From Chicago to Milan, the vending machine is smart (and sells healthy food)


Say goodbye to high-calorie snacks and hello to healthy food! In a world in which the standard offer of a common vending machine mainly consists of packed products full of preservatives - such as chocolate bars and soft drinks – there are also companies that aim to bring healthy farmer’s products into the fridge.
In Chicago the start-up Farmer's Fridge has redesigned the concept of food from a vending machine. Its kitchen staff has developed a number of delicious and energy-packed food for lunch breaks or snacks. The aim is to give people the opportunity to find healthy food (for real) at affordable prices.
Since its launch in 2013, Farmer’s Fridge has deployed over 200 smart vending machines at locations across Chicago and Milwaukee, offering fresh and ready-to-enjoy food, with a menu that changes weekly, also (and especially) based on customers’ feedback.
Airports, hospitals, food shops: the vending machines are restocked even daily in strategic locations. And what happens to left-over food? It is donated to the food bank Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The success of the project is based on a robust and highly digitized management system, which allows users to find the closest Farmer’s Fridge distributor via an app and even to reserve food. This has been beneficial also to employment: cooks, stocking staff and logistics staff will soon reach the figure of two hundred workers.
What is more, the idea of smart fridges has also arrived in our country thanks to FrescoFrigo, a start-up from Milan that was launched less than a year ago and is still being consolidated. The project aims to conquer offices, hotels and gyms in Milan with distributors of fresh food - to be consumed within two days from the date of preparation - which can be reserved via an app.
A fierce battle against vending machines selling only junk food - in Italy, there are more than 800,000 of them - through a healthy (yet irresistible) remedy that satisfies the wish to eat "something good".