Things You Should Never Be Able to Buy in a Vending Machine (Slideshow)
Burritos, Los Angeles
Nestled in a Mobil gas station in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood, the Burrito Box vending machine satisfies those Mexican food cravings by offering types of pre-prepared burritos. From chorizo sausage androasted potato, to uncured bacon, free-range chicken and shredded beef, Burrito Box has you covered. You can even add guacamole, sour cream, and tabasco sauce for an extra fee.
Frozen Yogurt, Washington D.C.
The latest craze in D.C.? A vending machine that dispenses fresh, frozen yogurt for $3. Created by D.C. based start-up Frobot the company aims to roll out 100 frozen yogurt vending machines by 2015. Unfortunately, the machines are not equipped to add toppings but Frobot is working on ways to enhance the vending machines with toppings and an option to swirl together flavors.
Möet & Chandon Champagne, London
While picking up a bottle of champagne from a vending machine may not sound like luxury, the ease and convenience of the new Möet & Chandon vending machine surely is. Located in the popular Selfridge’s department store in London, the Möet & Chandon vending machine dispenses 200ML bottles for $29 a pop.
Cadbury Chocolates, Australia
Chocolate customized to your liking? Yes, please! That’s what Cadbury is offering in Australia with their new Facebook-powered chocolate vending machine. The Cadbury vending machine asks users to log in to their Facebook account so that it can create a custom chocolate bar based off their interests. Whether you’re into rock climbing, cooking, or music, the machine will generate a flavor and custom message just for you.
Fresh Produce, Chicago
Set up in Chicago’s Loop, the Farmer’s Fridge vending machine brings farm-fresh produce to the heart of the city. Instead of soda, candy, or regular vending machine fare, Farmer’s Fridge is routinely stocked with salads, fruit, and other healthy meal options. Whatever isn’t sold that day is donated to a local homeless shelter to bring nutritious meals to those who need it most.
Fried Food, Amsterdam
Got the munchies in Amsterdam? Look no further than the fried food vending machines owned by Dutch company, FEBO. With over 60 locations in the Netherlands, FEBO has found the perfect customer base in Amsterdam where they have over 20 vending machines set up. FEBO serves classic treats like frikandellen (The Dutch equivalent of a hot dog) and Kaassoufflé (which can be compared to a hot pocket of melted cheese wrapped inside a thin, dough wrap).
Kosher Food, Boston
Orthodox Jewish baseball fans used to be left out of stadium grub, until Boston start-up Hot Nosh installed kosher vending machines in Fenway Park. Hot Nosh stocks their machines with kosher mozzarella sticks, baked ziti, and more, and has vending machines throughout Boston.
Bananas are actually a rather popular vending machine item in Japan (possibly because they’re one fruit that doesn’t bruise when dropped). But with the recent push to make vending machine snacks healthier here in the U.S., maybe this oddity isn’t such a strange idea.
Coke Freestyle machines, which let you customize your beverage concoctions with your choice of any combination of the brand’s soft drinks, took it one step further at one Atlanta restaurant, Taco Mac. While dispensing your Coke, guests could mix it with Jack Daniels, or tequila, rum, or vodka, if they preferred. No word as to whether they had a guard posted to keep the college kids away.
Baby Food, USA
Busy moms on the go can have access to baby food and formula from some vending machines. The WeGoBabies machine also dispenses baby essentials like pacifiers and diapers.
Raw Milk, Europe
In the U.S., raw milk is a controversial food item, and consumers of the unpasteurized dairy go as far to join illegal buying clubs to procure it. Not so in Europe, where not only is the milk legal, it can be found in vending machines from France to Poland.
Germans love their sausage, a stereotype that was only exacerbated by the arrival there of an actual sausage vending machine. It was set up outside of a butcher shop to fulfill late-night sausage cravings after the shop closes.
A Hot Meal, USA
A piping-hot meal isn’t just a sci-fi vision of vending machine dining anymore. New technology has developed vending machines that produce hot burgers, noodles, and more.
Eggs, Japan and Romaina
Egg vending machines are popular in Japan, and have also been established in Romania. And in Frankfurt, Germany, what appeared to be an egg vending machine (complete with live chickens) popped up in the city center, but turned out to be just a campaign to raise awareness of unethical chicken-farming practices.
In Japan, vending machines dispense everything from cigarettes to umbrellas, so it’s no surprise then that there are even vending machines that sell rice, a staple of Japanese cuisine.
Paris has no shortage of boulangeries churning out freshly baked loaves of bread, but that didn’t stop one entrepreneur from creating a baguette vending machine. The invention hasn’t quite taken off, though, proving that there’s still something to be said for the baker’s touch.
If that bag of chips just isn’t up to your culinary standards, you can find caviar in vending machines in Moscow as well as Los Angeles. You might, however, need a little more than pocket change to fulfill this craving.
We have frozen pizza and pizza delivery, but now we can get pizza from a vending machine, too. Thanks to an Italian entrepreneur, hungry people on the go can now get a piping-hot pizza in less than three minutes.
Pecan Pie, Texas
Berdoll Pecan Farm in Cedar Creek, Texas, bakes fresh pecan pies daily, but their pies are so good that they’ve taken some forward-thinking steps to keep up with demand. To meet the 24/7 cravings of their customers, the company has a pecan pie vending machine on the porch of the shop that operates around the clock.
Mashed Potatoes, Singapore
The mashed potato vending machines installed in 7-Elevens in Singapore give a new meaning to "instant mashed potatoes." With the push of a button, the machine dispenses a hot cup of mash (the gravy is optional).
Raw Meat, Alabama
Not everyone has access to a neighborhood butcher. Luckily for some Alabama residents, the "Smart Butcher" vending machine sells raw steaks and chops for an affordable price. Hopefully it’s replenished frequently!
Live lobsters, USA
Sometimes food just tastes better when you catch it yourself — at least that’s the premise of live lobster vending machines that allowed users to catch their dinner before eating it. The game took off in Florida but ironically didn’t meet the same success in New England.
Live Crabs, China
A lucky few in China can get their crab on the go. Shanghai hairy crab, a Chinese delicacy, is dispensed live from vending machines in Nanjing, China. Those poor crabs!
Growing Lettuce, Japan
Taking the idea of urban agriculture to a new level, vending machines in Japan use light bulbs and "nutri-culture" beds to actually grow lettuce inside the machines. A crazy idea, or a local food revolution? Either way, it’s our pick for the oddest vending machine in the world.