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East Japan hog farm trots out meat vending machine for all-day pork purchases

Kondo Swine Pork's newly installed vending machine and President Takayuki Kondo are seen in the city of Maebashi on Nov. 29, 2021. (Mainichi/Naomichi Senoo)

MAEBASHI -- A pig farming company in this east Japan city is now offering its popular local pork produce around the clock after installing a meat vending machine in front of its store.

    The vending machine was installed outside Kondo Swine Pork's main branch in the Gunma Prefecture capital of Maebashi on Nov. 29, a date otherwise known as "good meat day" because in Japanese 11 and 29 can be pronounced in sequence as "ii niku" -- "good meat" in English.

    It sells eight types of product costing 700 yen (about $6.20) to 1,950 yen (some $17.20), including sausages, bacon, and barbecue ingredients sets provided in anticipation of demand from campers on nearby Mount Akagi.

    The company keeps some 3,000 pigs and has been offering products including additive-free sausages made from its pork through mail order and at events since 2014. Though it also began selling items at the storefront in 2016, it could open only on Tuesdays and Fridays because staff are busy feeding and shipping pigs every day.

    Inquiries about storefront sales outside Tuesdays and Fridays, and the emergence amid the coronavirus pandemic of more vending machines across Japan selling various food items, prompted the company to introduce the machine, which can freeze items at near minus 20 degrees Celsius.

    President Takayuki Kondo, 43, said, "Customers can buy our products any time of the day. We hope they enjoy our delicious local pork."

    (Japanese original by Naomichi Senoo, Maebashi Bureau)

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