Farmer's Fridge

Good news for Concordians seeking food on the spot that doesn’t contain the equivalent of a full day’s caloric count.


Vending of the future has made its way to Concordia University Wisconsin with Farmer’s Fridge, a farm-to-vendor start-up based out of Chicago. Concordia is among the first three universities in the state to partner with the company to offer healthy food options at the click of a few buttons.

The fridge, which is located near The Landing, is daily stocked with salads, sandwiches, and other assorted healthy meals that are made fresh in a Chicago-area kitchen and then delivered to the machine. The meals can be purchased using cash or credit card, and they range in price from $4 to $9.

As students continue to use the fridge, the Smart machine “learns” the buyer’s habits. Farmer’s Fridge is then able to stock the fridge with farm fresh ingredients that the individual wants. Whatever is not purchased gets unloaded and dropped off at needs shelters in Milwaukee or Chicago.

Farmer’s Fridge vending machines began in 2013 to pop up in Chicago- and Milwaukee-area airports, hospitals, and shopping areas. Today, more than 170 machines have made their way onto the grab-and-go meal scene, and the business continues to expand.

Farmer’s Fridge and Sodexo, Concordia’s contracted food services company, have partnered to bring Farmer’s Fridge to more universities throughout the state. Sodexo is piloting the vending machines at Concordia and Carthage College this year. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who contracts with Restaurant Operations, also has a Farmer’s Fridge on campus.

“As society becomes more health conscious and food aware, food service providers have to stay on the cutting edge,” says Wayne Stratbucker, Sodexo marketing manager. “Here at Concordia University Wisconsin, Sodexo is dedicated to the future success of the fridge and healthy eating on campus. We believe that not only one fridge, but two in the near future will change the way students look at their food options on campus.”

Learn more about dining options at Concordia here.

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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