Unilever Launches First In-Store Model At Mumbai Mall

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Consumer goods major’s Smart Fill initiative aims to reduce plastic waste

Earlier this month, Reliance Smart Acme Mall in Mumbai hosted the pilot of Unilever’s in-store model, “Smart Fill”. With this new initiative in partnership with Reliance Retail, customers can get a top-up of home care products – for brands like Surf Excel, Vim and Comfort – rather than buying a new package. A recent report in The Hindu branch of activity explains how to access products from the Smart Fill machine: “Consumers can either use their old empty bottles or purchase a Smart Fill bottle in store at a nominal price. As an incentive, consumers are offered 30 off the MRP or actual in-store price if they get their own bottle and 15 off for those who buy the Smart Fill bottle ”. After the pilot’s success, the large consumer goods company hopes to expand it to cities across the country.

The India-specific initiative comes a year after Unilever announced its largest in-store charging trial in Europe (at Asda’s sustainability store in Leeds) in 2020. Now the brand is expanding trials of its refillable packaging – for the beauty and home care brands Persil, Simple, Radox and Alberto Balsam – across the UK. According to company reports, the expansion follows their rather successful trial as a growing consumer base seeks plastic packaging alternatives. The new expansion features their first-ever ‘go back on the go’ pilot in which “shoppers looking for a quicker on-the-go purchase can grab a pre-filled stainless steel bottle off the shelf and bring it back to the store. once used, where they are collected for cleaning and refilling ”. These bottles should be available in select Asda and Co-op stores by the end of the year.


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