- Title: Gourmands snap up oysters at vending machine in France
- Date: 3rd August 2017
- Summary: SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE, ILE DE RE, FRANCE (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) WOMAN SQUEEZING LEMON OVER PLATE OF OYSTERS OYSTERS ON PLATE WOMAN EATING OYSTER AT SEASIDE OYSTER BAR RIVEDOUX-PLAGE, ILE DE RE, FRANCE (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF COASTLINE BOAT IN SEA ARS-EN-RE, ILE DE RE, FRANCE (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF OYSTER FARM AND SHOP 'L'HUITRIERE RE', WITH SIGN PAINTED ON WALL READING (French): "24 HOURS / 7 DAYS OYSTERS" SIGN READING (French): "RE OYSTER FARM, DISCOVERY FARM" / ENTRANCE TO SELF-SERVICE SECTION OF OYSTER SHOP NEXT TO SIGN READING (French): "OPEN" CUSTOMERS ENTERING SELF-SERVICE SECTION AND LOOKING AT OYSTER VENDING MACHINE BOX OF 36 OYSTERS INSIDE VENDING MACHINE, AT PRICE OF 33.90 EUROS 49-YEAR-OLD MECHANIC ON HOLIDAY ON ILE DE RE, BRUNO PETINON, CHOOSING BOX OF OYSTERS PETINON TAKING BOX OF OYSTERS FROM VENDING MACHINE PETINON AND PARTNER 45-YEAR-OLD PHARMACY SHOP WORKER ON HOLIDAY ON ILE DE RE, CRISTEL PETINON, HOLDING BOX OF OYSTERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) 45-YEAR-OLD PHARMACY SHOP WORKER ON HOLIDAY ON ILE DE RE, CRISTEL PETINON, SAYING: "Honestly it's great, 24 hours a day, we can come at midnight if we want, if we have a craving for oysters. It's excellent; they're really fresh." SIGN READING (French): "RE OYSTER FARM, 24 HOURS / 7 DAYS, OYSTERS", WITH NUMBER TO CALL TO PLACE ORDER BOXES OF OYSTERS IN VENDING MACHINE (SOUNDBITE) (French) 49-YEAR-OLD MECHANIC ON HOLIDAY ON ILE DE RE, BRUNO PETINON, SAYING: "As we're on holiday at the moment on the Ile de Re, and we love this shellfish, we found this oyster vending machine a short while ago along the way. It means we can get oysters quite quickly, typically -- even though we had a couple of hiccups. It's important because we love them, and we enjoy eating oysters which come from the oyster farm next door." OYSTERS STORED IN BOXES UNDER WATER VARIOUS OF OWNER OF OYSTER FARM AND SHOP 'L'HUITRIERE RE', TONY BERTHELOT, FETCHING BOXES OF OYSTERS FROM WATER VARIOUS OF BERTHELOT CLEANING OYSTERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) OWNER OF OYSTER FARM AND SHOP 'L'HUITRIERE RE', TONY BERTHELOT, SAYING: "We felt as though we were losing lots of sales because we were closed. The idea was to recuperate some of these sales without putting us at too much of a disadvantage. There was a cost involved when buying this machine, of course, but we're paying it back in instalments over a calculated period of time. And today, in theory, we can say that the calculations are correct and it's working." OYSTERS SPILLING OUT OF BASKET (SOUNDBITE) (French) OWNER OF OYSTER FARM AND SHOP 'L'HUITRIERE RE', TONY BERTHELOT, SAYING: "Our clientele was ageing slightly and we found it hard to promote the product among young people. The type of distribution we're offering today corresponds with young people's consumer habits which are extremely rapid - whether it's on the internet, or in shops a little bit like that which you can go in at all times. We're responding to their expectations and they use it very easily - it corresponds with their generation and it rejuvenates the mindset and our clientele. That's an important look towards the future." BERTHELOT PACKING UP BOXES OF OYSTERS FOR VENDING MACHINE BERTHELOT TRANSPORTING BOXES OF OYSTERS TO VENDING MACHINE VARIOUS OF BERTHELOT RESTOCKING VENDING MACHINE SIGN READING (French): "OYSTERS, SELF-SERVICE" CUSTOMERS COLLECTING OYSTERS FROM MACHINE, WITH MAN RAISING THUMB IN THE AIR SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE, ILE DE RE, FRANCE (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) CYCLISTS TRAVELLING PAST OYSTER BAR WOMEN EATING AT SEA-FACING OYSTER BAR, WITH BOATS OUT AT SEA
- Embargoed: 17th August 2017 14:08
- Keywords: Oyster vending machine Ile de Re oyster self-service machine Tony Berthelot France summer holidays
- Location: SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE, RIVEDOUX-PLAGE, ARS-EN-RE, ILE DE RE, FRANCE
- City: SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE, RIVEDOUX-PLAGE, ARS-EN-RE, ILE DE RE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SLR7MH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In a change from long-life chocolates and crisps, the French are starting to sell fresh oysters from automated vendor machines in the hope the briny delicacy will be a hit with foodies and night-owls alike, even in the heat of summer.
One of the pioneers is Tony Berthelot, an oyster farmer whose automatic dispenser on the Ile de Re Island on France's western coast offers a range of quantities, types and sizes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The refrigerated machines are broadly similar to those that customarily offer sugary chocolate bars and salty crisps at train stations and office buildings worldwide.
In the case of the Ile de Re oysters, customers drive up, select their batch and pay with their credit card to extract their carton of choice.
"We can come at midnight if we want, if we have a craving for oysters. It's excellent; they're really fresh," Christel Petinon, a 45-year-old vacationer, told Reuters at the Ile de Re dispenser, which Berthelot and his wife bought after 30 years as oyster breeders.
Berthelot sees the saline sideline as an extra source of revenue rather than an alternative to normal points of sale. The machine cost the equivalent of a year's salary for an employee at the Oyster farm, Bertholet said.
Boxes of oysters can be purchased from between 15.30 euros ($18) and 33.80 euros ($40).
Selling oysters from machines is not just a bet on consumer open-mindedness: the creatures can easily cause food poisoning if not kept cool or stored too long out of sea-water.
The Berthelot couple, who met when learning their trade, say the other advantage of the automatic machines is their appeal to a younger generation accustomed to buying on the internet and unperturbed by the absence of a shopkeeper.
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