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Drone, Delivery Deals Expanding

Unilever Ditches Ice Cream to Simplify Supply Chain

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One million flights; that’s the milestone announced last week. But, instead of airlines, it’s the seven-figure mark for drone operator Zipline, one of three drone companies working with Walmart. Wing and DroneUp are the other participants.

California-based Zipline also added Panera Bread and Jet’s Pizza to their client list, with delivery rolling out soon in select markets.

They’ve also partnered with Memorial Hermann Health System in Texas for medical deliveries. Internationally, Zipline has been active in aerial deliveries of vaccines and medicine.

Amazon has also rolled out new drone delivery service in selected Arizona markets, but is simultaneously winding down a pilot program in California.

One the ground, it’s DoorDash announcing new delivery partnerships. Five West Coast regional grocers ( Vallarta Supermarkets, New Seasons Market, Haggen, Mother’s Market, and Jimbo’s) and six East Coast chains (365 ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market stores operated by retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern Food Corp) have all signed agreements with DoorDash.

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s has also partnered with DoorDash for 1,700 locations throughout the U.S., with purchases available directly through the DoorDash app.

One the other side of delivery, Univlever announced it would spin off it’s ice cream business to focus on shelf-stable products, citing the storage and shipping cost of maintaining a cold supply chain.

The ice cream unit, including Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s, generated $8.5 billion in revenue in 2023, the least amount of sales among Unilever’s business units. The company will focus on non-temerature-sensiteve portfolios in beauty, personal care, home care and nutrition.

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