For the first time in the US, Pennsylvania shoppers are buying wine from automated wine kiosks.
The kiosks, two of which have been installed in the town of Harrisburg, hold up to 53 different wines under temperature-controlled conditions.
With some of the most stringent alcohol purchasing laws in the US, Pennsylvania authorities require that the kiosks verify customer age before purchase.
Customers must insert their ID to prove their age and a built-in breathalyzer takes instant readings.
‘We take the safety of our consumers and the general public very seriously and firmly enforce a zero tolerance policy,’ said Stacey Witalec of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
‘We want to ensure that those who are underage or intoxicated do not have access to the products in the kiosk.’
Until now in Pennsylvania, alcohol has been sold in state-owned wine and spirits shops under the authority of the state’s liquor control board, but kiosks will be installed in regular supermarkets for customer convenience.
‘Customers have responded favourably, embracing the opportunity to purchase their favourite wines while doing supermarket shopping,’ Witalec told decanter.com.
‘In just over two weeks, we have seen sales of nearly $22,000 with over 1,900 bottles purchased.’
The kiosk is still in a testing phase, at just two locations. ‘We hope to roll out a total of 100 state wide starting in the early fall,’ Witalec said.
Written by Panos Kakaviatos