- Unilever is partnering with ASAP, the on-demand delivery brand of Waitr Holdings, for nationwide delivery of its ice cream products.
- ASAP will work with some of its restaurant partners to add Unilever’s ice creams to their menus, but it will also deliver ice cream and treats from Unilever’s virtual storefront, The Ice Cream Shop.
- Unilever has similar partnerships in the U.S. and other markets to help make its ice cream treats a more convenient purchase from anywhere.
Both ASAP and Unilever have a lot to gain from this partnership.
ASAP, which had been known as Waitr until earlier this year, is a delivery app that works with both restaurants and retailers. Unilever, which has a stable of popular ice cream brands including Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Klondike, has been using technology to make ice cream more of a high-tech impulse buy.
The company’s Ice Cream Now teams work in more than 40 countries with on-demand delivery of Unilever’s treats, according to the company. Business in this segment grew 60% in 2021, offering consumers new ways to add ice cream to delivered meals and groceries, as well as building access to virtual ice cream stores.
With this partnership, ASAP has joined with a big name on many popular products, and it is able to play up its potential as a virtual ice cream store.
For Unilever, it doesn’t need to depend on restaurants or grocery delivery services to promote its ice cream on ASAP. While ASAP will work with its partners to get them to add Unilever’s treats to its menus, the existence of the CPG’s Ice Cream Shop creates a dedicated place for convenience-seeking consumers to look for cold offerings.
The partnership could further boost Unilever’s ice cream division, which the company had been rumored to be looking to sell. At Barclays Consumer Staples Conference last month, Unilever CEO Alan Jope said there are no plans to separate that division. Ice cream sold by e-commerce, he said, is “a terrific and high margin business.”
The numbers show ice cream brings Unilever comfortable profits and growth. Last month, Unilever restated its previous three and a half years of finances utilizing the organizational structure put in place in January, with ice cream as its own division.
While ice cream is the smallest division, with 6.9 billion euros in sales ($6.8 billion), it’s seen a good rate of sales growth — its 5.7% growth in 2021 was second only to the beauty and wellbeing division. Momentum in ice cream has accelerated in the first half of 2022, with sales in the division increasing 8.6%.
ASAP is one of the smallest delivery app companies, bringing in less than 1% of all restaurant deliveries, according to Bloomberg statistics compiled in May. But as the company looks to grow, a partnership with one of the biggest names in ice cream can help give it a boost.
Unilever also works with some of the larger delivery apps, both through encouraging delivery add-ons and with some areas being able to order from its virtual Ice Cream Shop. Partnering with ASAP brings it more reach and opportunities.