Robomart and Unilever team up to reinvent the ice cream truck

Diving brief:

  • In-store vending service Robomart has teamed up with Unilever to roll out on-demand mobile markets filled with ice cream in Los Angeles this summer, according to a press release emailed Thursday.
  • The self-service stores on wheels, which will feature Unilever’s “The Ice Cream Shop” virtual storefront, will offer products under the CPG’s brands, including Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor, Magnum and Talenti.
  • Companies are “[p]utting a spin on the classic ice cream truck by bringing it to consumers on demand,” said Ali Ahmed, CEO and co-founder of Robomart, in the announcement, as entrepreneurs continue to fuel demand for consumers for fast delivery of convenience and grocery items.

Overview of the dive:

Robomart says its model eliminates typical e-commerce steps that can be inconvenient for customers, such as creating carts, checking out, choosing a delivery window, and communicating with delivery drivers. Now it’s leveraging its convenient delivery model for ice cream brands backed by a massive CPG.

Through the startup’s proprietary mobile app, customers can flag down a Robomart vehicle filled with products, then unlock the vehicle’s doors through the app to select products and pay for them with cashless technology. .

Founded in 2017, based in Santa Monica, CA Robot-Mart relies on different configurations of its vehicles to enable different product offerings. The company previously rolled out mobile marketplaces for “pharmacy” with medicines, toiletries, personal care and household items and another for “snacks” with candy, cookies, crisps and beverages at West Hollywood. His website lists Robot-Mart vehicles configured for “groceries” with fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy products and breads and “café” with coffees, teas, drinks and donuts as “coming soon”.

Robomart’s co-founders already had ties to the British multinational consumer goods company. Ahmed joined Unilever in late 2007 and worked there as deputy brand manager for about a year, while Emad Rahim, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Robomart, was deputy brand manager for the brand of Wall’s ice cream and frozen desserts from 2006. to 2008, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Ahmed noted the connection to the former employer in the announcement: “This rollout brings to life the original vision that my co-founder and I had over a decade ago when we worked at Unilever to create ‘The Everywhere Store’. “- the fastest, most accessible way to get all your essentials.

In January, Robomart announced that it had been granted a patent for its one-click in-store calling technology without “transparent” payment. Last September, the company launched an in-store sales platform for retailers, offering them branded delivery and a quick service option for shoppers.

The company says active users call a Robomart vehicle to their location 2.3 times per week, on average.

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