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Sausage and South Beach Diet Vending Machines?

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?

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