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Oysters | © Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble / Flickr
Oysters | © Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble / Flickr
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There’s Now An Oyster Vending Machine in France

Picture of Kathryn Maier
NYC Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 4 August 2017
Oyster farmers on a small French island are really exploring the potential of vending machines.

Tony and Brigitte Berthelot, oyster farmers on the island of Ile de Re off the country’s west coast, found that customers often wanted to buy oysters past their business’s closing time.

Their solution? Installing a 24-hour vending machine, meaning customers can now buy fresh oysters at any time of the day or night, according to Reuters. The machine is refrigerated and restocked daily, and the oysters are sold closed, alleviating concerns about food poisoning.

The oysters sell for the same price as they do when the store is open, starting at about $8 per dozen. The machine has glass panels, so you can see exactly what you’re buying and choose from different types. And if you call or text during store hours to preorder, your batch can be customized with additional options like sea asparagus or pâté; you’ll be given a code to enter at the machine.

This seems like an eyebrow-raiser, even for France—a country that has vending machines that dispense fresh baguettes and even short stories for your commute. The country still has a way to go before it catches up with Japan’s legendary vending machine culture, though.