As you are well aware, the way we get our food has undergone dramatic changes during this pandemic.
One of the more visible changes we’ve seen is the removal of buffet-style services like salad bars in grocery stores. The thought of trays of lettuce and mushrooms and bacon bits just sitting in the open for lots of people to pick through (and worse) is no longer appetizing, to say the least.
What is slowly starting to replace some of those grocery salad bars is robots. Specifically Chowbotics’ Sally robot. The company recently signed a licensing deal with Saladworks , which will put Sallys in grocery stores. And just last month Chowbotics introduced new features that enabled contactless ordering, as well as a video screen that displays dynamic video advertising, which will make its robot more attractive to potential retailers.
Thanks to a promotional video from Apex Commercial Kitchen posted to Linkedin (see below), we can now take a look at what Chowbotics robots look like in the grocery store. Yes, this video is a little commerical-y and doesn’t provide much detail, but it shows what Sallys look like in the real world, and oh yeah, also is a bit of an announcement that Sallys are being deployed to at least one Coborn’s market.
During different conversations with the company throughout the year, Chowbotics has told us that it has seen increased interest from grocery retailers looking to replace their salad bars. We’re starting to see that interest turn into actual installations. In addition to Sally at the supermarket, Blendid’s smoothie-making robot recently debuted at a Walmart in Fremont, CA.
As retailers (and shoppers) still deal with the ongoing ramifications of the pandemic, we can expect to see more robot deals like Chowbotics and Blendid in the coming months. For more on the automated vending space, check out The Great Vending Reinvention: The Spoon’s Smart Vending Machine Market Report I did for Spoon Plus earlier this year.