Caramel Bars, Popsicle Fudgsicle and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie .

Another option is the “Berry Fruity Bundle” with Breyers Strawberry, Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars, Popsicle Grape, Cherry, Orange Pops, Talenti Roman Raspberry, and Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake. There’s also a package containing only Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, with flavors including Half Baked, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Cherry Garcia, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

In the announcement, Flytrex and Unilever cited Allied Market Research which estimates that the global ice cream market will reach nearly $122.1 billion by 2031, up from about $68.1 billion in 2020.

The tie-up comes just weeks after Unilever said it was teaming up with in-store retail service Robomart on on-demand mobile markets filled with ice cream from The Ice Cream Shop for customers in Los Angeles this summer.

For Flytrex, working with Unilever is the latest step in its efforts to develop its drone delivery service. The company has already partnered with walmart and restaurant chain operator Brinker International.

Flytrex, which has operated in North Carolina since September 2020, said it recently launched outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Granbury. In late December, the company received FAA approval to extend its radius one nautical mile beyond its three North Carolina service areas.

Meanwhile, Deuce Drone has teamed up Greer’s Markets in Mobile, Alabama, and Alarm Clock Markets, a supermarket chain in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Last spring, Kroger announced a delivery pilot with drones manufactured and piloted by Drone Express. Amazon is also working on drone delivery with its Prime Air Service.

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