Towards a smoother experience… and beyond!

By alberts January 27, 2020 How Alberts Does It
 
These last few months, we have been preparing something big: our first series production with our local partner. The production will have a capacity of 10 smoothie stations per month. And that’s a really big deal, because we will be able to impact many more lives of students and employees with our healthy snacking solution.
Things are changing and upgrading
Alberts launched the first smoothie station in the market in the summer of 2017. In the meantime, we’ve tested our concept at several types of locations – from supermarkets, to universities, and corporate environments. We’ve received loads of feedback and suggestions on what people liked and would like to see more of in the future.
This has been instrumental for the developments and improvements we’ve made to upgrade the smoothie robots.
Let’s talk about our learnings first
The first ten prototypes we’ve tested have taught us a lot. Last year, we already improved and rebranded the interface of both the screen on the vending machine and in the mobile app. At selected locations, we introduced new ingredients (like lime, açai, peach and cherry) and we ran first consumer tests with new, ecological straws.
In our lab, we’ve also experimented with many types of ecological cups to find one that fits our solution perfectly in every way.
In the end, we’ve decided on a few upgrades which are ready for development and implementation in 2020!
So which upgrades will we be implementing in 2020?
• Apple straws: our new straws are made of apple pulp, which is an edible residue from the apple juice industry. By turning the residue into straws, we simultaneously reduce food and plastic waste.
• Bagasse cups: we found an alternative for our current cups that can resist hot water and the force of our blender (aka doesn’t explode or start leaking). The bagasse cup is made of sugarcane pulp, making it tree-free, biobased and OK compost.
• More ingredients: we will be increasing the range of ingredients our clients can choose from. This will keep things fresh and allow people to keep experimenting with new fruit and veggie combinations in their smoothies.
• New app features: launching this year, the app will be updated with new features, such as the possibility to save your favorite recipes for later and naming them.
• Improved display: after redesigning the interface, the smoothie stations now feature an improved touch screen that will enhance the user-experience.
• Smarter system: the upgraded software allows the smoothie station to feel when an ingredient is finished for example to make sure you never end up empty-handed.
• Delayed payment: no more risky business as the payment for your order is only finalized after you’ve received your finished product.
• Assistance for operators: a step-by-step guide instructing maintenance teams on how to service the machine optimally.
And as if that isn’t enough…
There’s already a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to at the start of the roaring twenties! Besides the upgrades listed above, some things are still cooking behind the scenes… We’re ready to spice things up even more. Here’s a sneak peek. Being part of EIT Food as a Rising Food Star has given us the opportunity to launch an innovation project. Together with an international food service provider, we will create a connected system where company canteens and food tech solutions like our own will help employees and students to make healthy day-to-day food choices. We can’t wait to tell you more about this as the project progresses!
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What’s in it for you, though?
As we speak, our newest smoothie stations are currently in production. In collaboration with our local Belgian production partner, we are preparing a production with a capacity of 10 smoothie robots a month. By the end of 2020, we aim to have as many as 50 Alberts Smoothie Stations in companies and schools! So, if you think you need healthy, personalized smoothies at your office, there’s just ONE THING you need to do: click on "contact ..." below and fill out the form so we can get in touch to inform you about all the details of getting an Alberts Smoothie Station at your workplace.
We’re looking forward to getting to know you over a fresh smoothie!