In Shanghai, China an entrepreneur has created the worlds first floral vending machine. They have been in operation at 2 metro stations for just over a month now & no, they have not been very successful so far.
Each machine holds 12 bouquets and boxes of flowers. The flowers are kept fresh by controlling the temperature and the moisture within the machine. The machines are checked every two days by a worker who replaces sold items and spoiled blooms.
The general public however has not bought into the idea, yet.
“If my boyfriend buys me flowers from a vending machine I wouldn’t be happy” said one woman. “It means he hasn’t put much effort into preparing the gift”.
A male commuter questioned the freshness of the flowers. “I will consider buying them from machines only during emergencies, like if I forget a family members birthday and can’t think of anything else quickly that is easy to get”.
Another commuter also expressed concerns over the freshness of the blooms. “I’m not sure how long the flowers have been kept there, and they are not cheap!”
Hmmm, maybe some signage on the vending machines explaining the quality control would help?
The system is called Modified Atmosphere Packaging, it apparently keeps the flowers fresher for longer? This method removes all the oxygen which allows carbon dioxide levels rise which in turn slows down the respiration of the flowers. Apparently once you unpack them, trim the stems and immerse them in water they “wake up”. Unlike the vending machines mentioned above, the response from those who received flowers using this method is that the flowers are gorgeous but do drink an awful lot of water for the first few days. No one has mentioned the longevity of these blooms, makes me wonder…
Personally, I think I’ll stick to keeping my flowers in water!