Get Your Leafy Veggies and Herbs From a Vending Machine

This startup makes getting fresh vegetables as easy as grabbing a snack.

Vertically grown leafy greens.

(Pressmaster /

You can buy a lot of things from a vending machine including coffee, soft drinks, and snack food. But how many vending machines can give you freshly grown greens?

An Israeli startup is working on a special vending machine – called a Produce Integrated Cultivation Instrument (PICI) that actually grows healthy and high-quality leafy vegetables inside, according to nocamels. And the best part is that it can do it faster than growing greens in the field.

Growing greens
The vending machine from replantin, a startup located in the heart of Tel Aviv, contains multiple shelves that each hold different types of leafy greens and herbs. Each shelf allows for varying conditions to optimize meeting the needs of the plant varieties.

“Once [the seed] has sprouted, the climate and other conditions change gradually and the shelf will automatically enter into the different stages of growing,” replantin’s founder and CEO Guy Elitzur told nocamels. 

This unique vending machine also contains an irrigation system that pumps water in and out of the shelves several times a day. This supplies the plants with just the right amount of water.

 An artificial intelligence (AI) powered camera carefully monitors the growth and condition of each plant. If the plant is ready to be consumed, it is allowed to be dispensed. It’s like a small factory that grows and supplies the produce,” Elitzur said. 

The PICI has other benefits too. Because the machine is filled with seeds inside of capsules and not whole plants, it makes shipping cheaper, storage easier, and avoids damaging plants in transit.

Why self-contained vending machines?
The startup was founded in early 2023, after Elitzur, realized that the greens grown globally wither quickly to travel a long distance to get to market and to consumers. The greens often do not arrive in peak freshness. “These types of crops need to be kept in the refrigerator and have a short life, which is an issue,” he said.

Elitzur believes that with increased urbanization and climate change, current agricultural methods and the food supply chain from seeds to harvest has to be changed. That is the core mission of replantin, according to a news release from the company.

The PICI unit will consolidate the fresh produce chain to reduce food waste and bring fresh greens to the consumer as quickly as possible. That’s why the vending machines were developed as a way to grow fresh greens where the end users are; in supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, and hospitals.

This will free up farmers to use their fields to grow other needed vegetables in a more efficient and sustainable way, like vertical farming, Elitzur told nocamels.  Adding, “We truly believe that vertical farming is part of the solution and that we are trying to be part of this. The sky’s the limit.”

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