If you’re in the food or grocery business you know sampling still sells, though you may not know exactly why. Sure, everyone likes to get something for free, but what makes them actually purchase the item they’ve tasted? Here are some factors at play during the sampling and purchase process:
Price – If an item is perceived to be out of a customer’s price range, they will be more apt to buy after tasting it. Customers often won’t risk trying something new, especially if they view it as expensive.
Commitment – When customers have access to free samples, they don’t have to commit to a purchase. The possibility of money being wasted on something they may not like can be reason enough not to buy. A sample of the product can encourage them to make the commitment to purchase.
Taste – Sometimes taste is the only factor that matters. Traditional marketing like ads or packaging may not be enough to convince a customer they will like a product, even if it is a type of food they enjoy, until they taste it.
Use – If the product is to be used as a complement to other dishes or in a recipe, giving customers examples of how and when to use your product can give them more reason to try it. For example, if your product is guacamole, you can mention that, in addition to being served with tortilla chips, it can be used as a sandwich spread.
Reciprocation – Even if the taste alone isn’t enough to encourage them to buy, sometimes the customer will feel obligated to purchase the product just because they have been given something for free.
To help you create an in-store experience for your customers or to simply highlight a new or promotional product, FFR Merchandising offers a variety of units such as the 2-Piece Sampling Unit and 3-Piece Sampling Unit, as well as complete sampling centers like the Floor Model Sampling Center and Regency Floor Model Sampling Center.
Source: 4 Food Sampling Techniques and Why They Work by Carolyn Heneghan, FoodDive, July 22, 2015