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Did you ever have a fake ID growing up? I never did because I was too scared of getting caught. (I’m no McLovin.)
I was thinking about this illicit behavior because it looks like booze-dispensing vending machines could be on the verge of becoming a real thing. And where there is booze sitting in an unattended machine, there is a high schooler somewhere, figuring out some way to fool it.
Yesterday, we wrote a post about the Winecab Wine Wall, an automated wine storage, catalog and recommendation system. While the biggest version of Wine Wall clocks in at 15 feet and holds 600 bottles of vino, I was more intrigued by the much smaller, six-foot version that is “coming soon.”
This petite machine for your petite Syrahs looks a lot like a vending machine. And though the company only touts the Wine Wall for personal use (you know, for the people who can afford a $249,000 robotic wine sommelier), it’s really not hard to envision one of these machines in a hotel or grocery store or even small restaurant. Any place, basically, that wants to offer a curated wine experience without paying a human sommelier.
The problem, of course, would be preventing minors from getting their grubby mitts on the pinot grigio. How would a wine vending machine validate the age of the buyer?
The answer to that may lie in the far less high-falutin’ beer vending machine that PanPacific debuted last year. It did age verification through a combination of account registration and biometrics.
Would people want to hand over personal information like a fingerprint (or face, or finger-vein) data just so they could grab a Michelob Light anytime of day from a machine?
But boozey vending machines are becoming more of a reality, and this, in turn is creating very real new opportunities for alcohol retail. With their small footprints, unattended beer and wine (and more!) vending machines could sit, well, almost anywhere, selling booze around the clock. Whether or not this is a good thing for society is a different question altogether, but it’s one we’re going to have to grapple with, because it’s not something we’ll be able to fake our way through.
Beyond Meat Beefs Up its Offerings
Fake meat has become a very real business over the past couple of years. Plant-based burgers and sausages are better than ever and remarkably close to the “real” thing.
The two biggies in the plant-based meat game, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, have been locked in tit-for-tat battle over the past year, going back and forth with competing news announcements.
Beyond seems to have saved what could be its biggest news for the end of the year. The company announced this week that it is updating it’s signature Beyond burger patty. There will be two new versions: a meatier, juicier patty, and a more nutritious patty.
I say it’s the biggest because the company is messing with its current cash cow. What if the improvements are the New Coke of plant-based meat? Just because you can make tweaks to your formula doesn’t mean you should.
We’re cautiously optimistic, but we’ll have to wait to find out. The new burgers don’t arrive until early 2021.
Mealhero Raises €2.5M for Its Frozen Meals-by-Mail Service – The Belgium-based company says it’s quadrupled its customer base and doubled the number of orders since the pandemic.
Terra Kaffe Raises $4 Million for It’s Pod-Free Grind and Brew Coffee Maker – The superautomatic coffee machine sells direct to consumer.
The Delivery Hero-Woowa Bros. Merger Faces Antitrust Hurdles – The merger would give Delivery Hero an 87 percent stake in Woowa, and the combined user bases of the two would make up 98.7 percent of the entire restaurant food delivery market in South Korea.
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop Adds Miso’s Flippy Robot to its Automat Concept – The restaurant is also looking to franchise up to 1,000 locations.
New Restaurant Restrictions Put the Value of Restaurant Tech to the Test – One difference this time around is that unlike in March, restaurants have more tools at their disposal when it comes to fulfilling off-premises orders.