Unilever Pilots Drones for Ice Cream Delivery
British-Dutch transnational consumer goods giant Unilever has joined forces with Terra Drone Europe, a group company of Japan-headquartered Terra Drone Corporation, to explore drone-delivery of ice creams in New York. In a program undertaken at Unilever’s recent annual investor event, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cups were delivered to a pre-decided destination by drone. The demo was conducted as part of Unilever’s ice cream delivery service, ‘Ice Cream Now’.
During the demonstration, a multi-copter drone was fitted with a delivery box (pictured) designed to carry three Ben & Jerry’s mini cups (72 g each). A flight path was set beforehand to allow the drone to carry the ice cream cups inside the Unilever U.S. facility.
Unilever launched Ice Cream Now, a delivery service for ice cream, in 2017. This service has already grown into a huge business worldwide. With regulations around future drone flights expected to become more flexible, the consumer goods company is preparing for a drone logistics service that will deliver products to more customers faster.
According to Yuki Ueno, director of Terra Drone Europe, the company wants to solve serious problems in the logistics field, such as carbon dioxide emissions, with drones. As deregulation progresses worldwide, drone delivery services are also expected to increase. Terra Drone and Unilever will continue to cooperate in the field of logistics services.