Ore-Ida Foods plans to move into national field testing of its french-fry vending machines, with 50 hand-constructed test machines.

The company says in a newsletter a test machine passed with flying colors when put to use in the lunchroom at Ore-Ida's Boise headquarters."In the first week alone, we had over 700 vends, or consumer purchases, from the machine," said Joe Finch, general manager for marketing vended products.

The vending machine delivers 3.5 ounces of hot french fries cooked in a closed-loop hot-air system.

Present projections target 50,000 machines in operation across the United States within five to six years. Finch said that's only 5 percent of the total universe of vend locations, and the world market has overwhelming possibilities.