Trader Joe’s is finally bringing back free samples – Orange County Register

By Nathaniel Meyersohn CNN business

Promotional gifts are back in the grocery store after a long pandemic hiatus.

Trader Joe’s returned food samples to the store at some stores on Saturday. Shoppers posted videos and photos on TikTok, Instagram and other social platforms over the weekend of some of Trader Joe’s samples, including granola and granola Halloween cookies.

Trader Joe’s will offer customers snacks and single-serve treats to nibble on, but hot coffee won’t be available, according to staff at New York and California stores. Food demonstrations will return to some stores, but Trader Joe’s won’t restart them nationwide. Trader Joe’s did not respond to requests for more information about the program.

“I’m thrilled. You used to get the coffee mugs. The samples make everything a little better,” said Natasha Fischer, who runs @traderjoeslist, an Instagram account and newsletter that documents Trader Joe’s latest finds.

Free samples are a common sales tactic for many supermarkets and food and beverage brands.

Businesses want you to grab a bite at the store so your salivary glands kick in as you browse, said Paco Underhill, founder of behavioral science and consulting firm Envirosell and author of How We Eat: The Brave New World of Food and Drink. . That makes you a less disciplined buyer, he said. Trying a product also slows down customers and makes them stay in store longer, making them more likely to add more items to their cart.

Startup food brands rely on in-store demonstrations to introduce customers to their products and get their feedback, said Yuval Selik, the CEO of Promomash, a company that works with brands on samples and promotional strategies. He pointed to KeVita Kombucha, Beyond Meat, and Kashi Muesli as emerging brands using samples to grow.

However, food stamps took a hit when shops removed sample tables at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

They were slow to bring the perk back. More businesses have resumed, but some of their procedures have changed to attract hygiene-conscious customers. Customers are now more likely to see workers behind tables handing out wrapped samples or disposable cups than self-service demonstrations.

Costco began returning samples in 2021 but added Plexiglas stations. Contract workers distribute individually prepared and cooked meals to customers behind the stations.

Sam’s Club also brought back their Taste & Tips demo program last year. It offers everything from snacks to charcuterie.

Taste & Tips came back with sealed samples first over the weekend and in limited quantity. The company works with suppliers to select and schedule demonstrations of their items. They are often new items, allowing buyers to try them before they buy.

“Demos have long been one of our members’ favorite experiences when visiting our clubs,” said a spokesman for Sam’s Club.

Whole Foods brought back samples, but there are some differences.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/03/trader-joes-finally-brings-back-free-samples/ Trader Joe’s is finally bringing back free samples – Orange County Register

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