Japan is no stranger to vending machines. From drinks, cup noodles, ramen to manga, and even underwear—you name it, they serve it in Japan.
But one Japanese agricultural giant beat out every other genius who might be thinking of a new product to add to the expansive list you can buy from a vending machine and introduced its own tomato-regurgitating contraption.
Kagome Co recently installed the bright red vending machine, emblazoned with the slogan “tomato loading,” at a popular running route near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. The Nagoya-based food company said it wants to promote the tomato’s high nutritional value, particularly to runners, ahead of the Tokyo Marathon on February 23.
“I recommend runners have one after jogging to supply nutrition,” an executive at Kagome was quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun.
The machine offers two sizes of tomatoes: a 280-gram bag goes for ¥400 and a 180-gram bag for ¥300 yen. Kagome said stock is replaced every other day to ensure freshness.
Tomatoes are rehydrating, nutrient-repleneshing and healthier option for runners instead of energy bars or sports drinks, Kagome said, which has been a sponsor of the Tokyo Marathon since last year. It plans to distribute twice as many tomatoes this year.
While bananas and sliced apples are already served in vending machines, tomato vending machines are uncommon, the Japan Automatic Merchandising Association said.
There are currently around 5.5 million vending machines in Japan, or one for every 23 people in the country, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
By Maesie Bertumen