Developed by German firm Ex Oriente Lux, the Gold To Go vending machine raises the 24-karat bar. This opulent gizmo, which debuted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the Emirates Palace Hotel, dispenses bullion in one-, five-, and 10-gram increments. The souped-up ATM also sells gold coins from Australia, Canada, and South Africa.
A similar machine was also installed at a mall in Florida.
There are French fry vending machines in countries from the Netherlands to Australia.
French fry lovers, rejoice — around the world, there are vending machines that spit out hot, crisp fries. A Chinese company called Beyondte Technology Co., Limited, released its devices in 2013, distributing them to countries such as Belgium and Chile. In 2015, an Australian company called Hot Chips launched its machines, as did Dutch startup Caenator.
Baguette vending machines in France make it easy to get that bread 24/7.
Thanks to a baker named Jean-Louis Hecht, the wand-shaped loaves received the vending machine treatment. Hecht’s invention, a 24-hour baguette dispenser that’s fed partially cooked dough and completes the baking process to yield fresh, crispy bread, debuted in 2011 during France’s August holiday period, a time when many boulangeries close.
In the Netherlands, fast food vending machines are common.
When traditional fast food isn’t speedy enough, there’s FEBO, a Dutch company that operates vending machine restaurants. The eateries serve hamburgers, croquettes, and deep-fried sausages called frikandellen from automated machines. Despite being self-serve, all items are made fresh in-house.
Pizza vending machines are an Italian innovation.
If you want pizza pronto, Let’s Pizza is the vending machine of your cheesy dreams. It was invented by Claudio Torghele, a former pasta company exec who was intrigued by the vending machines he saw at US food courts.
“When people eat the pizza, they say it’s better than expected,” Torghele told Fast Company. “I’m Italian, and of course there are many pizzerias that make good pizza. But I can say this is a good pizza.”
Capable of crafting dough in 40 seconds, Let’s Pizza makes it easy to satisfy your craving for a pie.
China has vending machines that sell live crabs.
For fresh seafood on the go, China boasts vending machines that dispense live crabs. The temperature-controlled machines, which are located on streets and in subway stations, keep the crustaceans in a dormant state until people buy them. Special packaging designed to mimic a cave also helps preserve the crabs.
Each one costs the equivalent of about $3 and is accompanied by vinegar and ginger tea.