Advertising is the best way to get shoppers to try new products, according to a report on Promotional Activity produced by food and drink think tank the Institute of Grocery Distribution.

"A fifth of shoppers will buy something they have not bought before after seeing it on TV," the IGD said. In store promotions give customers the confidence to try something new. 

19% are attracted to a new product by Buy One Get One Free offers, while 12% try a new product because it is reduced in price and 11% are influenced by '3 for 2' offers. 

"Shoppers see promotional techniques like these, which provide a price saving, as less risky ways of trying something new" it said. "If they haven't paid the full price they are less concerned about whether they like them."

A recommendation from family or friends will be more of an incentive to experiment than any other promotional activity to try a new product for one in 10 shoppers,

Some of the shoppers IGD spoke to said they need to try before they buy and will purchase a new product after sampling it, either in-store (5%) or through a sample in a magazine (7%), as this means they can try a product without spending any money.  The fact that trial pack sizes are usually smaller also attracts shoppers because it means less wastage if a product is disliked.

"We have found that although advertising is the primary driver of new product purchase, shoppers clearly expect it to be supported by other promotional tools in-store such as introductory prices or multi-buy offers, said Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive.