8 Dangerously Delicious Tips for Successful Food Samplings

Food Samplings

Whether you’re a startup or a well established company, sampling your product is essential. Well executed food samplings are proven to successfully market and advertise your product. Excite your consumers by stimulating their taste buds and imagination!

Wondering how you can make food samplings more exciting? Below are 8 dangerously delicious activations including tips you can incorporate into your own campaign.

Festival Food Samplings that Align with Your Brand

Grace Foods is one of the Caribbean’s largest and most dynamic food and beverage companies in the world. They provide a wide range of delicious products that let you enjoy the unique essence and sizzle of the islands right in your own kitchen. They are best known for their coconut water, tropical juices and jerk sauces. Tigris has successfully worked with Grace for 3 consecutive years, providing brand ambassadors to sample and sell their products at various festivals throughout the Greater Toronto Area. 

The festivals include but are not limited to the Jerk Fest, Taste of Lawrence, the Yoga Show, desiFEST, and Salsa on St. Clair. Because Grace’s product line is extremely diverse, they may select one line (or multiple) per event depending on the demographic. For example, their line of coconut water was primarily featured at the Green Living Show and Can Fit Pro since it’s a green label product with lots of active health benefits. Fitness enthusiasts enjoy coconut water because it helps you stay hydrated and cleanses your body of toxins.

Food Samplings

Don’t Be Stingy

First impressions are more heavily influenced by nonverbal cues than verbal cues. Because your sampling may be spotted by a potential consumer before you’ve made contact with them, it’s crucial for the physical aspect of your sampling to be appealing. Not only does this include branding, such as a snazzy booth design or sleek uniforms, but the size of the sample as well. Consider giving away full size samples, if possible. It’s all about making a great first impression! In addition to hearty samples, include a coupon as an incentive to purchase and drive sales. 

A great example of an extremely generous brand is Clover Leaf. Back in 2015, Tigris teamed up with Zoom Media to conduct food samplings for this product at 100 fitness facilities across Canada. The high volume food samplings took place in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In each city, Tigris provided a team of experienced brand ambassadors to sample the new product to fitness enthusiasts. For the gyms especially, they provided the perfect to sample. Gym members are always hungry after their work outs and were intrigued by the low calorie, high protein product.

Our brand ambassadors worked in teams of two at each Zoom Media fitness facility. Together, they were to set up a booth, banner, and microwave to prepare and distribute samples. Along with a free sample, consumers were able to snag a coupon for 2$ off their first purchase. These are two amazing incentives – free food, and a coupon to buy even more! Gym members who loved the Tuna Toppers had no excuse not to run to the store and pick up their favourite flavour.

High Volume Food Samplings

In addition to these fitness focused food samplings, our events staff also distributed 72,960 samples of Clover Leaf Tuna Toppers to morning commuters at 38 transit stations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. This is where we targeted another important demographic: business professionals and students who predominantly make up morning commuters. At the transit stations, our BA’s gave out full tins of Clover Leaf Tuna Toppers for free, as well as coupons. Commuters were eager to grab a full sized free sample and couldn’t believe their luck!

Food Samplings

Execute in Unconventional Places

Where else can you sample your product? As you’ve already seen in the previous examples, your options are limitless. Road shows, supermarkets, city centres, train stations, universities and consumer events are all great options. You can even consider mobile food samplings with the help of a street team! The most important thing to remember is where ever you do decide to sample your product, it must be in an area where your target audience is. 

Healthy Crunch, in addition to conferences and trade shows, asked us to staff a sampling at an Ontario Hockey League game, as shown in the photo above. The game between the Barrie Colts and Mississauga Steelheads attracted hundreds of guests. Since Healthy Crunch is relatively new on the market, not many of the guests had ever tried it before. This event helped Healthy Crunch spread awareness new consumers from a wide range of ages including parents and children. Although they were not essentially targeting one specific demographic, the brand was able to make a positive impression and drive back to retail.

Food Samplings

Demonstrate Live Recipes 

Can your product be used in a recipe? Show this off to customers with a live demonstration! If your consumer were to see your product on the shelves, would they immediately know how to eat it, or understand all of the unique ways it can be used?

A live demonstration is the perfect way to excite consumers and give them something to try at home. A brand that does a tasty, interactive sampling is PB&Me. PB&Me is an all-natural, low calorie powdered peanut and almond butter. Wondering what one does with powdered peanut butter? They use it in energy bites, muffins and smoothies. At trade shows, PB&Me has a brand ambassador creating individual smoothies for guests that pass by their booth. The smoothies are quick and simple, including a banana, a scoop of PB&Me and a cup of almond milk. Sounds delicious and healthy, doesn’t it?

