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Home-cooked Meals from Vending Machines

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

What's going on here?

  • For over 40 years, Tadashi Yoshimoto, a retired rice farmer sells his home-made curry in a vending machine. He delivers freshly made curry and rice to the machine twice a day, which means the meals are never stale. The curry and rice combo are very popular with families and truck drivers in the area.


  • He makes the curry from scratch with his own recipe and creates two different levels of spiciness - mild and medium.

  • The vending machine is kept at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celcius) to keep the food contents warm.

  • He uses his own rice from the paddy field - the type of rice he uses is called "Hinohikari."

  • He washes and soaks the rice for 15-30 minutes and cooks it for 45 minutes. The whole process, from cooking to packaging to slotting them in the machines takes 60 minutes.

  • He says that he will continue selling these packaged home-cooked meals for as long as his body and machine work. As of 8th November 2020, he is still running his business.*

Useful Vocabulary:

  • pre-packaged meals

  • twice a day

  • pack (it) in

  • home-cooked meals

  • running a business

  • at the same time

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is there such an allure to Mr. Yoshimoto's home-cooked curry rice and vending machine business? Why do people enjoy learning about the business?

  2. In your opinion, what does Mr. Yoshimoto prioritise in his business and why?

  3. Would you conduct your business in a similar manner? Why or why not?

  4. Why do you think vending machines selling food and beverages have bad reputations? What are some real advantages to vending machines? (Think about both consumers and retailers).

  5. Would it be possible for more vending machines to apply Mr. Yoshimoto's approach? Why or why not?

What are your thoughts on these questions and the video?

Leave your comments down below!

* Original source is published in a regional Japanese newspaper, which you can find here.



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