Vending machines installed at JR Nagoya Station to reduce food waste

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Daichi Okisugi, president of Minatoku, stands in front of a vending machine that sells food close to its expiration date, in Nagoya on Oct. 29.

Vending machines selling discounted food that is close to its expiration date have been set up at JR Nagoya Station and other locations on Oct. 29 by three group companies of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central).

The machines have been installed in an effort to make the public more aware of reducing food waste.

Users have to go to a website to see the available items, which include snacks, bread and instant noodles, and make their purchases with a credit card or some other form of cashless payment. The customer will then be emailed a password, which will allow them to open the door of the vending machine to pick up their purchase.

The vending machines installed at Nagoya Umaimon Dori shopping area and on the seventh floor of Takashimaya Gatetower Mall at JR Nagoya Station can be accessed by the public. However, the vending machine at Nagoya Mariott Associa Hotel is only for the hotel staff.

The machines are operated by Tokyo-based start-up Minatoku. The company goes to manufacturers and wholesalers to collect food that is either almost expired or has damaged packaging and then sells them at a 30%-50% discount. The three in Nagoya bring the total number of these vending machines to eight nationwide. The company’s goal is to have 500 of these machines set up in the next three years.

“I hope to make these vending machines more widely known by setting them up at commercial facilities and have more people use them,” said Daichi Okisugi, president of Minatoku.

JR Central’s Katsuya Yoshizawa, the representative in charge of the machines, said, “Please use [our] station and help reduce food waste in society.”