Singapore liquor companies tout price and sustainability benefits of ‘world’s first’ retail refill technology


Proof & Company recently launched the world’s first SmartKiosk in Singapore, starting with CS Fresh, Dairy Farm International’s premium retail chain, at Tanglin Mall.

The kiosk currently offers six different craft spirits, and consumers would place a reusable bottle under the spout containing the spirit of their choice to refill it, then attach a durable seal and pay as usual at the supermarket.

“The idea is really that the consumer can finish their spirit of choice at home, then wash the bottle and bring it back to the machine to be refilled – this reuse of the bottle would mean a major reduction in bottle wastage in glass, and the consumers could also save money significantly in the long run,”Proof & Company Southeast Asia Brandon Gursd said FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“The SmartKiosk uses a new technology called Verified Sustainable Retail – this allows us a bit of protection, where it ensures that the specific bottles selected will only refill with the correct brand of alcohol, and also logs the number of times that one bottle was returned to the machine to refill in order to set up data tracking.

As such, the kiosk does not allow consumers to bring any bottle from home to refill, but these special bottles will be available at the kiosk itself for new consumers to make their first purchase and continue. to reuse them from there.

“We are confident that this will lead to cheaper prices for consumers who will continue to buy the drinks in new bottles, and our initial calculations estimate that this will represent savings of up to 20%,”said Gursd.

“For example, one of the craft spirits we currently offer in the SmartKiosk is Brass Lion, and as an example, the brand’s Pahit Pink Gin, which would normally cost S$108 (US$76.73) for a new bottle, could now be refilled for around S$89 (S$63.23).

“These savings are significant, not to mention the positive lasting impact that comes with minimizing glass and packaging waste, and the wellness aspect that goes with it.”

Other spirits currently available for sale through the SmartKiosk include Tried & True Straight Wheat Vodka, Widges Gin, Mackintosh Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Los Arcos Destilado de Agave and several others.

Current estimated data indicates that the environmental benefits per refill include the elimination of an average of 550g of carbon emissions and over 700g of single-use packaging, both from reduced use of new glass bottles and corresponding environmental activities that Proof & Co has undertaken such as planting trees to accompany each refill purchased.

Although the company’s interests are currently heavily focused on the craft spirits category, Gursd added that it is also technically possible to extend this SmartKiosk technology for use with other beverages such as beers or juices. .

“This machine is definitely set to evolve even further in its technology and applications – and technically as long as the products concerned are liquids, there is no reason why these should not be dispensable in this format, and we always try to stay nimble, especially when it comes to alcohol”he said.

“How things evolve will depend on the data and insights we collect from this launch, where the The Verified Sustainable Retail technology will be very useful in providing us with the track and trace data needed to see trends on the beverages and brands most popular with consumers when it comes to refills.

More kiosks on the way

CS Fresh described the SmartKiosk as a “climate-friendly and revolutionary”​technology for alcohol retail, also highlighting lower refill prices as a major draw for consumers.

“All Featured Spirits [in the SmartKiosk] are priced lower to keep consumer favorites affordable,”the retail chain said via an official statement online.

In addition to the first SmartKiosk location in the Tanglin Mall CS Fresh, plans are already underway to launch them in four more locations in Singapore by 2022.

“These initial four new locations will also be CS Fresh outlets, but in the future we will also look to bring SmartKiosks to other retail stores under Dairy Farm International’s responsibility,”​Gursd added.

“We chose to work closely with them on this launch as we already have a long-standing relationship with them, and Dairy Farm International has shown very strong support for the craft spirits sector in general.

“Furthermore, we certainly see very broad market entry opportunities working with them, and their sustainable internal practices are also very much in line with what we’re trying to achieve.”

CS Fresh is considered one of Dairy Farm International’s most premium retail chains. Other well-known chains of the group include Cold Storage and Giant, and it is also active in other markets such as Hong Kong and Malaysia.


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