The concept of an ice cream shop on wheels dates back to the Great Depression, but Robomart is bringing it into the modern era through a partnership with Unilever under its mobile, virtual storefronts simply called The Ice Cream Shop.
Through the deal, Unilever will deploy a fleet of Ice Cream Robomarts this summer, featuring treats from Unilever ice cream brands Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor—which launched the world’s first ice cream trucks in Ohio in the 1930s—Magnum ice cream and Talenti.
With one-tap grocery ordering, consumers can hail The Ice Cream Shop Robomarts to their location using Robomart’s mobile app. When it arrives, the user swipes across the app to open the vehicle’s door. Robomart’s 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. “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.”
Robomart’s ability to deliver the entire store directly to homes cuts out the need for consumers to shop on a website, create a basket, check out with a credit card, select a delivery window and communicate with delivery drivers.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Robomart to offer a new way to bring our virtual store, The Ice Cream Shop, to fans in Los Angeles in an innovative way,” said Russel Lilly, General Manager, Unilever North American Ice Cream. “Our pilot program with Robomart is revolutionizing ice cream delivery for consumers and making it even faster to get our beloved brands to our ice cream fans. What better way to shop for your favorite ice cream than just a few steps from your front door?
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—which the company claims is the fastest in the world.
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 percent user growth and 10 percent order growth per week.