Heading down to the local convenience store on a hot summer day and buying an icy beverage bigger than your head has been an American tradition for many years. But sometimes you just want something a little different — perhaps something warmer, and smothered in meaty gravy. At least that's what 7-Eleven appears to have in mind with these almost too-ridiculous-to-be-real mashed potato dispensers.
The machines were created by Maggi, a food and condiment company that is popular in Europe and parts of Asia. Maggi sells instant mash potato powder that can be purchased in stores and made at home, but that clearly wasn't convenient enough for 7-Eleven customers. When activated, the machine mixes the powder with water, squirts out the steaming-hot mashed potato mix, and even tops it with some creamy gravy.
The hearty treat costs just a dollar or two, and some 7-Eleven stores even pair their potato tubs with soft drinks, ensuring that you can eat an lunch that has been dispensed from a small tube. We of course can't vouch for the flavor of the powdered potato product, but at least it looks like mashed potatoes.
It's one of the strangest food dispensers we've ever seen, but apparently remains popular enough to warrant its continued existence. The machines are apparently a regular fixture in many 7-Elevens overseas — particularly in Singapore — but are sparse here in the United States. We spoke with a 7-Eleven representative who couldn't provide any detailed information about the machine itself, but noted that each 7-Eleven owner is responsible for requesting such hardware for their specific locations.
The representative wasn't able to tell us if the company is making any kind of a push to get the instant tater hardware in more of its stores, but if it is, maybe they'd be better off waiting until Thanksgiving. Imagine the line that would form on November 22 as procrastinating chefs line up to fill tubs with the hot and ready holiday staple.
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