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Mars pilots ‘store hailing’ solution for direct ice cream delivery

mobile ice cream stores
Mars is introducing a "store hailing" pilot with on-demand mobile ice cream stores (PRNewsfoto/Mars, Inc.).

CPG giant Mars Inc. will test delivery of its ice cream products to consumers via automated mobile stores.

In the pilot, Mars will deliver ice cream using the Conjure fleet of robotic mobile stores. Customers will be able to order Mars brand ice cream goods from their smartphones with a single tap, using the proprietary Conjure mobile app.

Within as little as two minutes, the automated shop will arrive. Customers can then use Conjure's checkout-free system to select their Mars ice cream products and walk away.

The partnership will initially launch in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles in spring 2023, with plans to expand to more locations later in the year. At the onset, shoppers will be able to purchase several M&Ms, Snickers and Twix products.

“We are thrilled to partner with Mars to expand our offering to consumers through our on-demand mobile ice cream stores," said Ali Ahmed, co-founder & CEO of Conjure. "Mars' ice cream brands are the perfect addition to our platform, and we believe this partnership will be a game-changer in the ice cream industry."

"Mars has been driving innovation in the ice cream category for over 35 years. Now we are proud to be the first to introduce Mars Ice Cream to the trend of 'store-hailing', inspiring more moments of everyday happiness through our iconic brands," said Shaf Lalani, GM, Mars Ice Cream. "We are thrilled to partner with Conjure and its fleet of mobile ice cream retail to get consumers the Mars products they love and to further advance the unattended retail industry."

"Mars is continuously investing in driving innovation for the treats and snacks category through the unattended retail space, giving consumers more opportunity to shop our products with speed and convenience," said Jerome Morgen, senior global director, Mars Unattended Retail. "This partnership with Conjure helps solve the industry's biggest issue – ice cream melting before reaching the home when purchased in store or through other delivery methods."

Unilever employs robots, drones to deliver ice cream

CPG company Unilever is also leveraging Conjure robotic technology to ensure efficient and effective fulfillment of online, direct-to-consumer orders of its ice cream products. Unilever began deploying a fleet of Conjure (which at the time was known as Robomart) on-demand mobile mini-marts to take its virtual direct-to-consumer (DTC) ice cream storefront, The Ice Cream Shop, on the road in summer 2022.

Leveraging Conjure’s one-tap grocery ordering technology, consumers can to hail The Ice Cream Shop robotic stores to their location using the proprietary mobile app. When it arrives, the user will swipe across the app to open the vehicle’s door. 

Conjure’s proprietary, RFID-based checkout-free system allows consumers to retrieve their selected products and walk away, without having to physically check out or swipe their credit card.

Unilever is also now offering ice cream delivery via drone, in partnership with end-to-end drone delivery company Flytrex.

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