Four students volunteered to manage the machine and work with the Ohio Pork Council. The machine was stocked with donated packages of bacon from Smithfield, Hormel and Sugardale. The bacon was prepared and ready to eat as packaged and sold for $1. All proceeds of bacon sales were returned to the Meat Science Club to be used for future projects.
BACON TAKES CAMPUS
After weeks prepping the media for its release, the Ohio Pork Council dropped the machine off at the Animal Science Building. Winters said they had been conducting digital advertisements in the campus area to spread the word, so they were anticipating engagement from students. The machine officially launched Dec. 4.
Page was shocked by the attention the vending machine drew.
“I figured the ag kids would love it, but there were tons of people that came over from central campus to check it out!” Page said.
According to Page, students planned on checking in three times each day, but it turned out the machine would need restocked twice as often. The bacon was so popular, they completely ran out by the weekend.
The students contacted Winters and shared the predicament on Friday, which led to a chaotic bacon shipment. Winters made last-minute arrangements to pick up product and then met the students for a late-night stocking session.
This project was led by an optimistic team, but no one predicted this level of success and popularity. Retrieving more bacon was worth it to Winters because it proved how beloved the machine was becoming.
MORE THAN JUST MEAT
Throughout this project, Ohio State students had the opportunity to actively work with the Ohio Pork Council and the three bacon donors, as well as Meat Science Club advisor and Ohio State professor, Lyda Garcia.
“As a meat science major, we try to find a niche of what people want and will pay for,” Page said.
Created with an image by Donald Giannatti - "untitled image"