Vending Machines To Sell Fresh Del Monte Produce
by Elaine Walker, The Miami Herald
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:25:31 EST

When the craving for an afternoon snack strikes, there will soon be fresh alternatives to vending machines stocked with candy bars and bags of chips.

The choice of fresh fruit and vegetable snacks will be a reality with a new vending line introduced this week by Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. at the National Automated Merchants Convention in Chicago.

The Coral Gables company had been testing the concept for several months this year in various locations around South Florida, including Miami Dade College, Burger King's corporate headquarters and the Weston Athletic Club.

"We recognized that there was a tremendous latent demand in the vending channel for healthy snack options," said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for North America at Del Monte.

"Everywhere we placed the test machines received tremendous response." The product line includes whole bananas, packaged using a Del Monte's technology that slows down the ripening process and maintainsthe yellow fruit for five days.

Other products include fresh-cut pineapple chunks, apple slices, grapes, baby carrots, celery sticks and grape tomatoes. Some of the cut fruits and vegetables are available with light dips. Prices range from $1 to $2.25 per item.

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