Milk vending machines’ popularity has increased across Europe and the UK in recent years, and one Irish-based firm, Nesty, is among those driving the trend.
The Irish farmer-owned company that operates from New Ross, Co. Wexford supplies Bainne Bot across Ireland with full service and maintenance provided by its team of 40+ technicians.
Bainne Bot is a user-friendly milk vending machine with a 200 or 400-litre capacity that sells fresh milk 24/7 directly to the public, with an integrated option for delivering flavoured milk.
Nesty supplies modular automated retail systems for use in delivering fresh milk, hot, ambient, chilled, or frozen food.
Milk vending machines
Speaking to That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, Tomás Young, said:
“Farmers can now sell their milk, a top-quality product, directly to the public and earn a much higher income than creamery companies pay for their milk. In the Republic of Ireland, the return on investment is generally less than two years.”
“A small portion of a farmer’s daily milk production is diverted from the bulk tank and pasteurised on the farm, transferred into sealed milk tanks, and inserted into vending machines located either on their farm or in popular satellite locations off the farm.”
“People love the taste of pasteurised, un-homogenised milk, which retains all the flavour and nutrition that used to be delivered to your door many years ago.”
“People are more aware than ever before about eating fresh products, supporting local jobs, and reducing the road miles of the products they consume and removing plastics where possible from the food chain.”
“The nutritional benefits of fresh, un-homogenised milk appeal greatly to runners, cyclists, GAA / Sports players of all levels. The general public is paying more attention since Covid of what they are putting into their bodies, where it is coming from as they desire to live better.”
- 200 litre (single dispensing machine) or 400 litres (double dispenser);
- With or without an integrated syrup dispenser for milkshakes / flavoured milk;
- Cashless payment method or can also accept coins and notes (cashless recommended);
- In-line pasteuriser with 500 litres per hour capacity;
- Bainne Pod – Converted shipping containers to be used for pasteurising process or retail version;
- Nationwide service and back-up with next day on-site technician when required.
The entry-level milk vending machine costs just €13,950, and a double milk vending machine (which is two independent machines side by side) is €19,950.
It is selling a pasteuriser and a separate vending machine to sell bottles (and other products) through its one-stop-shop for milk producers who want to diversify their income and start a milk vending business.
According to the company, machine running costs are similar to a domestic fridge and then a small element of labour for stocking up the machine.
“Our vending machines are modular, so as the farmer sees their business growing, they can easily add extra machines to offer more products to their customer base.”
“Milk vending machines are very popular now as people become more aware of the income they can generate for their farm and family by selling directly to their customers.”
“Sales from milk vending machines vary from 200 – 500L on an average day, with 600-700L selling during busy weekends. The profile the farmer builds up around their milk vending business on social media has a corresponding influence on their sales figures.”
“We are seeing demand countrywide from male and female commercially savvy farmers who want to get out of having to commute to off-farm jobs to allow them to spend more time at home with young children, yet still have that income coming in. Also, it ticks many boxes for succession planning on farms.”
The firm’s mission is to be the market leader in retail automation, and its main aim is to allow farmers to achieve a higher price for their product using automation.
It urges dairy farmers interested in diversifying their income and seeing “real value” for the world-class milk to consider investing in a milk vending machine.
The firm claims that it can help families resolve issues around multi-generation challenges where parents and children can add another “layer” of income to the farm account.
“These machines can deliver more than the average industrial wage extra to their enterprise without buying any additional cows or land,” the firm claims.
“We are noticing people of all ages who grasp this concept and are excited. Also, farmer’s brothers and sisters, friends, and neighbours are seeing this as a bolt-on business for themselves even if they do not currently farm at the moment.”
Diversifying and increasing the farm income are among the main benefits that Young highlighted.
He noted that establishing a farm shop business that can grow exponentially over time as new products are added to those for sale, e.g., cream, butter, yoghurt, ice-cream, cheese, eggs, baking products, coffee, chocolate, drinks, arts and craft items, can provide an opportunity to be a “real” benefit to the community.
He said this could be a local ‘co-op’ and focal point for the sale of local artisan producers of food or craft goods.
Overall, the company aims to allow farmers and retail outlets to deliver the “finest of Irish products to customers faster than ever through the power of automation”.
Its first machines arrived this year, and it expects to install 15-20 of these this year and 40+ in 2023.
In time, the firm intends to expand into the pharmaceutical and retail sectors to give businesses 24/7 opening hours.