Vending machines aren't exactly renowned for their variety, with choices pretty much limited to chips or candy and soda or water. But according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the National Automatic Merchandising Association held its vending-machine expo in Chicago last week, and there are plenty of cool, if slightly bizarre, developments on the vending-machine front.
Among the innovations mentioned in the article:
- A new vending machine that dispenses grilled hot dogs and sausages "snuggled in soft, warm buns."
- South Beach Diet vending machines that will sell healthy, diet-approved snacks, including sugar-free Jell-O, Wheat Thins, Crystal Light, and lunch wraps.
- An Internet-connected machine that will let parents log on to limit the number of snacks their kids can buy.
Can you imagine trying to sneak a second bag of chips at lunch and being denied by parental controls? Geez. Still, my favorite has to be the hot dog machine. At first, it sounded gross, then I thought: If hot dogs from a cart are tasty, why not a vending machine? So tell me, would you eat a hot dog from a vending machine?