Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Finland’s Hau-Hau Champion launches AI-powered dog food sampling vending machine

TAMPERE, FINLAND — In Finland, there are approximately more than 800,000 dogs, but some are pickier eaters than others. Now, to the delight of our furry friends, dog food brand Hau-Hau Champion has pioneered a vending machine that allows dogs to sample dog food before purchase. The innovative vending machine uses AI-powered facial recognition software and disinfectant blue light technology.

The Dog Vending Machine, which is made to resemble a cartoonish doghouse, brings joy to dogs and owners alike. However, its primary purpose is to act as a pilot project for Hau-Hau Champion’s quest to reduce the waste of dog food. If the purchased food doesn’t please your dog at home, it often means that a nearly full bag of dog food goes to waste.

The vending machine is seemingly the first of its kind in the world. Using cutting-edge technology, it serves food only for dogs and ensures that they eat in sanitary conditions. The idea came from creative agency TBWA\Helsinki and was developed and built into a working prototype with their brand experience and innovation practice TBWA\NEXT.


A fun, safe, and useful innovation for dogs and owners

The vending machine’s working mechanism is based on AI-powered video recognition software: it identifies the dog approaching it and drops kibbles into the bowl. Once the machine sees the dog leaving, it automatically disinfects the bowl with UV light and is now ready to serve its next “client.”

“Wherever the vending machine is used, it seems to be a very welcome and pleasant surprise for both dogs and owners. Most of all, we hope that giving dogs a chance to taste food beforehand will help decrease food waste in the future,” said Timo Pärssinen, CEO of Prima Pet Premium Oy, the company behind the Hau-Hau Champion brand.

“Facial recognition using artificial intelligence ensures that the vending machine dispenses kibbles only to dogs, not, for example, to cats or children playing near the machine,” Juhana Hokkanen, Head of Experiential Creative at TBWA\Helsinki added.

“Another important feature of the vending machine is its safety for dogs. UV disinfection ensures constant air and surface purity. We utilize a new type of UV light to safely eliminate bacteria and viruses, making the disinfection process quicker and more efficient,” Juhanna continued.

A pilot project for Europe’s largest pet food producer

VAFO Group, a leading European premium pet food producer, owns Hau-Hau Champion. As a member of the board of directors in VAFO, Timo said that the innovative vending machine is an inspiring project for the whole group.

”The well-being of dogs comes first for us. It means state-of-the-art hygienic practices and top-of-the-line food that is safe and tasty for dogs. We have created a fascinating pilot project, and we hope that in the future, we’ll see the vending machine in use in Finland and other parts of Europe,” Timo concluded.

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