CHICAGO -- Farmer's Fridge has begun offering a unique healthy vending concept in the Chicagoland area. The company makes its salads, sides and snacks from scratch each morning, using organic ingredients from local farms when possible. It packages them in recyclable plastic jars and delivers them to its machines by 10 a.m.
The enterprise uses touchscreen venders wrapped in reclaimed barn wood. The machines were developed by Luke Saunders, Farmer's Fridge's founder, who drew from his manufacturing background. Product images, nutrition data and ingredients are displayed in a large, easy-to-read format; patrons can purchase multiple items at once. Each machine contains a recycling bin for the empty plastic containers.
Menu selections range from a "high protein" salad -- with spinach, corn, peas, pumpkin seeds, figs, broccoli, chickpeas, shredded Parmesan and quinoa -- to heartier meals like lemon pepper chicken, baked tofu and poached salmon. Snacks and sides include Greek yogurt parfait, sliced vegetables and cauliflower fried rice.
Salads are discounted by $1 at 6 p.m. nightly. Farmer's Fridge removes the unsold salads each morning when it services the machines and donates them to a local food pantry.
Salads start at $7.99 with a weekly special "Jar Du Jour" for $6.99. All salads can be paired with proteins for $2 and salmon for $4. Snacks cost $3.
Farmer's Fridge also provides catering to businesses in the Chicago area.