Marketing Featured South Asia

Hindustan Unilever partners with VMLY&R Commerce to launch ‘Smart Fill’ machine

Mumbai, India – The Mumbai-headquartered fast-moving consumer goods company, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), has just recently launched its first-ever ‘Smart Fill’ machine, an in-store vending model for its Home Care products, playing on the popular sustainability mantra of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ with their own version ‘Reuse, Refill, and Reward.’ 

HUL is a subsidiary of Unilever that offers several consumer goods, including food, beverages, and cleaning agents, as well as personal care products, and water purifiers, among others. 

The initiative, which is created in collaboration with global creative commerce company VMLY&R Commerce, aims to offer consumers an innovative option to reuse their plastic bottles by refilling products from HUL’s flagship brands, including Surf Excel, Comfort, and Vim.

As part of the pilot program, the new ‘Smart Fill’ machines have already been rolled out, seeking to expand across prominent retailers and modern trade outlets across the country. To access products from the machine, consumers can either use their old empty bottles or purchase a ‘Smart Fill’ bottle from the store at a nominal price. As an incentive, consumers will be offered a discount on the regular retail price if they bring their own bottles.

Prabha Narasimhan, the executive director for Home Care at Hindustan Unilever and vice president for Home Care at Unilever South Asia, shared that today’s consumers are conscious of the values that their favorite brands hold, and shop accordingly, so not only are they able to make a real impact on the amount of wasted plastic but the consumers are reacting in an extremely positive way. 

“VMLY&R Commerce has helped us take a problem that was truly impacting our customers and solution it into something that helps both the environment and our business,” said Narasimhan. 

Meanwhile, VMLY&R Commerce’s Chief Operating Officer, Shankar Shinde, commented that they are thrilled to partner with HUL on a creative solution that helps combat single-use plastic.

“We’re proud to work with a partner who is taking a stand against industry norms in packaging and offering sustainable solutions. With the aim of making the world a less polluted place for tomorrow’s generation, we are working with HUL to make this an open-source initiative all key retail players are able to offer their consumers,” said Shinde.