- General Mills has launched the first ever on-demand, geo-targeted ice cream delivery app, Häagen-Dazs NOW, reported Food Navigator.
- The technology enables Häagen-Dazs to be delivered to a customer’s exact location, even if they aren’t standing still. It also allows customers to track the status of their deliveries in real time.
- General Mills ran a one-day trial last Friday in Russell Square, London. Samuel Horner, senior brand manager at Häagen-Dazs UK, told Food Navigator, “Depending on how this goes, we will evaluate how it could fit into our future consumer engagement plans in the UK and beyond.”
With the demand for better and more personal customer experience rising, brands are going to need to create unique direct-to-consumer models that aren't difficult to scale or expensive to fulfill in order to get ahead.
Direct-to-consumer delivery isn't a new concept — prepared food delivery apps like Seamless and Grubhub, Domino’s address-less pizza delivery and a new coffee drone delivery concept are already popular. But Häagen-Dazs' app brings real-time visibility between delivery driver and customer to the food delivery space, even when the customer is moving.
The application that was tested last Friday in London operated through Facebook Messenger, where consumers could place their order through a chat-bot conversation. Then, web-based geolocation APIs pinpointed the exact location of the order through real-time data syncing. All the while, the packaged ice cream order was being prepared in a temperature-controlled delivery van in the area before a Häagen-Dazs team member delivers it to to the customer's location, where they pay upon receiving their order.
This technology, which seems to operate like Uber for ice cream, could be a powerful differentiator for the General Mills brand. Outside of Amazon NOW, single-item grocery delivery isn't very common or popular. Häagen-Dazs' innovation is the latest answer to consumers' insatiable demand for convenience and could signal new opportunities in food delivery.