The power of bacon is on display at the Animal Science building at Ohio State University.
A table inside the lobby is covered with free snacks: a tub of pretzels, a dozen or so granola bars, some gummy fruit snacks. It’s finals week at the school, but all of it was untouched. Beside the free snacks was a line of people taking photos and videos as they plunked quarters and fed dollar bills into a vending machine that sold nothing but bacon.
There are bags of bacon bits and boxes of ready-to-eat (heat in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds) slices that have been so popular since the vending machine was installed on Wednesday that, “we are restocking it four to five times a day,” said Sarah Page, a senior at Ohio state studying meat science.
“We were hoping it was going to be big,” Page said, “but it has taken off. It has exceeded all of our expectations.”
The machine is a collaboration between the Ohio Pork Council and the school. The shelf-stable bacon snacks were donated by Smithfield, Hormel and Sugardale, and the proceeds of items bought go to the meat science program. Everything in the machine costs $1.
The machine has proven as irresistible as bacon itself. Just after noon on Friday close to a dozen people stood around the machine, watching Page restock it, taking photos and videos of purchases and giggling constantly.
“I love this, just the overall Ohioness of it,” said Shay Merritte, a pre-dental student at Ohio State “Oh, and I love bacon.”
Though inventory was getting low Friday, Page said more bacon products are on the way. The vending machine will stay in the building until finals wrap up on Dec. 13.
Stories about the machine have gone national, from local TV segments, Fox News, and a spot on the Today Show.