Vending machines have undergone something of a metamorphosis over the years, shedding their traditional snack filled windows with all sorts of goodies that you would normally expect to find in your local superstore, rather than in a machine at the mall. Many of those newer machines feature things like popular electronics, strange grocery items, and even umbrellas, but the vending machine industry was taken to an all-time high with the announcement that Gitanjali is introducing a line of machines to sell their wares.
For those of you unaware of the name, Gitanjali is an Indian company that trades in gold and jewels, and the vending machines will be offering consumers the opportunity to get their hands on jewelry. There will be 36 different options available in each of the machines, most of which will be places in premium malls and airports, with the most expensive of the items coming in at around $600. This is great news for the jeweler, but bad for the average man who, instead of grabbing a coke and favorite candy bar for his angry wife, is now going to be forced to shell over hundreds of dollars for a gift of appeasement. If the jewelry vending machine takes off, that trip to the mall with your special lady could become even more hazardous for males.
While carats may appear to be the talk of the vending machine world, it would also appear that carrots are in the news too. There is a little bit of controversy in a US high school, where a vending machine that dispensed bags of baby carrots has been removed. Those in favor of offering kids healthy options at school are crying foul, but the school district is claiming that sales of the baby veggies were not enough to make it a viable option in the long term.
The numbers do speak for themselves and after an initial surge when over 700 bags of carrots were sold in the first month that number had dropped to 60 by the middle of the year. All the profits from the sale of the carrots went back into the school district food program, which is somewhat ironic given the amount of junk that is normally dished out for school lunches. What’s even stranger is that the schools say that there are healthy options when it comes to fries and pizza, but unless they are both made entirely of the unused carrots, I fail to see how that can be so.
These two stories serve to highlight how far vending machines have come in recent years. If anyone had dared mention even the thought of a machine that dispensed jewels or carrots a mere ten years ago, they would have been placed in an institution, so it just goes to show how big the vending machine craze really has become.