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Bloomberg reports that "Japan’s ailing vending machine industry is looking to indulgences like caviar and fresh sashimi to stymie its decades-long decline.

"Aided by the pandemic push for minimizing contact with others, food-dispensing machines have emerged as a rare spark of growth for the sector. The offerings are far more exclusive than packaged snacks like chips and chocolate, though: the high-tech machines, which stand about 6-feet tall, allow customers to buy frozen and chilled versions of their favorite dishes from Michelin Guide-listed soup noodles to sashimi, wagyu steak and even caviar."

KC's View:

One of the things that the story points out is that in Japan there continues to be reluctance to go out, with a lot of consumers still concerned about Covid-19.  And, there are problems with restaurants having enough staffing even to handle reduced traffic.

And so, the new high-tech vending machines may be a way for some businesses to stay viable … which is why the manufacturers are looking for ways to expand their offerings.

We're saying the same thing here, to some degree, with robots that can make pizzas and lattes.  

I think there are roles for all these innovations … they won't be for everyone, everywhere … but there will be plenty of places where they will be both relevant and appropriate.