Another example of an interactive, live demonstration is from Tria Foods. Their Snack a Fruit program was co-financed by the European Union and Cyprus, to promote quality citrus fruits from Cyprus to Canadian consumers. In particular, the Mandora (a mixture of Mandarin and Orange) was widely promoted. How do you make a Mandora sampling exciting? Provide customers with freshly squeezed Mandora fruit juice. With no added sugars, consumers are able to properly taste the European product. Because each consumer receives a freshly squeezed glass, the experience is more memorable and valuable. 

Food Samplings

Be Big and Splashy with Branded Food Trucks

Flaunt it if you’ve got it, right? If you want to be noticed, try using a big, branded food truck for your next series of outdoor food samplings. A food truck allows you to make an impact, leverage mobile advertising and serve fresh food on the spot.

One of our favourite food truck activations is for Uncle Ben’s as shown above. These food samplings were extremely successful, not only because they were big and bright but because they also incorporated in interactive contest to a few events (read more below)

A key element in any campaign, especially for food samplings, is branding. For this food truck, alot of care and detail went into the wrap. On the opposite side of the truck, not shown in the photo, is a large picture of Uncle Ben’s Rice and Grains served beautifully on a dish. The front side of the truck, which you can see in the photo above, showcases the entire line/flavours of the product. In addition, social media handles and the website are featured.

Overall, this food truck campaign was extremely informative. Thousands of consumers were engaged over the course of the program. It’s important to book brand ambassadors both inside and outside of the truck to utilize the space, and the series of food samplings, to its full potential. 

Create an Extremely Competitive, Inclusive Contest

While food challenges can get quite messy, they are definitely worth it. Uncle Ben’s created a Food Truck Challenge in 3 major markets across Canada to showcase their convenient, versatile and delicious new dish, Rice and Grains. The challenge was executed in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto with the help of our dynamic brand ambassadors. Three local food trucks from each city went head to head to create the most delicious recipe using Uncle Ben’s Rice and Grains, which contains wholegrain brown rice and quinoa.

Tigris assisted Roaming Hunger and Fleishman Hillard with the planning and execution of these events. Our events staff were dressed in bright orange apron, distributing ‘passports’ to each attendee. The passport was used to guide attendees through the event. After visiting each food truck to receive a free sample, the participant will have had their passport stamped with the recipe. With a full stomach, participants were asked to vote for their favourite dish/food truck. 

The following food trucks that won the Food Truck Challenge in each city are: Buster’s Sea Cove for Toronto, Le Tigre for Vancouver and Landry et Filles here in Montreal. Watch the video above for the Toronto execution. Who said food samplings have to be boring?

Food Samplings

Hire Certified Staff to Sample and Sell

Our food samplings staff are fully trained pre-event. Pending client requests, many are food safety certified and ALL of them provide detailed post-reports complete with customer feedback, recommendations, results and photos. Because you can’t physically be onsite sampling your own products, it’s important to have a personable, results oriented team you can trust. It’s the people on the floor, pushing your product that ultimately increases sales and creates memorable experiences with your consumers. The most effective way to ensure you have an outstanding sampling program is to ensure you follow these 4 steps.

With so much competition on the shelves, it can be difficult for consumers to make a choice. Make it easy for them by providing the opportunity to touch, taste and feel your product before they buy. With dynamic brand ambassadors speaking on behalf of your brand, your product will be flying off the shelves!

Food Samplings

Create an Unforgettable Event

Food is universal – it creates conversations, spreads joy and brings people together. Loblaws ran with this theme and created the Taste of Togetherness, a series of free picnics across Canada. The brand activated at different festivals in several provinces across Canada delivering a premium brand experience for consumers. The activation footprint included a vendor market, community eating area, kids zone and artist installation at each event. 

Guests were educated onsite about Loblaws, President Choice and their vendors products. As the name states, the event was successful in bringing people together as they bonded over delicious free samples of Smartfood, PC burgers, Lemon Lemon and Quaker Oat bars. In addition, many participants took note of the products they tried and went to purchase immediately afterwards, resulting in an increase in sales for the featured products. The food samplings was interactive, impressionable and delicious!

Which Food Samplings Tip Made Your Mouth Water Most?

Food samplings aren’t simple – a well thought out campaign can include special equipment, be nationwide and contain many interactive elements. 

Are you interested in creating an experiential food samplings campaign for your brand? Contact Tigris today! Tigris is a multi-award winning brand experience agency specializing in innovative, turnkey experiential marketing strategies. We have nearly 14 years experience exciting consumers and executing thousands of programs across the country. We’ve even executed a few in the United States and one in Singapore!

You can depend on our food samplings expertise to build you an unforgettable program while our dynamic events staff successfully execute it. Don’t get lost in the crowd! Tigris promotes products and services with “the power of presence” so you’re brand doesn’t go unnoticed. 

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