It’s relatively cheap to change the package on a bag of of fresh carrots. It’s more expensive to design a machine that sells unbruised bananas.
But dispensing fresh produce comes with a particular set of challenges. Fruits and vegetables spoil a lot more quickly than a bag of pretzels. They cost more to stock and carry a higher price tag. Getting the temperature right is tricky, too: Bananas need to be stored at a higher temperature than cantaloupe to stay fresh. And then there’s the bruising issue: A banana can easily get squished from the 4-foot fall from a machine’s top shelf…The new machine—which is already in some schools—sells for more than $5,000 compared to about $3,000 for a typical machine.
More in the WSJ.