The Häagen-Dazs NOW service was created by creative agency Space and developed by Kerve. Through a chat-bot conversation platform in Facebook Messenger consumers can place their order. Web-based geolocation APIs then pinpoint the exact location through the mobile browser, with real-time syncing of data through web sockets to provide a “seamless mobile e-commerce solution”.
The technology enables Häagen-Dazs to know the exact delivery location, even if the consumer is not standing still, and the consumer can see how far away their ice cream is – all in real-time.
The company is conducting a trial of the new platform in Russell Square, London, today (7 September).
‘A category first’
Samuel Horner, senior brand manager at Häagen-Dazs UK, said that the innovation is a first for thie ice cream category, tapping what he characterises as a “growing trend” for geo-targeted services.
The team at Russell Square will be working out of a “temperature-controlled delivery van”, Horner told FoodNavigator. “When orders are being prepared for delivery, product is placed in portable freezer bags for the delivery teams to take to the consumer, ensuring the ice cream arrives at its best."
This trial will help direct General Mills’ future expansion plans for the scheme, Horner continued.
“The Russell Square trial will help to inform future roll out plans. Understandably, we need to stay pretty tight lipped about expansion plans at this stage. That said, summer events involving large gatherings of people in one location are certainly on our radar. Beyond that, the possibilities are almost limitless.”
‘Making every day extraordinary’
Horner said that the innovation was part of Häagen-Dazs’ brand mission: “Everything that Häagen-Dazs does aims to make every day extraordinary for our consumers. Häagen-Dazs Now is a great example of how we consider making all aspects of the Häagen-Dazs experience extraordinary, including delivery.”
The company is also looking for consumer feedback on the concept. “As with any trial, we’re looking to get feedback from consumers on how they perceive the service and how we can improve on our offering. This will help to guide our technology mix and use of artificial intelligence (e.g. chat bots, drones, et cetera) moving forward,” the brand manager noted.
“Häagen-Dazs is constantly striving to meet the needs of our consumers in new and exciting ways. Häagen-Dazs NOW has the potential to deliver our premium and delicious range of ice creams to consumers at outdoor events with unbeatable convenience.”
The service is only being trialled in the UK for the time being. “Depending on how this goes, we will evaluate how it could fit into our future consumer engagement plans in the UK and beyond... Watch this space."