I think everyone can agree that most vending machines stink. You study all of your options carefully while taking out that wrinkled dollar bill wadded up in your pocket. When you’ve finally made your selection, you smooth it out on the corner of the machine then insert it into the slot. Not to your surprise, it spits your dollar back out at you, so you scrounge up some change, only to find you’re ten cents short. However, when you have a snack attack, sometimes that machine in the break room or in the lobby is your only resort.
And how about when that delicious treat gets stuck between the glass and the metal coil? What do you do then? Most people shake the machine or pound on the glass to get it loose. I’ve even seen people get their arm stuck reaching in for the tasty prize! But I usually just end up cursing at the stupid machine, because I can’t possibly shake it, and then shelling out another $1.75 to knock the chips loose with another snack item. All just to curb my craving for a salty indulgence.
But what if I told you there was a vending machine featuring an intricate system of tubes, flames, and boiling water that makes a fresh bag of potato chips right in front of you from start to finish? Even better, all it would cost is one spud. Would you be intrigued to try it out? Take a look…
Before I tell you that, I need to give you the bad news…the machine is actually displaying a video simulation.
I know. I was disappointed, too. The machine that shows washing, peeling, cutting, cooking, salting, and bagging the potato you dropped into it actually just gives you a warmed regular bag of chips made at the factory. The point of this machine is to put rumors about Lay’s Potato Chips to rest — particularly the one that claims the chips aren’t made from real potatoes. They want people to know the chips are made of three ingredients only: potatoes, oil, and salt. That’s it.
And honestly, even though it’s just a video and not happening in real time, I think it’s a really great idea that will attract a lot of attention and praise. Especially because the machine actually warms the bag of Lay’s chips right before you get them, to give it the effect of being real. It’s just an awesome concept!
So when will you be able to check out one of these neat vending machines for yourself?
Well, unless you plan on taking a trip to Argentina in the near future, you’re going to have to wait a few years. The Pepsi Company is hoping to take this genius vending machine global at some point, but are waiting to see how well it does in South America. The first prototype cost about $40,000 to develop and the additional machines are estimated to cost between $20,000 and $30,000 each, so I’m pretty sure they are going to do some market research before mass production takes place.
This Lay’s vending machine makes its first public debut late October 2011, in a Buenos Aires supermarket. Will this machine be the answer Lay’s is looking for?
When this machine comes to a city near you, will you check it out? Have you experienced any other really cool vending machines like this? Give us your thoughts and comments below.