Processors are discovering new opportunities using strategically placed meat vending machines. 

Back in mid-May, Rick Reams stirred coast-to-coast news coverage when he installed a refrigerated meat vending machine in front of his Hudson, Wisconsin, RJ’s Meats shop. News of the innovative shopping convenience hit the major news networks and print media throughout the land, and a few other lands as well.

“I had calls from as far away as Australia and people were stopping by to take ‘selfie’ photos with the device,” Reams says. “But the most meaningful event was when I realized it was being used 1,000 times in the first two months.”

Reams notes there were 100 purchases on Father’s Day and that he spent plenty of time on Memorial Day and over the July 4 holiday keeping the machine stocked.

“At this pace, I’m looking at a payback for this investment within two years,” he says. “Maybe about 10 percent of those using it did so because they chose not to wait in line inside our store, but at times the line was six-deep at the machine.”