These Salad Vending Machines Are Making Healthy Food Within Arms Reach
What if every time you went to grab a bag of chips from the vending machine, you could go with fresh fruit, a grain bowl or a salad instead? Junk food loyalists might not approve, but the idea is pretty genius to us.
Chicago-based startup Farmer’s Fridge makes cold vending machines that serve fresh salads and snacks in recyclable jars. These vending machines are refilled each morning so everything is fresh. The ingredients, which are organic and locally grown, are carefully layered to stay crisp throughout the day.
The menu inside these vending machines includes healthier options like a Smoked Cheddar Cobb Salad, Half Crunchy Thai Salad, Cauliflower Fried Rice, Greek Salad, Almond Butter Oats Bowl, Butternut Barley Bowl, Soba Noodle Bowl and a Pesto Pasta Bowl. You’ll also find snacks and drinks that’ll rival chips and soda like Maple-Chili Spiced Nuts, Dark Chocolate Trail Mix, Vietnamese cold brew and kombucha.
These convenient fridges are digitally connected to the company’s kitchen, where all of the yogurt parfaits, salads and pasta bowls are made. There’s an algorithm that helps to predict how much food to make, which helps to reduce waste. And at the end of the day, any leftover food is donated.
Most options in these cold vending machines come in around $7, which creates some serious competition for healthy fast-casual food chains.
Farmer’s Fridge has around 120 vending machines around Chicago and Milwaukee and has plans to double that number this year. These machines are placed everywhere from office buildings to hospitals to college campuses to suburban neighborhoods to convenience stores.
The goal with Farmer’s Fridge is to convince more people to choose healthier lunch options by putting these fridges front and center. According to Fast Company, Farmer’s Fridge embodies convenience, taste and affordability, which is considered an ideal recipe for changing the way people eat.
We’re crossing our fingers that Farmer’s Fridge expands around the country ASAP.
[h/t Fast Company]