English | Swedish
Smoothie vending machines with mobile payment
UPDATE: We accept overfunding! We've invented the world's first smoothie vending machine. It serves a cup of fresh, healthy smoothie upon your payment on a touch screen.
Become shareholder in the first smoothie vending machine (smoothieautomat) company in the world!
Berries by Astrid has developed a unique beverage machine with automatic dispensing of chilled drinks, coupled to a smart payment function. The prize-winning machine has an innovative and exclusive design with a touch screen, mobile or credit card payment, and a chilled, hygienic solution for automatic serving of smoothie in three flavours, directly into a cup. A functional prototype stands at the office space Epicenter in Stockholm. Each machine will be connected to the internet. The smoothie is a super premium product made of 50% yoghurt and 50% fruit&berries, without additives and completely organic. The shelf life is two weeks refrigerated. The recepies are made by Berries by Astrid's founder Dr Astrid Friborg with team, with health in focus. The machine will be placed where people are on-the-move, such as train stations, shopping malls, airports, hotels etc. The customer, e.g. the gym, rents the machine and receives a % revenue of every sold smoothie. What we offer is a chance to become co-owner in a very scalable distribution solution with good margins, on a global market
It all started one day in 2007, when Astrid Friborg, then a cancer researcher, was attending a lecture in the entrepreneurship course that she took in parallell to her doctoral research. The lecturer recommended applying for the business idea competition Venture Cup. Astrid didn't have an idea in mind, but when she heard of a juicebar that won the competition, an idea hit her like lightning from a clear sky. "Most people love smoothies, there is a global market need. But it must be costful to have a bar, imagine the rent and staff costs... not to mention the amount of wasted old fruits!" Her idea was: to create a machine that serve smoothies, identical to the luxurious smoothies at a juicebar or café! It would always hold the same high quality of flavours and hygiene, and people would never have to queue... and with a payment function, no staff is needed! She googled and searched patent databases - and found that noone had invented this before. Astrid decided to keep quiet, let the idea sink in, and finish her PhD. Perhaps it was just a fix idea? Astrid got her PhD diploma in 2009, and got a researcher position at Stanford University, USA. However, she saw the huge potential in her business idea and thought: I'll get so bitter if someone else invents the same thing later and that I didn't take the chance while I had it! Astrid let down the offer from Stanford, and started in August, 2009 with no more than initial start money saved. One year later, she had the first prototype, external funding and founded the company...
The problem we are solving
We are addressing a very big need for natural, healthy meals on the market. Most snack meals on the market today do not fulfill these criteria. We have a product with superior taste and which is easy to sell, both to customers and consumers. We offer what cafés and traditional food industry can just dream about: 2 weeks shelf-life of a super premium product which is indistinguishable from a freshly made, homemade one. We introduce a completely new distribution on a very hot market - and, unlike most other food companies, we are not eaten by the supermarkets' hysterical margins. This way, we have opportunities for both good margins and great scalability.
Because we offer a distribution solution applicable to also other cold drinks, in a global arena, there is a billion dollar potential in our unique solution. We have already shown successful sales of our smoothie and know that the business will bear, in supply chain as well as in customer demand.
We haven't even launched yet, and hardly marketed the company. Still, we receive a huge interest in any situation where we meet potential customers! Arlanda and Malmö Airports, and Sweden's trendiest shopping mall Täby Centrum are some of the customers who want to be first with the concept, and who already signed up for machines. An office with several hundreds of visitors daily has also signed a contract for a machine.
We are close to signing contract with a hotel chain, and more shopping malls. Moreover, we've received much interest from many others, e.g. hospitals, large offices, chain stores etc.
On top of that, we've received attention from other beverage companies, asking to buy our machines to sell their own drinks in - that too can develop into something really big - but our main focus is to promote our own brand.
Right at this moment, we already have signed contracts on 8 machines, and more are coming in!
The trend of natural, additive-free food and lifestyle food is now established, conclude trend analytics at United Minds, an analytics strategy Company, who have compiled the food trends 2014.
- 255 million liters of juice were sold in Sweden 2012
- Global sales of smoothie is estimated to 6,3 billion EUR during 2015 (bottled, cups aren't even counted!)
- Sales in vending machines (in USA): 28 billion EUR
- Selecta notice a clear increase of purchases of healthy products in their vending machines
- 79 of 100 gym visitors are very positive to Berries by Astrid's smoothie and the smoothie vending (gymmet Fysiken i Göteborg)
- Each store/café at Arlanda Airport sell 10-100 smoothies /day
- Our assumption: 40 sold smoothies/machine and day at the airport
There are no direct competitors - no smoothie vending machines - but smoothies can be purchased at:
- Bottled smoothies: Innocent, Froosh, Brämhults
- Juicebars: Blueberry Lifestyle, Naked Juicebar, Joe & the Juice, Squeezed Up
- Vending machines: Selecta
Our supply chain - our network
From the very beginning, we decided to always keep our own organization small, and instead work with partners. We own the rights to all inventions, including recipes and machines. But we don't have to build an expensive factory. We work with the best dairy, Wapnö dairy, which has the finest quality yoghurt in Sweden. They, like us, care for our environment and let their cows go outside and eat green grass. We have tried to keep to Swedish ingredients as much as possible - why use goji or acai transported from far distance, when we can use our own Swedish superberries blueberry and seabuckthorn?
