Vending Machine


Vending machines kill more people per year than sharks” – the Internet

Vending machines that dispense food are the ultimate leader of the fast food movement – except for those unfortunate times when snacks get stuck.

We mostly associate them to chocolate bars and crisps, but the world is filled with some that either supply peculiar items, or respond to unusual currencies. Here are 10 that have grabbed our attention.


Coke Hug Me Vending Machine – in Singapore

At the National University of Singapore, a Coca Cola “hug me” vending machine was installed overnight in 2012 as part of the company’s ‘Open Happiness’ campaign. The machine invited pass-byers to cuddle it in exchange for a can of coca cola, which, according to ASEAN IMC Director Leonardo O’Grady, was “a simple idea to spread some happiness”.

If only Michelin-starred restaurant would do the same. * Sigh


Live Crab – in China

How many times have you thought, “damn, I wish I could quickly get a hold of a live crab”? Apparently, quite a few people in Nanjing China have, judging by the live crab vending machine that was installed there. The machine is at an internal temperature of 5C to keep crabs hibernating, without killing them. If you happen to receive a dead one, the company will gift you three live ones as compensation.


Lettuce – in Japan

That’s right, in Japan there is a £57,500 vending machine named “The Chef’s Farm”, which can actually grow 60 heads of lettuce every day thanks to fluorescent light bulbs. Is it worth it? Unclear.


Eggs, Milk and Cheese – in Germany

We know what you’re thinking: “what… how?” – our thoughts exactly. Turns out that the Peter-und-Paul-Hof farm got sick and tired of delivering their goods to clients’ doorstep so casually decided to set up vending machines instead.


Lobster Game – in Las Vegas

Insert $2 in this machine located at Tinoco’s Bistro and try your luck. If you actually catch a lobster, the restaurant will cook it for you free of charge.


Ramen – in Japan

We’ve all had to, at some point at least, wait in line for a nice bowl of ramen. Thanks to vending machines, that no longer has to be the case.



Giant Coke – in Latin America

To celebrate Friendship Day (which takes place in June in Buenos Aires but in February in the rest of Latin America), Coca Cola came up with tall machines that had unreachable coin slots. This was purposely done to encourage consumers to reach out and ask for help from either a friend or a stranger. For their trouble, they’d get two bottles for the price of one.



Pizza Vending Machine – in Italy

For $6, this 24/7 machine will knead the dough, sauce the pizza and add toppings – all in less than 3 minutes.


Caviar – in Los Angeles

Craving Imperial River Beluga Caviar? Insert $500 in this machine for an ounce of the delicacy. Beware: the machine gets off work at 2am, so make sure to get there before.


Baguette – in Paris

The French do love their bread… for approximately $1.30 you’ll get a warm crispy baguette. The bread is apparently partially cooked before being put in the machine and finishes baking once an order’s been placed.

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