SEOUL, March 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Despite a 24.3 percent jump in sales of livestock products last year, big five convenience store chain CU is not resting on its laurels, and has decided to try selling fresh meat through a vending machine.
CU announced on March 22 that it will place an “IoT Smart Vending Machine” that sells hanwoo – premium South Korean beef favored for its generous streaks of marbling – and domestically sourced pork at its store in the neighborhood of Samsong, Goyang City.
Unlike typical butchers or large supermarkets, the vending machine dispenses both beef and pork in small packages of 300g, well-suited for the needs of single-person households or as a meal for two.
CU said the idea to try the vending machine, which sells top quality meat for making bulgogi, soup, and other highly popular dishes, was inspired by a rapidly growing consumer trend of “grocery shopping at the convenience store” taking root amongst South Koreans.
Integrated with IoT technology, the vending machine’s internal refrigerator temperature, humidity and even the meat’s expiration dates can be checked from a mobile app.
The machine was jointly developed by KT, Alpha Meat Korea and Nonghyup.
The big five convenience store chains are CU, GS25, 7-Eleven, Emart24 and Ministop. As of late July, CU had the highest number of locations in the country, followed closely by GS25.