Are cheese vending machines the next frontier?

June 20, 2024
In France, Slovakia and even at a small dairy in Philadelphia, cheese vending machines offer consumers a contactless way to purchase fresh dairy products whenever the urge strikes.

Refrigerated vending machines have been for more than cold drinks since nearly their inception, but refrigerated vending machines for dairy-fresh cheeses are not widely installed.

Cheese to go with your baguette

In France, 24-hour cheese dispensers have been introduced to cater to the cravings of food enthusiasts at any time.

The vending machines, which are being installed in train stations, village squares and motorway stops, are stocked daily with artisanal cheeses like camembert and reblochon.

According to The Daily Mail article, the idea for the cheese dispensers was inspired in part by the success of similar dispensers for pizzas, oysters and baguettes. The fresh-product vending machines were initially popularized during the pandemic because shoppers serve themselves without masking or entering a shop.

The machines are supported by regional producers seeking new ways to distribute their protected designation of origin (AOC) cheeses, ensuring freshness with built-in refrigeration. They are particularly valued in rural areas where local shops are scarce, providing access to quality products without the need to travel long distances.

Artisanal dairy in Philly adds vending

In Philadelphia, Perrystead Dairy, a local cheesemaker has added a 24-hour cheese vending machine outside of its creamer.

According to a Travel+Leisure article, owner Yoav Perry aimed to provide "immediate satisfaction" to cheese lovers, no matter the hour, and was inspired by the European cheese and local-food vending traditions.

The machine outside of Perrystead Dairy offers a number of the dairy’s artisanal cheeses alongside charcuterie and cheese boards.

Syromats offer cheeses, milks, yogurts, butter and ghee

Finally, take a look at one man’s video tour of Slovakia’s cheese vending machines.

About the Author

Linda Becker | Editor-in-Chief

Linda Becker is editor-in-chief of Automatic Merchandiser and She has more than 20 years of experience in B2B publishing, writing, editing and producing content for magazines, websites, webinars, podcasts, newsletters and eBooks, primarily for manufacturing and process engineering audiences. Since joining Automatic Merchandiser and, Linda has developed a new appreciation for the convenience services industry and the essential role it plays. She is dedicated to serving readers by covering the latest news in the vending, office coffee service and micro market industry. She can be reached at 262-203-9924 or [email protected].