Uber launches its on-demand dessert in S.Africa


Uber, a global start-up company which was recently introduced in South Africa as a smartphone app that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services, has launched its ice cream initiative in 144 cities around the world, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa.

“Our core product is definitely delivering cars to people in five minutes but we are really excited for the potential that ice cream unlocks for us, our driver partners and for our customer base. But it’s less about testing the waters and more about showing what we’re about as a company,” said Alon Lits, general manager of Uber Johannesburg.  

“Ice cream is something fun, it’s something that everyone loves. It’s universal whether you’re in Johannesburg or Beijing, everyone loves ice cream so it’s really something that speaks to everyone around the world.”


He added that Uber partnered with local brands, Filo Yoghurt in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, and Myog Frozen Yoghurt in Cape Town to launch the initiative in a bid to increase the uptake of the Uber mobile app in the country.

 “All you have to do is log onto your smart phone into the Uber app, scroll to the bottom to the froyo (frozen yogurt) option , you will see little ice cream cones appear on the application as well as an expected arrival time. You then simply click request, you would then see a picture of the driver bringing you your ice cream and you will watch him in real time drive towards you and you will be lucky enough to see him pull up on the side road bearing gifts,” explained Lits.

 Despite their ice cream delivery campaign, the company’s taxi and ridesharing service is starting to take off not only in South Africa but globally due to their competitive pricing structure.

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“Our pricing is very competitive and it’s all about reaching that scale. You’re taking something which didn’t used to be that efficient and wasn’t really reaching volume to something that is extremely efficient and people are using it as a way to get around the city so instead of doing two trips a day, drivers can do 10 trips per day and that’s where the game changer is,” he added.

 Lits stated that not only is it a safer and more affordable option for passengers as all drivers registered on the Uber app have to meet set requirements, but it is also an opportunity for drivers to earn an additional income.   

“Why it’s great is that its existing operators who have already spent money on their vehicles but can now just unlock more money. They can continue working with their existing clients but now during their downtime, {they can} log on to the application as a partner driver and get more work so its really lead generation software for them,” he said.