The direct-selling health supplements and personal care firm said further expansion of the service would depend on the market’s demands.
The automated service could cater to COVID-19 safe distancing measure, while providing another channel for observing consumption patterns, the company said.
Currently, it only operates one vending machine in Bengaluru which is housed in an Automated Sales Centre operational from 10am to 6pm. However, there are plans to provide round the clock service which is payable by cash, card, or digital means.
For safe distancing, only one person is allowed in the centre at each time.
With 31 SKUs available, the machine sells bottles of protein powder, nutritional shakes powder for weight management, supplements including Cell Activator (ALA tablets) and Herbal Control (tablets containing black, green, and oolong tea extracts).
“Product vending kiosks bridge the gap between the consumers and the product. Herbalife Nutrition has focused on innovation and high impact technology to observe and meet consumer demand for convenience.
“The kiosk offers a seamless customer experience while factoring social distancing and hygiene and offers the scope of examining buyer behaviour to place a more contextual offering before our markets,” Ajay Khanna, Vice President and India Country Head, Herbalife Nutrition, told NutraIngredients-Asia.
Within APAC, Herbalife is already running Automated Sales Centres in South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Globally, the firm’s first Automated Sales Centre was piloted in Moscow eight years ago.
In India, aside from Automated Sales Centres, the company also operates the Auto Attendant services since 2019.
The latter is also a kiosk where customers’ orders are keyed in and collected but no product will be dispensed on the spot. The service is aimed at improving the management of customer orders through automation.
Combining both services worldwide, over 2,500,000 orders have been processed.
In India, the Auto Attendant services are available in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Ludhiana.
Being Herbalife’s fastest growing market, net sales were up by double digits in India, as well as the US, and Vietnam, according to the company’s Q4 FY2020 report.
In fact, India broke the US$100m mark for the first time in that quarter, equivalent to a year-on-year growth of 21 per cent.