THE WHAT? Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has debuted its new in-store vending model ‘Smart Fill’ at Mumbai’s Reliance Smart Acme Mall, in a pilot project via a partnership with Reliance Retail.
THE DETAILS Consumers can access a refill of homecare brands such as Surf Excel and Comfort by either using their own empty bottles or purchasing a Smart Fill bottle for a nominal price.
Users are offered ₹30 off on the MRP if they use their own bottle and ₹15 off to those who purchase the Smart Fill bottle.
While currently limited to Mumbai, Unilever intends to roll the machines out across the country should the pilot be a success.
THE WHY? The new refill station follows a similar in-store scheme Unilever rolled out across Europe last year, with the company clearly ramping up its refill and recycle initiatives.
It is also expanding trials of its refill packaging across the UK for both beauty and homecare brands. This will include the first ‘return on the go’ pilot, with consumers able to purchase a pre-filled stainless steel bottle in store, and return it once used. They are then cleaned and refilled.
The bottles aim to be in selected Asda and Co-op stores by year end.