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Automated Smoothie Maker Comes to Walmart

Automated Smoothie Maker Comes to Walmart Blendid Kiosk
A Walmart in California now offers Blendid's stand-alone kiosk with a robotic arm, blenders, a refrigeration system, and various dispensers that store and measure out the ingredients to make customized beverages on demand.

Offering a contactless food automation platform that leverages machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence to create nutrient-dense customized drinks on demand, Blendid has opened a kiosk at a Walmart store in Fremont, Calif.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the focus on food safety globally,” said Vipin Jain, CEO and co-founder of Sunnyvale, California-based Blendid, which has three other kiosks in the Bay Area. “At Blendid, we’re working with many essential businesses to help integrate a solution for safe, contactless food preparation and delivery. Our newest location is the beginning of a partnership with Walmart to help meet their customers’ need for healthy and tasty food that’s affordable, quick and completely contactless from order to pickup. We are continuing to grow, learn, and adapt to the evolving needs of the future of foodservice.”

The company’s stand-alone kiosks feature a robotic arm, blenders, a refrigeration system, and various dispensers that store and measure out such ingredients as fruits and vegetables, liquids like coconut water, and superfoods chia, flax and ginger.

Blendid’s proprietary food operating system (foodOSTM) processes orders and payment, measures and dispenses precise amounts of ingredients for personalized beverages, and blends, pours and stores each smoothie until a consumer comes to pick up an order. The system can process as many as 45 drinks per hour and nine drinks at one time, according to the company.

The Fremont kiosk will mark the debut Blendid’s latest model, which boasts a streamlined design, a smaller footprint, and such new features as completely contactless ordering and pickup, managed using a consumer’s smartphone; make-ahead drink storage; and improved machine vision technology.

Additionally, the company’s team of nutritionists and chefs have whipped a variety of 100% plant-based, vegan and gluten-free recipes for the new locations, including The Classic, a traditional strawberry-banana flavor with no added sugar and featuring flax for fiber and healthy fats; Banana Jolt, combining bananas, coconut water, whole grain oats and coffee; and PB Chocolicious, offering banana, mango, peanut, cocoa, oats, agave, and coconut water.

Blendid’s kiosk within the Fremont Walmart at 44009 Osgood Road will be open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Consumers can place orders in person at the kiosk by smartphone or order ahead via the Blendid app at a cost of $4.97-$5.97 per 12-ounce drink.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list. 

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