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Co-op has announced the launch of what it claims to be Europe’s first and only smart ice cream vending machine. The machine has been installed in a store in London.
A vending machine which sells ice cream to customers has been built in a Co-op store in London.
In a UK and Europe first, Co-op and Unilever have partnered to launch the unique consumer offer.
All shoppers need to do to get their hands on an ice cream is to tap their phone on a near-field communication tag on the vending machine or scan a QR code.
This way of shopping is only available in a Co-op store in the UK capital, but the company has said that it hopes more machines will be installed across the country in the coming months.
The machine has been installed by Co-op in its Battersea Bridge Road store in south London.
After scanning their phone on the machine’s door, shoppers can decide which ice cream they want and then the door unlocks and opens.
The vending machine is a freezer stacked with Wall’s branded ice creams, as well as Co-op’s own brand treats.
The ice creams on offer include the Magnum Vegan Stick, Wall’s Twister, Solero Exotic Lolly, Calippo Orange, Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pop, and Co-op’s Fairtrade Choc Stick.
The vending machine is a perfect addition to Co-op stores ahead of summer.
Rebecca Oliver-Mooney, Co-op Head of Category for Dairy and Frozen, said: “With warmer, summer months now just around the corner, we are delighted to team up with Unilever to bring this smart vending machine to our store for shoppers to pop in for ices.
“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 hopes to have more than 20 of the machines in various stores across the UK in the coming months.
The company also hopes to place them at outdoor summer events.
Multinational consumer goods company Unilever partnered with Co-op to launch the freezer vending machine.
Nigel Mirtle, Customer Business Manager at Unilever, 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 is fast becoming a leader in innovative shopping as it has only recently introduced a plastic bag ban in stores.
The company started to remove the bags from its 2,600 UK stores in April.
It hopes that all bags will be completely gone by the end of the summer.
This is the next step in Co-op’s plan to reduce its use of plastic, and in doing so it will remove 29.5million bags for life from sale each year.
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