Terra Drone Europe and British-Dutch Transnational Consumer Goods Giant Unilever Collaborate to Deliver Ice Cream in New York

Terra Drone Europe and Unilever are testing drone delivery services for the latter’s popular ‘Ben & Jerry’s’ ice cream brand

Terra Drone Europe team member (second from right) with members of Unilever’s ice cream delivery program, ‘Ice Cream Now’, including Unilever CEO Alan Jope (third from right)

New York – February 4, 2020 – Terra Drone Europe, a group company of Japan-headquartered Terra Drone Corporation, and the British-Dutch transnational consumer goods giant Unilever have joined forces to explore drone-delivery of ice creams in New York. In a program undertaken at Unilever’s recent annual investor event, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cups were delivered to a pre-decided destination by drone. The demo was conducted as part of Unilever’s ice cream delivery service, ‘Ice Cream Now’.

During the demonstration, a multi-copter drone was fitted with delivery box (Figure 1) designed to carry three Ben & Jerry’s mini cups (72 g each). A flight path was set beforehand to allow the drone to carry the ice cream cups inside the Unilever’s US facility.

Figure 1: Shipping box containing Ben & Jerry’s mini cups

Unilever launched Ice Cream Now, a delivery service for ice creams, in 2017. This service has already grown into a huge business worldwide. With regulations around future drone flights expected to become more flexible, the consumer goods company is preparing for a drone logistics service that will deliver products to more customers faster.

Yuki Ueno, Director of Terra Drone Europe, says, “We want to solve serious problems in the logistics field, such as carbon dioxide emissions, with drones. As deregulation progresses worldwide, drone delivery services will also increase.” Terra Drone and Unilever will continue to cooperate in the field of logistics services.

■ About Terra Drone Corporation 
Established in 2016, Terra Drone Corporation has quickly become one of the world’s largest industrial drone solution companies employing over 550 drone industry professionals. The company’s head office is located in Tokyo, Japan, and more than 25 branches are spread globally throughout Asia, Europe, Americas, Africa, and Oceania. Terra Drone provides innovative enterprise drone services for oil and gas, utilities, renewables, mining, construction, and GIS sectors, among others. 

Previous investments include Unifly, which specializes in unmanned traffic management (UTM); C-Astral, which develops high-endurance fixed-wing UAVs; RoNik Inspectioneering, which provides wireless inspection services for confined spaces; and Ventus Geospatial, which has patented gas leak detection technology. Going forward, we will continue to invest in technology companies with cutting-edge solutions for drones.