You've seen it a thousand times. Someone standing behind a small table at the end of your grocery store aisle. Maybe you're fighting to get there faster, maybe you're avoiding eye contact, so they don't ask you to try something or worse, buy something. Maybe you're somewhere in between. But we used in-store sampling as one of our major forms of marketing. Before COVID hit.
Silvia and I would stand behind the tables ourselves. For years. Not always easy work and on slow days, it was hard not to think about all of the things we should be doing back at home to move the business forward. But then a customer would walk up with a kiddo and it would be the best little focus group you could imagine.
Kids tell the truth. It's the reason we watch shows where they are allowed to just say whatever comes to mind. Because it might be anything.
Kids love our snacks. You can see it on their faces and watch them whisper (or shout) for mom or dad to buy a box or bag. It's the greatest form of flattery. When that honesty works out in your favor.
We also got to talk to parents. Hear their concerns about wanting snacks with low sugar. Wanting peanut and tree nut free snacks that are safe for their families. Or, in many cases, like our own, looking for nut free snacks that are school safe. While we might not have allergies in our houses, we need to be mindful of the other students at school that have peanut or tree nut allergies of their own. We talked about how they are always looking for the best snack for their toddler or a healthy snack for their active kids when they are on their way to activities. How kids today seem to snack all day long. How that's changed over the last several decades and how they want nutrition in the snacks because that feels more important than ever. Sometimes someone is looking for a dairy free snack or a plant based snack and they have questions about how and where our products are made. We are always as honest and transparent as possible because we know that's critical in many homes.
Those in-store sampling sessions allowed us to make changes to products, launch new snack lines, listen and learn. They also allowed us to let you, our customers, try before you buy. When you have kids at home (and remember how honest they are?) and you're worried about buying something new without them trying it, that sample helps. That's why we did it. It made a difference to our brand. That's why we will do it again. When we can do it safely. We can't wait to get back out there and talk to you about the best healthy snacks that we could ever dream up. We hope you'll be first in line.