- Farmer's Fridge, which has found success selling salads in vending machines, will add another 200 locations in the coming year, according to the Chicago Tribune.
- The Chicago-based company, which currently operates 75 vending machines in its local area, will expand into Milwaukee and potentially other Midwest markets.
- Danone Ventures recently helped the company raise $10 million in a financing round.
By collecting $10 million in funding from Danone’s venture capital arm, and investors such as former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson involved, Farmer’s Fridge seems to be on the path to big success with their salad in a vending machine concept.
It wasn't too far in the past when vending machines were used just for nonperishable and less healthy products like candy, cigarettes or soda. Innovation in vending technology, combined with creative thinking by savvy companies, has transformed the vending arena a great deal.
Today, everything from caviar to shoes to produce are sold in different vending machines around the country. A company in Hong Kong is even making a go at it by offering healthy boxed meals.
The latter company is following the same consumer trend on which Farmer’s Fridge wants to capitalize. More people want to eat healthier and having a quick, on-the-go meal is a great time saver. Consumers want things fast and easy, and there’s no simpler way to find lunch than just heading to a nearby vending machine and swiping a credit card. Locating Farmer's Fridge machines in high traffic places, like Chicago-O'Hare Airport, is also a smart move to build the company's exposure — and show that vending machine fare can be fresh and nutritious.