Introducing the banana vending machine

Nice bit of fresh fruit marketing innovation out of Queensland, Australia, where a major banana grower has launched a specially designed fresh banana vending machine in a Brisbane food court. This neatly bypasses traditional supply channels and supermarkets, and no doubt has a dandy premium attached. [Click pic to enlarge]

MacKays Bananas, a family-owned banana growing business, designed the ‘Banana Bar’ to hold its ‘Smart Bananas’ at the ideal temperature (12 degrees C), which it says means the bananas will “last longer and taste sweeter”, when bought from the machine.

The bananas are packed on the company’s farms in Tully, North Queensland, and delivered to the machine daily. They are packaged individually to avoid bruising the fruit.

According to MacKays Bananas, the ‘Smart Bananas’ were developed by the family two years ago, to supply selected retailers with smaller fruit that would fit ideally into lunch boxes and suit consumer demand for less of an eat.

“Consumers guided the product creation, desiring us to focus on banana size, taste, environmental impact and grower authenticity,” said Daniel MacKay, third generation farmer for Mackays Bananas.

The company said the food court – Post Office Square, Brisbane – was selected because of its large traffic flow of commuters from the central train station and its busy food court. It said sites for future vending machines will be guided by consumer response, but that possible locations include universities, hospitals, schools and other public places.

The vending machine accepts coins, notes and credit cards, according to Mackays Bananas. The bananas are available for $2 (R18) for a 3-pack, and $3 (R27) for a 5-pack.