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10/08/2021

Jamba goes robotic with automated smoothie kiosk

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The new Jamba by Blendid autonomous robotic kiosk delivers contactless, customized smoothies in a variety of settings.

Jamba is expanding its test of a kiosk that automatically dispenses made-on-demand blended smoothies

The specialty food service retailer has opened the second pilot location for its “Jamba by Blendid” kiosk, in collaboration with food automation platform provider Blendid. The kiosk uses an artificial intelligence-based automated platform for the contactless dispensing of blended smoothies.

The kiosk is located at the Stonewood Center in Downey, Calif. It comes some 10 months after Jambe unveiled the first pilot location, at a Walmart store in Dixon, Calif.  “After a successful launch of our first Jamba by Blendid kiosk, we’re excited to open a second test kiosk at the Stonewood Center, bringing freshly blended smoothies to mall shoppers,” said Geoff Henry, president of Jamba. “Jamba by Blendid provides an opportunity for our local franchisees to make smoothies more accessible to Jamba fans, while leveraging the latest in technology to deliver contactless food.”

Customers can place orders in person at the kiosk or they can order ahead with the Blendid app on Android or iOS. Blendid offers an autonomous, contactless food automation platform, known as foodOS, that leverages machine learning (ML), robotics, and AI to use ingredients to create food options made on-demand and customized to meet the preferences of individual consumers.

At launch, the kiosk in Stonewood Center will offer seven smoothies, as well as Jamba’s add-ins known as “boosts.” They are available in 14-ounce servings and can include one boost for no additional charge. Jamba plans to continue opening Jamba by Blendid kiosks in additional types of venues, such as big box retailers, shopping malls, gyms, hospitals, and college campuses.

In a similar effort, robotic barista technology provider Briggo has been expanding the availability of its Briggo Connected Coffee solution. Customers can order coffees and other customizable drinks ahead via the Briggo Coffee mobile app or from one of multiple touchscreen kiosks. Using Briggo's robotic technology, drinks are crafted within minutes.

The Briggo coffee kiosk has been implemented at a Whole Foods store in Houston. Briggo also operates a fully-automated robotic coffee bar, or “Coffee Haus,” inside Terminal 3 of the San Francisco International Airport and two locations at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas.

“At Blendid, we are working to make delicious and customized food accessible to all through robotics and AI. It is thrilling to see our vision become a reality as we build out our Jamba by Blendid footprint and expand into new types of venues like shopping malls,” said Vipin Jain, CEO and co-founder of Blendid. “Our first Jamba by Blendid pilot location in Dixon allowed us to prove that, working together with Jamba, our platform can provide the quality guest experience, amazing smoothies and reliability that live up to the Jamba brand. Seeing families and friends engage with the Jamba by Blendid kiosk at Walmart at all hours of a day has been very satisfying for us. Now, we’re ready to accelerate our growth plans and open even more successful locations in the months and years ahead.”

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.