Our machines and the intelligence inside are developed over years ever since the start in 2009, by our partner engineers, developers and designers, chosen for their superior skills. Performance is key, and we have insight into every little bit of component. Even the lego factory we chose for mass producing our machines, is a Swedish one, so that we can check quality as often as we need.
Hygiene is the far most important factor for a food company. That's why we work with the best cold freight companies and local distributors, who know the importance of keeping the cold chain intact.
During one whole year, we tested our supply chain, by selling smoothie on bag-in-box to selected customers in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and Lund. Service and re-filling of machines will be handled cost-effectively and with high quality thanks to smart communication between staff and machine.
The business model
We have revenues from both customers and consumers. The customer (e.g. a hotel) rents our machine. The consumer pays for the smoothie in the machine. Berries by Astrid gets the revenues, and the hotel receives a kick-back in % of the revenues. A win-win. Our customers will be those with a high frequency of visitors, and preferrably chain stores with many stores, so that we can place a large number of machines at each customer. Geographically, our machines will be placed in larger cities to make the logistics effective and minimize costs. We can also do white label-production, which is yet more scalable. We can sell machines to other beverage companies that want their own drinks with their own logo.
What will the money be used for?
Most of the prototype development is already done. The prototype on the pictures is functional, but does not have all necessary functions to stand alone. The money will be used to finance the last development phase and adjustments for mass production. This means the cost for mechanical engineering, electronics, testing and software development. Our subcontractors have a detailed plan for the rest of the work. A minor part of the funding will also go to operating costs (salary, rent etc). The money will be sufficient to reach our milestone: two machines on the market! Our customers are waiting - join us so that we can realize the plan!
The future plans
We are focusing on sales! We are looking for more places to put our machines - with the following criteria:
- shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, train stations, museums, etc
- capacity of at least 20 purchases / machine and day
- geographical location: 1. Stockholm 2. Malmö/Lund 3. Göteborg
The aim is to have 100 machines on the market over the next 3-4 years and to expand internationally after a few more years, with the opportunity of thousands of machines. Our main focus is to make Berries by Astrid's smoothie vending machines to become a well known phenomenon in many countries. This step will be taken together with international partners. Hypothetically, a white label production of chilled beverage machines for other brands, would generate an even higher potential.
Is it frozen berries inside?
No, it's freshly made smoothie in bag-in-box, with a shelf-life of two weeks refrigerated.
How do you keep the hygiene?
The machine is chilled, and built by engineers specialized on food machines. Hygiene was our number one priority from day one and therefore we made a smart construction for this.
How do you protect your business from being copied?
We have one patent pending and are sending in another one. We have a registered trademark and a protected design.
How do I pay for my smoothie?
Purchases are made on a touch screen and payment is through credit card or on a smartphone.
How do you handle service and refilling of machines?
Our staff, or our service partner (depending on location) will receive an SMS when the machine is running low. They will replace with fresh smoothie and clean the surfaces etc.
We offer you a possibility to be part of building a new concept, a brand, and our future growth
This summarizes why Berries by Astrid is such a winning solution:
- Healthy fast food = extremely strong consumer trend
- Beloved product in a new, simpler form of distribution
- Strong IP platform, uniqueness = hard to copy
- Large volumes in each machine + global market = large income opportunities
- No intermediaries + premium prices = good margins
- We have proof-of-sales of the smoothie, market acceptance and huge interest for the machines
- We upgrade the whole vending machine industry and provide the food industry for cold beverages a new distribution channel
We are open to different possibilities, e.g. IPO or merge/aquisition. Potential buyers could be large companies in the food & beverage or vending industry, with established distribution channels and marketing capacity. As comparison, Coca-Cola Company bought 18% of the smoothie Company Innocent Drinks shares for 30 million pound in 2009 (366 MSEK). Three college students had founded the company in 1999. In 2010, Coca-Cola increased their shares to 58% for 65 million pound (793 MSEK). In 2013 Coca-Cola purchased 90% of the shares, for an unknown sum.
Are you an investor and want to know more? Feel free to call Astrid Friborg at +46-702 788392 or email [email protected] to schedule a meeting.
About Astrid Friborg/Berries by Astrid in Swedish media
Articles have been published in Företagaren, Hälsa&Fitness, Fitness Magazine, iForm, Fast Food Magazine, Veckans Affärer, Uppfinnaren & Konstruktören, Bensin&Butik etc.
Awards and previous funding
- One of 20 Future Entrepreneurs 2014 (Svenska Dagbladet newspaper)
- One of 101 Super talents 2013 (Veckans Affärer magazine)
- One of the Rookie Super Communicators of the Year 2014 (Resumé magazine)
- 100 Rookies of the Year 2014 (Shortcut magazine)
- Rookie of the Year 2012 (Beautiful business awards)
- 2nd prize Best Business Plan 2011 (Venture Cup East Sweden)
- listed as one of the hottests Swedish startups by the Veckans Affärer magazine 2013
- ALMI loan (€ 210,000, most already paid back; almost debt-free now)
- VINNOVA grant (€ 30,000)
- Skånes Livsmedelsakademi grant (€ 50,000)
- Venture Cup prize money (€ 10,000)
- Business angels
Accepted into the prestigious STING startup incubator (2011) http://www.stockholminnovation.com/
Investeraravdraget (applicable to Swedes only)
(In swedish only, regarding a swedish tax deduction on this investment)