Vending machines famously dispense junk food--candy, chips, soda, prepackaged baked goods. Why shouldn't they be instead make healthy items accessible? That's the thinking behind Peter-und-Paul-Hof's vending machines that sell farm-fresh produce.
The German farm teamed up with vending manufacturer Stuewer to shill its milk, eggs, butter, cheese, and sausage in vending machines sprinkled throughout thirteen German towns. The food items are cheap, too--without a middleman retailer to take a cut of the sales, consumers get to keep the extra cash and still eat local. Of course, it also partly solves the supply chain issue, ensuring farmer's can actually farm, rather than make the rounds at farmer's markets all week.
Peter-und-Paul-Hof farm initially hand-delivered its milk products to customers, but found that the process was too costly and time consuming (the story of farmers everywhere). But the farm failed to convince consumers to trek out to the farm to pick up the produce themselves, so Peter-und-Paul-Hof resorted to vending machines.
The vending machine-turned-mini farmer's market is the latest in a series of ideas that aim to bring farm produce out of upscale farmer's markets and into more accessible locations. That's the concept behind the Farm on Wheels, designed by Mia Lehrer and Associates, which proposes the use of electric trucks to bring farm food to underserved communities.