Australian fruit growers the Mackay family launched its ‘City Pantry’ at Queensland’s Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on 18 August, with a banana vending machine, Fruitbar vending machine and now a salad-filled and ready-made meal vending machine.
“The idea is that its like a cupboard at home where you can go and find a range of foods that will keep you going, allowing staff that work in a 24-hour workplace to have the option of eating something other than readily available soft drinks or packets of chips – that’s the challenge the hospital gave us,” Mike Evans of Fresh Partners, who works alongside Mackay’s, told Fruitnet.
Stocked with bananas, microwavable meals like roasts, salads and yoghurts, Evans says it also offers a chance to keep tabs on when people eat which foods.
“We need to make fresh fruit more available, and we’ve already lost ground to other products,” Evans said. “Fruit really is a snack, but most people don’t have regular access to fresh fruit.”
There are now 13 Fruitbar and banana vending machines operating across Brisbane.