A new breed of vending machines are offering choice butcher cuts and artisanal pizza 24/7

As contact-free sales continue to surge amid the pandemic, so has the usage of “unattended retail”—aka vending machines. But unlike the bulky boxes of yesteryear that served up burnt coffee and candy bars, the new breed of automated food delivery systems can provide everything from fresh artisanal pizzas-on-demand to vacuum-packed locally sourced meat cuts. As our “new normal” takes hold, entrepreneurs are seeing more and more opportunities, such as 24-hour airports and office buildings, for these types of kiosks to replace traditional points of food purchase. “Covid helped, I’m not going to lie. We don’t live in a 9-to-5 world anymore, people have different schedules,” a butcher with three vending machines in the New York suburbs told The Washington Post. “Of course we’re going back to ‘normal’ post-pandemic, but these things will stay because they make a lot of sense.”