Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banana Vending Machine in Shibuya

By Mike in Tokyo Rogers

I read about how in the west that people are buying gold from vending machines now that their fiat currencies are dying a slow death.

In Japan, we sell something that is gold colored as well, but it's not gold; it's bananas in vending machines.

Dole has installed a banana vending machine underground at 109 in Shibuya.

Now, you might think that a banana vending machine that sells bananas for about $1.50 (USD) could sell any bananas at all due to the high price, but you would be wrong. According to a Dole spokesman, the banana vending machine is doing quite well.

I usually buy my bananas at OK store. OK sells bananas for about ¥20 each (about $0.22 cents) when you buy a bunch of four.

According to Kyodo News, the banana vending machine is doing well. Kyodo reports:

Despite the premium prices, more than 2,500 have been sold within a month.

So, how is it possible that a banana vending machine could be selling bananas at such a high price and still be doing a brisk business? Well, it's very difficult to find bananas or fruits of any kind in Shibuya. I've been there easily over 1,000 times and couldn't tell you where a grocery store is.

There are a few convenience stores, several minutes walk from 109, but most convenience stores in Japan only sell processed poison and few carry any fruits at all...

The only other option is you don't want to buy a banana for about $1.50 is to go to Starbucks. Starbucks sells bananas in Japan for ¥80 (about $0.90 cents) each.

But the average Japanese businessman doesn't want to eat a healthy banana in a place like Starbucks... I mean, where would they have their after-healthy-snack cigarette?


Dole, banana, Tokyo, Shibuya, vending machine, banana vending machine, Japanese, Mike Rogers, Marketing Japan, Mike in Tokyo Rogers, Starbucks, gold, kyodo news, 109 department store

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