This box solves a virus problem in the supermarket
Stand: 4:38 p.m. | Reading time: 3 minutes
Shopping carts are used by dozens of customers every day. They are a paradise for germs and viruses. To make visiting the supermarket more hygienic, a start-up has invented a disinfecting washing system. Even the problem of the risk of explosion has been solved.
Dhe saying that the crisis is an opportunity is booming – again. And for Koray Celik and Baris Karadas it is completely true. In March, the two founded Saiko Maschinentechnik. Not despite Corona, but because of Corona.
The two mid-thirties from East Westphalia have been running an advertising agency for seven years as their main occupation. Boat Projects is the name of the company that specializes in food retail. The 20 or so employees clear out shelves in supermarkets, for example, or set up so-called secondary placements in the aisles, i.e. sales outlets for specially advertised products.
“Through this work, we know exactly what problems grocers have and what solutions are available,” says Celik. He studied education and psychology, is passionate about technology and says that he likes to tinker with new ideas in a garage with his business partner Karadas and an engineer friend.
Corona prepared the stage for one of their ideas – and led to the founding of Saiko: a washing machine for shopping trolleys. The start-up’s headquarters are in Herford, where six people are now employed. There are no investors on board. There are inquiries, says CEO Celik. “But we get along well on our own.”
Almost 5000 types of bacteria on the hands
Hygiene is the most important thing in the current situation. This is not so easy in supermarkets and discounters, there are weak points: for example the shopping carts. Dozens of consumers grab the handlebars every day and leave their marks. The palms of the hands are a paradise for germs, as the professional association of German internists says. American researchers identified more than 4700 different types of bacteria in a study.
Which and how many each person wears on their hands is very different. We are talking about at least 150 different bacterial families per person. The composition differs considerably from person to person, as the study shows. Only five species were found in all participants.
The germ load of shopping carts has not only been an issue since Corona, as retail expert Celik says. “In the current time, the problem is becoming much more visible.” In addition, customers in most stores are obliged to use a shopping cart to keep their distance.
The retailers are therefore trying a wide variety of means to fight germs and give their customers a better feeling in the supermarket. This includes, for example, disposable gloves for customers. Or sanitary wipes with which you can wipe the handle of the car. In some places there is also staff available to do the cleaning.
Around 100 devices have already been delivered
“Deso Cube”, disinfection cube, is the name of the washing machine for shopping trolleys that Saiko has brought onto the market. A box-shaped system, the area about the size of a Euro pallet, in which each trolley is sprayed with disinfectant for a few seconds by eight nozzles at the push of a button. During this time, customers can disinfect their hands, there is a dispenser on the outside of the Deso Cube.
Saiko has delivered around 100 devices to branches of Rewe, Edeka and Marktkauf, to hardware stores and garden centers across the country. “There are also a number of other orders,” says CEO Celik. A contract manufacturer in East Westphalia produces the devices. In the medium term, Saiko wants to do this himself.
A device costs around 4200 euros, plus the costs for the disinfectant. Saiko offers that too. “We offer water-based disinfection, also because of the risk of explosion from alcohol-containing solutions,” says Celik.
Dealers report a good response from their customers. Most therefore want to leave the device standing after the Corona period. It is not surprising that competition is now forming.
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