Singapore vending machines now dispense Norwegian salmon, crab, and Wagyu beef

Manish Kumar with Norwegian Salmon ATM. Photo: Tim Mcdonald

Business reporter Tim McDonald from BBC News, Singapore has explored the various vending machines in Singapore that seem to be on the rise and it’s not only Norwegian Salmon and sliced Wagyu Beef that’s available.

Although drinks and snacks still dominate the displays in vending machines, the variety is increasing to offer bread, curry puffs, freshly cooked pizza, freshly squeezed orange juice, and even cooked chili crab, a famously messy local favorite.

According to Tim McDonald, Market research firm Euromonitor, vending machine revenues in Singapore have been increasing about 15 percent over the past five years from $91 million in 2014 to $104.5 million in 2019.

To some vending entrepreneurs, the vending machines cut away some obvious competition which makes other products stand out more and that’s exactly the case with Norwegian Salmon. According to Manish Kumar, the managing director of Norwegian Salmon, the vending machines offer him his own retail space and that means that his frozen products aren’t placed next to fresh salmon, which is more popular in Singapore.

He explained to Tim McDonald that in the beginning, Singaporeans did not exactly know what to think of the oddly specific products in the vending machines but that the locals are now starting to come around to the idea. Currently, there are 110 machines around Singapore but he believes that there are enough customers in Singapore to support 900 special vending machines. Adding, “It’s 24/7, contactless, safe to buy, safe to eat. No need to go to any superstore. Social distancing is there. In six seconds, you get your product. You go.”

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