Hit after hit! Revolutionary idea vending machine: “We want to bring you closer to people”.
From pasta to gyoza, sushi to dashi, dressing, and masks, Reiwa’s Nippon has a variety of vending machines that make full use of ideas.
Vending machine stories are also becoming a hot topic on TV information programs, as they garner high viewership ratings. Did you know that there is a man who continues to revolutionize the vending machine industry?
He has created a series of hit vending machines, including the “President’s Treat Vending Machine,” which offers free drinks when you hold up your employee ID card, and the “Bosmart,” a company cafeteria where you can even buy food from a vending machine. He is a die-hard vending machine enthusiast, saying, “I have loved vending machines so much since I was a child that I wanted to build one myself, so I joined Suntory.
Vending machines are amazing. They can be refrigerators, self-checkout machines, and places for communication. They are not just for buying drinks. They have so many more possibilities.
Whenever a hot vending machine comes out, Mr. Mori always visits the site. His smartphone camera folder is full of vending machines. Just as there are railroad fans who are “shooters,” are there vending machine enthusiasts who take pictures of vending machines to make themselves popular? Is there a point that Mr. Mori can’t get enough of “this part” and “this display” …… or not?
In my case, it’s the layout. I moe about the arrangement of buttons. Vending machines usually have three rows of buttons, but I prefer four rows.
Mr. Mori writes one idea a day on a notepad that he thinks would be interesting if such a vending machine existed. When we asked him to show us his notepad, which had turned black from the writing, he wrote “a vending machine that plays ‘That way and back again'” and “a vending machine that plays ‘knock, cover, rock-paper-scissors'”. and “A vending machine that plays rock-paper-scissors-paper. ……
The vending machine where you can’t buy anything until you play “over there” and win is a bit surreal and amusing (laughs). I want to make vending machines more like people. I want them to be warm and inviting. I want people to smile when they stand in front of a vending machine, and I aim to create a vending machine that raises the corners of their mouths, even if only by a millimeter.
Suntory has a prototype vending machine within the company that Mr. Mori is free to play around with. He tests his ideas on the prototype vending machine as soon as they occur to him. During this interview, we also found a base in Mr. Mori’s bag. He is going to put it in a prototype vending machine to test various ideas. When he has a vending machine he wants to make, he does not go through the process of writing a proposal and getting approval from his supervisor, but instead decides whether to adopt the idea after seeing the reaction of employees who actually use the prototype. If the reaction is positive, the product is realized. If it is not good enough, it is immediately rejected.
Why was Mr. Mori so obsessed with vending machines? The story goes back to a quarter of a century ago, when Mori was born.
I grew up in a rural town in Kochi Prefecture where there was no running water. There were no stores near my house, so I always went to the vending machine to buy things with my grandfather’s allowance. In the winter, I would buy a hot drink from the vending machine and on my way home from ……, I felt warm inside.”
In Mori’s hometown, vending machines are a place of “first shopping” and “last shopping ” for many people, he says. Vending machines are filled with various human dramas.
At the end of the interview, Mr. Mori gave us “vending machine trivia that you can brag to someone tomorrow” like a machine gun.
The vending machine is 183 cm tall. This is the maximum height that can be carried into a Japanese house.
The buttons on the vending machine are connected to an in-house computer. The number of drinks is controlled by the computer, and when we run out, we go to the vending machine to replenish the drinks. At 11 p.m., data on how many drinks have been sold in a day is sent from the vending machine to the computer.
The data is sent from the vending machine to the computer at 11 p.m. “By looking at the color of the vending machine, you can tell which manufacturer it belongs to. By the way, Suntory’s vending machines are blue.
Drinks that children like, such as Natchan, are on the bottom shelf, while adult-size drinks are on the top shelf.
There are a total of 36 buttons on the vending machines, but six of them are not connected to anywhere. Six of them are not connected to anywhere. They are extra buttons. Why are there six extra buttons? I tried to find out, but no one has the answer. …… is now a mystery.”
Tomorrow, we will probably look at vending machines a little differently.
Photography and text： Aida Pudding
A broadcaster who has been drifting between the worlds of television and radio for more than 15 years.