The Co-op has partnered with Unilever to launch the UK’s first consumer-facing smart ice-cream bending machine in its Battersea Bridge Road site.
According to the retailer, the partnership continues to explore ways to make shopping quicker, easier and more convenient for consumers.
Shoppers can use the machine by tapping their phone on the NFC tag before being asked for their chosen payment method, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.
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Once confirmed, the freezer door unlocks to allow the customer to select their favourite ice cream, with a combination of cameras and sensors ensuring the machine charges customers for only the products they have picked once they close the freezer door.
The vending machine will include brands such as Co-op’s Fairtrade Choc Stick; Magnum Vegan Stick; Walls Twister; Solero Exotic Lolly; Calippo Orange and, Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pop.
“We are delighted to see the Walls Smart Vending Machine go live in Co-op,” Unilever customer business manager Neil Mirtle said.
“Collaborating on this project started with the goal of making ice cream more accessible for shoppers and then testing and learning at pace. We look forward to partnering with Co-op on the further rollout”.
Co-op’s head of category for dairy and frozen Rebecca Oliver-Mooney added: “We continue to explore innovative ways to provide access to our products quickly, easily and more conveniently helping to delight and inspire our shoppers.”
Co-op added it aims to have over 20 of the machines in selected stores or outdoor events in the coming months.