Vending hot ready meals from frozen products

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ooft vending machines will heat frozen ready meals
Ooft vending machines will heat frozen ready meals

Related tags: Food, Vending machine

A new vending machine, which produces hot meals from frozen products, will be launched on to the market over the next two months, according to the ceo of Bidvest Foodservice, the company behind the innovation.

Hot food vending machines have been available from a range of suppliers, such as Italian company Bicom, plus the likes of Hallmark Vending and Revive in the UK, for a number of years. However, while they are popular in countries such as Italy, Asia and the US, they haven’t really caught on in the same way so far in the UK.

But Bidvest Foodservice’s ceo Andrew Selley hopes the SmartScreen technology incorporated in his company’s vending machines could change that by encouraging visitors to the nation’s hospitals, train stations, hotels and music festivals to try out a different way of consuming hot and frozen food and drink.

Bidvest Foodservice in the UK, which is owned by South African international services, trading and distribution parent company Bidvest, employs around 4,500 people and operates from 25 locations across Britain.

SmartScreen innovation

Working in conjunction with a Brighton-based developer of SmartScreens, Bivest Foodservice has developed a vending machine called Ooft, a development of its SmartStore vending machine, which features innovative consumer interfacing technology.

It will be capable of heating 15 ambient ready meals in just two minutes, as well as dispensing other ambient, chilled and frozen foods, including desserts such as ice cream.

Speaking at the British Frozen Food Federation’s annual conference last Tuesday (March 1), Selley described his company’s approach to innovation. Bivest Foodservice markets a range of four own-brand products: ‘Everyday Favourites’, ‘Premium Selection’ and ‘Farmstead’ and ‘Essential supplies’, which covers non-food items.

“Yes, innovation is sexy; innovation is exciting, but you’ve got to have some structure behind it,” ​said Selley. “We are trying to find partnerships with innovative entrepreneurs.”

The new Ooft vending machines, which have been trialled at a naval station, are capable of meeting variable demand for food and drink, 24 hours a day. They are likely to be targeted at a range of outlets: everything from offices and hospitals to music festivals, said Selley.

Ooft vending machines

He added that the appeal of the new Ooft vending machines will be the extended capability of foods it is able to dispense, together with the visual difference of SmartStore to conventional vending machines. The Ooft name apparently derives form noise some people make when they pick up something hot, said Selley.

“The key point of difference on it is a 27-inch touchscreen, which is a touchscreen when you are operating it,”​ said Selley.

“But when you are not operating it, it’s an advertising medium where you can do visualsof the food when it’s heated and cooked and all nicely presented. So that will be quite a big draw.”

Related topics: Frozen, Services

Related news

Show more

Related products

Made for Trade – The International Trade Report

Made for Trade – The International Trade Report

Walker Morris | 23-Dec-2021 | Technical / White Paper

In the latest report from Walker Morris, 'Made for Trade – The International Trade Report', we provide insight and investigation into the challenges...

Carbon Reduction for Large Energy Users

Carbon Reduction for Large Energy Users

ESB Energy | 12-Nov-2021 | Product Brochure

ESB Energy Business Solutions can help you meet your companies carbon targets by 2050. We offer a range of sustainable tailored solutions to reduce the...

Related suppliers

3 comments

what about the tray type ? what about the lid specifications

Posted by Yan Mashov,

It will be very interesting to get the information about the tray that the company plan to use for this solution.
I think that this tray is C-PET or APET.
What about the lid film ? Is it laser perforated - should it be with the self-venting system that will let the steam to go out during the MV heating? What about the sealing - Easy peel or locked?Do they plan to use transparent lid or printed?

Report abuse

Re: Iain

Posted by Laura Davis,

Hi Iain, I can't comment on this particular product, but Westomatic Vending Services provide a hot food option for 24 hour vending. The food is cooked at pressure and vacuum sealed for a shelf-life of 1 year. There is no requirement for the cost of running a freezer 24 hours a day, or the risk of a very messy breakdown. Please do get in contact to find out more.

Report abuse

Hot meal vending

Posted by Iain Renaud,

Sounds interesting, when and where will we be able to view the machine?
Have you got a proposed list of meals and roughly what price

Report abuse

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars

PRODUCTS & SERVICES