July 6, 2018
Tokyo- Suntory Beverage Solution Ltd. said Thursday that it has started a service with Gurunavi Inc. to deliver "bento" boxed lunch ordered through vending machines in offices.
In the service, which began in central Tokyo, people press a vending machine button after a payment to get a delivery from a nearby eatery picked by Gurunavi, an online restaurant information provider.
Suntory Beverage Solution hopes that the service, intended for busy workers who cannot go out for lunch, will help reverse falling demand for drinks sold via vending machines.
In the service, called Takuben, the meal is delivered by noon if the order is made by 10 a.m. Purchasers get a 10-yen discount token for a drink sold on the vending machine, each time they order.
Vending machines for the service have already been installed in some offices. Suntory Beverage Solution aims to boost the number to 1,000 units.
According to a Tokyo-based beverage industry research company, drink sales through vending machines in 2017 fell nearly 30 pct from 20 years ago amid intensifying competition from convenience stores.
Beverage companies are trying to shore up sales through novel vending machines, including those that have built-in security cameras and umbrellas beside the machines for people to use for free. Jiji Press
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