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02/16/2022

Jamba opens robotic kiosks at two college locations

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Jamba is continuing to test automated smoothie-dispensing kiosks in new locations.

Jamba is continuing to expand its test of an automated kiosk that dispenses made-on-demand blended smoothies.

The specialty foodservice retailer is opening two new “Jamba by Blendid” autonomous robotic kiosk locations in collaboration with food automation platform provider Blendid. The kiosks leverage machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence for the contactless dispensing of on-demand, customized, blended smoothies.

The new locations are at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia and Kennesaw State University in Marietta, Georgia. These mark the first Jamba by Blendid openings on college campuses, expanding beyond the current kiosk pilot locations in the Stonewood Center in Downey, Calif., and the first pilot location, launched at a Walmart store in Dixon, Calif., in December 2020.

According to Jamba and Blendid, the new pilots are part of a larger joint effort to continue to explore opportunities to open more Jamba by Blendid kiosks in a variety of non-traditional venues, including gyms, hospitals, and airports.

The Georgia College and Kennesaw State University kiosks will dispense seven different plant-forward smoothies, as well as Jamba’s Boost energy drinks. They are available in 14-ounce servings and include one nutrition boost for no additional charge. When ordering, customers will have access to the macronutrient breakdown based on their order customizations. Both locations will be open extended hours and customers can place orders in person at the kiosk or they can order ahead with the Blendid app on Android or iOS. Additionally, they can make a payment using their respective college’s dining cards.

In a similar effort, robotic barista technology provider Briggo has been expanding the availability of its Briggo Connected Coffee solution. Customers can order coffees and other customizable drinks ahead via the Briggo Coffee mobile app or from one of multiple touchscreen kiosks. The Briggo coffee kiosk has been implemented at a Whole Foods store in Houston. Briggo also operates a fully-automated robotic coffee bar, or “Coffee Haus,” inside Terminal 3 of the San Francisco International Airport and two locations at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas.

“Since the beginning, we have wanted to test the Jamba by Blendid kiosks on college campuses. We know there is increasing demand for more ways to access our products and by introducing our robotic kiosks at colleges and universities across the country, we are making it even easier for consumers to enjoy smoothies 24/7,” said Geoff Henry, president of Jamba. “It has been rewarding to see guests engage enthusiastically with our kiosks, and we are looking forward to speaking with future operators who are interested in testing with us and learning more about the opportunity.”

“By utilizing robotics and AI technology, we can achieve our team’s mission to make delicious and customized food accessible to all. We’re thrilled to have accomplished this at the first two Jamba by Blendid pilot locations, and the positive guest feedback validates the potential of our robotic kiosks at a variety of different locations across the country,” said Vipin Jain, CEO and co-founder of Blendid. “We look forward to learning how these new campus communities utilize the kiosks as we pursue additional opportunities in similar settings.”

Jamba has more than 850 locations operating in 36 U.S. states, as well as the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Japan.