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April 8, 2005

USA: Food sampling attracts new customers to supermarkets

Food sampling in US supermarkets is soaring in popularity and attracting new customers, according to new research.

Food sampling in US supermarkets is soaring in popularity and attracting new customers, according to new research.

The Poll Co. reported 70% of consumers would shop at specific stores if they offered samples, and 86% would likely purchase new brands if they could try them first.

Sampling has become a key strategy for retailers trying to stand out and offer new products – particularly private-label store brands that customers can compare with pricier brands on-site. Interaction is as important as food items sampled.

When offering customers an apple, for example, staff should make eye contact and tell them something about the variety.

The Publix chain excels at sampling, with weekly recipes using store ingredients, which are conveniently grouped on display for customers to drop into their cart.

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