United States Patent 6,933,481
Customer-Engaging Food Merchandising Module
Issued: August 23, 2005
Inventors: Greenburg; Mark (Paradise Valley, AZ)
Abstact: An apparatus and method are disclosed for penetrating convenience store food markets with a customer-engaging food merchandising module. The customer-engaging food merchandising module comprises three units: a food storage and display unit attached to a food preparation and display unit, and a shell unit attached to at least one of the other two units. One embodiment of the apparatus comprises: a glass-door freezer for storing and displaying at least one type of frozen food, a microwave oven attached to the freezer, and a shell attached to the freezer. The shell is used to support advertising and instructional graphics and also to give the apparatus a unitary appearance. The microwave oven has pre-programmed buttons corresponding to each of the types of food displayed in the freezer, each button activating the microwave oven to correctly heat a corresponding type of frozen food. The shell may extend above the freezer/microwave combination. The apparatus may be completely assembled in a factory and shipped ready-to-use. Maintenance may be by replacement of defective or outdated units. The entire apparatus plugs into one ordinary wall outlet for electrical power.