Unilever’s ‘Smart Fill’ vending machine | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement Earlier this month, Mumbai’s Reliance Smart Acme Mall became home to the pilot project of Unilever’s in-store vending model, ‘Smart Fill’. Thanks to this new initiative set up in partnership with Reliance Retail, customers can get a refill of homecare products — for brands such as Surf Excel, Vim and Comfort — rather than purchase a new packet. A recent report in The Hindu Business Line explains how to access products from the Smart Fill machine: ‘Consumers can either use their old empty bottles or purchase a Smart Fill bottle from the store at a nominal price. As an incentive, consumers are being offered ₹30 off on the MRP or effective price at the store if they get their own bottle and ₹15 off to those who purchase the Smart Fill bottle’. Post the pilot’s success, the consumer goods major hopes to scale it to cities across the country. This India-specific initiative comes a year after Unilever announced its largest in-store refill trial in Europe (at Asda’s sustainability store in Leeds) in 2020. Now, the brand is expanding trials of their refillable packaging — for beauty and homecare brands […]

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