WePlenish, which makes smart containers that automatically reorders kitchen pantry items when a user’s supply is running low, has become the first smart container company to integrate its product with Amazon’s Dash Replenishment program, according to a WePlenish press release.
The company’s Java Smart Container will be available via Amazon in October for about $40, though participant’s in WePlenish’s Kickstarter funding program have been able to order a Java container for half that price, WePlenish said.
Users can connect the Java container to their Wi-Fi networks through the WePlenish app. Then they choose the specific pantry item (such as coffee pods, espresso capsules, snacks, etc.) for reordering, and the Java uses smart sensors to monitor its inventory level, automatically reordering when inventory runs low.
Integrating with Amazon Dash is a move that allows WePlenish to tap into Amazon's large and lucrative Prime membership base. And it's a big deal for Amazon too. Smart containers, much like smart appliances capable of automatic reordering, may represent the future of the Dash program.
Amazon has taken big steps to grow its Dash program — partnering with more big-name brands, offering more products through the service and even adding more devices to support it, like the barcode-scanning Dash Wand. However, Amazon has been under increasing competitive pressure from companies like Boxed, which uses machine learning and other tech to simplify bulk purchasing and reordering.
Amazon has also partnered with major players like GE and LG to develop smarter appliances with the same goal in mind. WePlenish is many times smaller than those big names, its smart container is of limited size, and its list of available products for auto-reorder may look like a subset of what’s available through Amazon Dash. However, this seems like a concept that could develop a wide range of smart containers.