Personalised smoothies from vending machines

Two Carrefours in Belgium have a scoop. These shops have a vending machine that makes 100% natural smoothies. The machine was developed in close cooperation with Belgian start-up Alberts. The customer personally chooses the fruit and vegetables for their smoothie, and the machine makes the smoothie while the customer watches.

Low in calories
The customer can choose from ten different fruits and vegetables, such as banana, strawberry, spinach, celery and mango. “Many smoothies from the refrigerated display contain a fair amount of sugar, the smoothies from the vending machines are 100% natural and low in calories,” says Baptiste van Outryve, responsible for communications of Carrefour Belgium. “The machine contains sliced pieces of fruits and vegetables, which were frozen 4 hours after harvesting and don’t contain any preservatives. When blending, only water is added.”

The customer selects their preferred smoothie and follows the preparation process from A to Z. Depending on the customer’s mood, six standard recipes can be chosen (detox, rich in vitamins and minerals, energy boost…). “The ingredients for the machine are supplied by Alberts, they will adjust the ingredients to the seasons in consultation,” Baptiste says. The sales price of a smoothie is €3.50 for each chosen recipe. The smoothie will end up in a cup of 250-300 ml, straw and lids can be taken by the machine, and the smoothie is paid for at the cash register.

The smoothie machine was invented and designed by Stefan Maas, Glenn Mathijssen and Philippe Hennin. Thanks to the cooperation with Carrefour, they can continue to evolve, “Right now, the machine is the first of its kind in Belgium,” Philippe Hennin explains. “We are continually developing the product based on technical advances and feedback from customers.” For example, within a few weeks, it will become possible to download an app so that everyone can compose their own smoothie recipe by choosing three or four ingredients, and sending this personalised recipe to the machine.

Carrefour supports the young entrepreneurs. Baptiste: “We met them by accident, became interested and enthusiastic, and joined the development process. The machine was tested at our main office for a few weeks, and is now also available to customers of the Carrefour Hypermarket underneath our main office. I expect our employees will use it most. The smoothie is a product that has to be consumed immediately, so it’s less suitable for the hypermarket formula. The second smoothie machine is in a Carrefour Express, focused on consumers who want to get a quick bite to eat.” 

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