The latest thing to come to our vending machines in Singapore isn’t just mystery prize boxes or lottery numbers. Now, even frozen salmon fillets are accessible all over the island, dispensed through “Norwegian Salmon ATMs”.
Operated by local wholesaler Norwegian Salmon, the first vending machine made its appearance at Wisteria Mall in Yishun on 19 January 2019, proudly touted by the company as the “world’s first salmon ATM”.
Less than a month later, they’ve now unveiled a total of 12 vending machines in areas like Jurong, Clementi, Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Bedok and Kovan.
The ATMs carry just one product: 200g vacuum-packed, frozen “premium fillets” of Norwegian farmed salmon. Compared to buying frozen fillets of the same size from supermarkets (usually around $8) or even fresh fillets ($10-$12), they come at quite a steal at just $5.90 per pack.
A new convenience we never knew we needed, the ATMs let us buy frozen salmon at any time 24 hours a day, through cashless payments.
Buying frozen raw fish from a vending machine is still a new, and maybe strange, idea for many of us. One concern consumers would have is how long the salmon can be kept in the machines, and whether they will still be fresh when bought.
To ease your worries, frozen raw salmon is said to remain in its top quality for 2-3 months, but will still be safe for consumption up to 2 years in the freezer.
Norwegian Salmon’s ATMs store the frozen fillets at -20 degrees Celcius, and are all currently certified by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
However, buyers can keep a lookout to see if excessive ice crystals have formed in the packaging, which could be an indicator that the fish was defrosted and refrozen, perhaps in the event that a machine had broken down.
Creator of the ATMs, Manish Kumar, who is from Norway, is hopeful about making waves in the industry. He’s been passionate about the idea of selling salmon through vending machines since he first made a trip to Asia to promote Norwegian Salmon.
Riding the current, he’s quickly continuing what he started, already having plans to operate 50 machines by March, and at least 200 islandwide by the end of 2019.
Kumar has also told The New Paper that they will make improvements like including “a digital screen on each machine with educational information and salmon recipes” soon.
Featured Image Credit: Hardware Zone