On the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group (9,185 members), one new discussion is a question about unattended produce sales.
From Bryan Simpson, sales manager at Sell-a-vend:
Is there a market out there for an ‘unattended’ shop for selling fresh produce? This isnt an honesty box system where produce can be stolen; it has a secure payment system and guaranteed delivery.
He further explains:
We are UK distributors of a German brand of industrial automated locker systems. The company also manufactures lockers for the produce industry. These systems can be incorporated into a bespoke construction or be situated in an existing building. There are banks of electrically powered locker units alongside a payment system which will take card or cash payments. The lockers are loaded with various items of fresh produce from the nearby farm or outlet and customers can select the products they want to purchase and make the payment without the need for the presence of an attendant. There are refrigerated and non-refrigerated units plus there are some systems which have been specifically designed for eggs.
The system is used successfully in Europe and we are looking to introduce it to the UK. I guess this is a bit of market research to introduce the idea and see if there is a requirement out there.
More and more individuals and families are looking to source their fresh produce directly from the producers or farms and I believe that this may be a route to facilitate this.
TK: I don’t know if I have seen anything like he described in the U.S. Do readers think this concept might work in the U.S.?
On The Packer Market social site (1,408 members), check out the popular “introduce yourself” discussion thread. I also ask members to give their thoughts on what the drought will mean for California produce output this year
I’ve also posted a pic of some Superfresh Autumn Glory apples that arrived in our offices last week. Checkout the changing leaderboard rankings of top members.