Ready-to-eat salad from vending machine

Zalat-o-mat GmbH operates vending machines for regional products such as vegetables and salad products. Due to increasing production volumes, a KRONEN lettuce spin-dryer and a packaging solution were purchased.
Vending machines for regional vegetable products

Zalat-o-mat GmbH, Germany

Since 2016, Zalat-o-mat GmbH from the Palatinate region has been operating at several locations Vending machines for  fresh regional products such as in particular self-cultivated vegetables and lettuce. The number of vending machines, called Zalat-o-mats, is growing continuously and the shopping option, which is independent of opening hours, is becoming increasingly popular with end consumers. Due to the increasing production volumes, the acquisition of a KRONEN lettuce spin-dryer and a packaging solution was necessary to meet the growing demand.

Now available at 11 locations, customers can "draw" various fresh products from the vending machines 24/7, e.g. seasonal vegetables, ready-to-eat salad and juices as well as food products from cooperating regional suppliers. Lisa Zapf, Managing Director of Zalat-o-mat GmbH, was looking for a solution to efficiently process self-cultivated lettuce, enabling the shortest possible time between harvest and sale.  This should ensure that the vending machines are always sufficiently supplied with freshly harvested, washed and packed lettuce .

For 12 years already, the family business has been using a GEWA washing machine to wash various products and especially the various types of lettuce. This is now complemented by a KS-7 PLUS lettuce and vegetable spin-dryer and a KWT 16 weighing table and platform with a single-head weigher, combined with a CP 350 PLUS Form Fill and Seal Packaging Machine .

Before the purchase decision, Lisa Zapf familiarized herself intensively with the packaging machines available on the market, which in particular had to meet two criteria: a small to medium processing capacity is sufficient for the family business and it was particularly important to produce the most space-saving pack sizes possible for lettuce at 100g, 300g and 500g, as the limited sales area of the vending machines is to be optimally exploited.

At the Fruit Logistica trade fair in February 2020, she then found what she was looking for at the KRONEN stand and, together with Heiko Schönbroich, KRONEN Sales Manager for Southern Germany, the packaging solution was adjusted to the specific requirements of space-saving packaging . The acquisition of the lettuce spin-dryer and packaging solution has enabled the optimization of processing operations, so that the approx. 300 kg of lettuce are now processed efficiently and the promise of freshness can still to be kept with increasing sales volumes. In addition, the solution is flexible and can be used for different products such as pluck lettuce, lamb's lettuce, spinach or even rocket, as well as other products, and other pack sizes for sale to resellers can also be produced due to the flexible adjustment.

With the KRONEN machines, the family-run company is now equipped for the careful and fast processing of the salad products and is well prepared for the commissioning of more automatic machines.

Image source: Lisa Zapf/ Zalat-o-mat GmbH