August 18, 2023
With more than $1 billion in sales, Nestlé is testing a way to make a hot thin-crust DiGiorno pizza on demand in places such as college dorms and airports, as the world’s largest food company looks to move the brand “beyond the freezer,” reports Food Dive.
The kiosk, which looks similar to a Redbox DVD rental machine, enables consumers to order a cheese or pepperoni pizza for $9 that is delivered through a slot in the machine ready to eat in three minutes. Nestlé launched a pilot kiosk at a Colorado Walmart in April; and introduced a second one three months later at a company facility in Ohio where it develops frozen foods.
“This is about moving beyond the freezer, and fundamentally shifting the opportunity for us to serve consumers in places and occasions that we don’t have immediate access to today,” Adam Graves, president of Nestlé USA’s Pizza & Snacking Division, said in an interview. “The early results are encouraging and there are any number of imaginable applications where this concept in tech could go in the future.”
Nestlé said of the roughly 100 customers it surveyed who have purchased from the kiosk, 95% of them believed some aspect makes the hot DiGiorno pizza a good value and 92% see themselves buying another pizza from the kiosk in the future.
Nestlé is using the two DiGiorno kiosks it has rolled out already to determine whether it will expand the pilot, the pace at which it would do it, and where the kiosks would be located. Possible areas where the vending machine could appear include college campuses and dorms, home improvement stores, and airports. Nestlé said it is the first major consumer packaged goods company to do a pilot for an automated pizza vending machine.
If Nestlé decides to roll out the kiosk more widely, it could allow the company to grab a larger share of the frozen pizza market. The machines also potentially could become a threat to pizza delivery firms such as Domino’s and Papa John’s.
and the need to service the technology. It’s a drastically different process than Nestlé’s existing business model in retail, Graves noted.
The company also is keeping a close watch on the quality of the pizza to ensure it is the same as what consumers expect from the frozen DiGiorno they purchase in stores.
“We’re being very mindful about how and where we scale because of that and the quality and trust commitment we have with consumers,” Graves said.
Research contact: @FoodDive