The Japanese vending machine is a phenomenon. Travellers on their first visit to the country are often left stunned by the selection, and it’s not unusual to see tourists taking photographs of funky booths that will serve you anything from eggs to a clean shirt, and of course every kind of canned coffee you can imagine.

As you go outside the main cities, some vending machines work on an honour system, whereby you give what you think is a fair price for the goods. The systems have worked, and now perhaps have served as inspiration for a new initiative by Nestlé.

Nestlé Japan is tacking food wastage, by taking short-dated goods, such as coffee, tea and their famous KitKat bars (a bar the Japanese love so much, they’ve made around 300 different flavours, including Sake, Matcha Tea, Roasted Soyabean, Lychee, and more).

The company collaborated with Minatoku Corp, which helps manage food wastage in the country, and together they came up with a set of unique vending machines that distribute products that are past their ‘best before’ dates, but still safe to eat.


Aiming to reduce food loss, we would like to create a mechanism to deliver products to consumers in a sustainable manner without wasting coffee beans and cacao beans produced by farmers as much as possible. –

Five of these unmanned vending machines will be placed in three prefectures, giving away Nescafe Excella bottled coffee, instant coffee sticks, KitKat’s and other tea products.

When you want to purchase a product, you have to the company website, pay online and you will receive a code which the machine scans and dispenses the product.

So far the company has rolled out Food Loss vending machines at Kiralys Hakodate (Hakodate City, Hokkaido), Shinjuku Post Office (Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo), Nescafe Harajuku (Shibuya Ward, Tokyo), JR Gate Tower (JR Nagoya Station) (Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture), and Chugoku Electric Power Company Headquarters (Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture).

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