Live Crab Vending Machine Offers Fresh Shellfish On The Go

Live Crab Vending Machine Offers Fresh Shellfish On The Go

Regional snack is offered up 24/7 in China thanks to one local merchant.

Ross Brooks
  • 16 september 2013

August until October is the prime season for hairy crabs in China, and to ensure people makes the most of the season, one shop vendor has stocked a vending machine full of live crabs, available day and night.

On September 11, the vending machine stocked with live crabs appeared on a street in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province. The machine sells crabs for around 20 yuan ($3.27), along with vinegar and two bags of ginger tea, everything you would need to enjoy a home-cooked crab in China.


Mr. Liu is hoping to target people out looking for a late-night snack, especially those who may be looking for something to soak up all the alcohol they just consumed. Apart from the opportunity to capture additional sales, the vending machine is unique way for the owner to market his business when its doors are not open.

Amazingly, this isn’t the first crab vending machine in existence. In 2010, another crab vending machine appeared in a Nanjing subway station. While it was initially successful, the gimmick served better as a marketing effort than it did an actual sales tool. Either way, it seems that Mr. Liu’s new live crab dispenser is doing the trick — attracting a lot of attention for his business.



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