Unilever Tries New Spin on Ice Cream Trucks

Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Unilever has partnered with Robomart, a store-hailing service delivering a quick and convenient shopping experience to consumers through its fleet of on-demand mobile minimarts, to launch a virtual storefront dubbed “The Ice Cream Shop.”

Unilever is deploying a fleet of ice cream Robomarts this summer to deliver treats from beloved Unilever ice cream brands Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor, Magnum and Talenti. With Robomart’s patented one-tap grocery ordering technology, consumers can hail The Ice Cream Shop Robomarts to their location using the tech company’s proprietary mobile app.

When the Robomart vehicle arrives, the user swipes across the app to open the door. Its checkout-free system allows consumers to handpick their selected products and simply walk away — without physically checking out or swiping their credit card.

“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 CEO and co-founder, in a company news release. “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 favorite 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 is billed as a virtual restaurant and mode to ordering ice cream treats right to your front door. Available on major food delivery apps like Doordash, UberEats, GrubHub and Postmates, the Ice Cream Shop is available in most major metro areas including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, South Florida and Washington, D.C., and it continues to expand.

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Robomart Snacks vehicle

Robomart premiered with two types, including Pharmacy Robomart, which includes shampoo, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen and other essentials. A Snacks Robomart includes chocolates, chips, soft drinks and other ready-to-eat snack products. The company's other planned Robomart types include Grocery, Pantry, Deli, and Cafe.

Robomart says it has experienced tremendous growth and success since its consumer launch in Los Angeles in June 2021 and the receipt of a patent for its “one-tap grocery ordering” technology. 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, according to the release. Active users of Robomart, on average, hail a Robomart to their location 2.3 times a week. As the company increases market share, it has recorded 9% user growth and 10% order growth per week.