Schools Put Carrot-Only Vending Machines In Cafeteria

Students at two high schools — one in Cincinnati, OH, the other in Syracuse, NY — are guinea pigs for a new program that’s trying to change the way young people look at veggies, by marketing and selling carrots like they’re junk food.

The school each recently installed vending machines in their cafeterias that only sell 3-oz. bags of baby carrots for fifty cents a bag. The bags themselves (see above photo) are designed to look more like the packaging you’d see for foods like potato chips.

Says the Asst. Principal of the Ohio school of the students’ response to the new venture:

They responded right away… I don’t think the carrots had been in there a full hour before students started buying some of them.

One of the things I wanted to get out of it was an educational component. We got our entrepreneur classes involved. They’re actually competing against each other. There are three groups coming up with three ad campaigns to see who sells the most carrots.

The carrots aren’t just on sale during lunch hours, but at all hours of the day.

During the two-month test period for these vending machines, all the proceeds from the sales of the carrots go to the schools. California-based A Bunch Of Carrot Farmers, the group behind the carrot campaign, will also be paying for the utilities bills associated with the machines.

It’s unclear what’s going to happen at the end of the two months, but the carrot folks are hoping it goes beyond just being an experiment:

Our absolute intent would be to expand it to more schools… We’re all grappling with the same thing, how to help kids have healthier diets, especially during snack time.

In addition to the school vending machines, these snazzily packaged carrots are being sold at stores like Kroger, Meijer and Walmart.

Mason puts vending machine carrots to test []