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At-Home Sampling for Online Shoppers: What Food Retailers Need to Know

If you're a food retailer offering online grocery shopping, you may have heard that there's a new feature that shoppers can't wait to get a taste of... at-home food sampling. If you're interested in adding this tasty feature to your own online shopping program-or even if you're just interested in improving your existing in-store food sampling-we've got some helpful information to get you started.

Jump to the section that you're most interested in:

Snackable Statistics: Why Free Food Samples Work

Snackable Statistics  

Simply put, food sampling stimulates your shoppers' purchasing decisions. However-looking much deeper into this concept-there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the benefits of free samples.

A study conducted by Winsight Grocery Business concluded that:

  • Foods that get sampled can increase overall sales by almost 60%
  • Shoppers are more likely to trust the entire brand as a whole after trying just one sample
  • Food samples tend to convert around 85% of new buyers into repeat customers
  • Sampling is cost-effective as sales are impacted long after the day samples are served

Eager to launch your own food sampling program? We recommend starting here-this page has all the sampling packaging products you'll need.


Best Practices for At-Home Sampling

At-Home Sampling

Based on neuroscience, behavioral psychology, economics, and the overall expectation of food sampling post COVID, it may come as no surprise that food retailers are itching to bring the sampling experience to shopper's homes.

Here are 3 ways to create the best experience for at-home sampling:

  1. Find cost-effective packaging. Many food retailers believe that in-store food samples may lose their business money in the long run, so it's fair to say they'd think the same for at-home sampling. However, just about every statistic on this topic certainly proves otherwise, especially since we offer such affordable sample size options. A few of our favorite food sample products are these portion cups with lids to keep items fresh, or these cello bags that come in a pack of 1000! We have many more sampling package options, take a look at all of them here.
  2. Dont forget sample food labels. Clear, concise food labels eliminate all doubt or uncertainty for shoppers sothey know exactly what free at-home samples they're getting. Listing nutritional information is also a necessity since some of your customers may have food allergies. Make sure to add labels to every single sample, and we also recommend a brief (but informative!) note explaining everything about their samples they're receiving. More is better, especially when this entails gaining trust from your customers to consume a new product.
  3. Serve more than just human food. Think outside the box here-far different from sampling food in grocery stores, at-home food samples open the possibility to give customers free food samples for pets at home. Interested in learning more? Jump to this section.

To dig even a little deeper, here's a few popular in-store samples we'd recommend for your at-home shoppers, along with the best products to get you started.

Best Types of Samples to Offer in Your At-Home Sampling Program

Sample Type:
  • Snack foods
  • Sodas, sports drinks, flavored waters
  • Cold deli items
  • Hard candies
  • Small servings of fresh bakery items
Product Suggestion:

Get Creative: Dog Food Samples and Cat Food Samples at Home

Dog Food Samples

At-home sampling opens up a brand-new area of opportunity for food retailers, and that's reaching that loveable four-legged market. Many pet owners are more than willing to indulge their cats and dogs with new treats-and if given enough nutritional information-are ecstatic to let their four-legged companions in on the excitement of at home sampling, too.

Did you know: almost 70% of millennial pet owners are willing to give cat food samples and dog food samples with natural ingredients over processed, mass-produced options. Most of them just haven't tried them out yet!

For pet food, we'd recommend getting started by finding the right packaging: small portion cups sold in bulk are a great place to start.

Three Resources to Improve Your In-Store Food Sampling

Bulk Food Bins

While talking about at-home sampling is exciting, creative, and new, there's so many different reasons to continue improving your in-store food sampling programs, too. If you're looking to increase your in-store sales- and learn best practices for product sampling during COVID- here's a few tips.

9 out of 10 customers decide to return to a store if they enjoy their experience and receive freebies like samples.

  1. Bring back in-store sampling: don't forget these three steps. If it's been a while since you've upgraded your existing sampling stations and pinpointed affordable products with the most bang for your buck, start here.
  2. Four creative ways food retailers are sampling products. If you haven't gotten this creative, you're not making the most out of your program.
  3. Plan ahead for the shopping experience of the future. We've done our research, and even though a lot has changed, there's a few lucrative (and exciting!) trends we're predicting for the future. View our predictions and start planning today.

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Meet Hubert

Only Hubert delivers the expertise and products to solve complex challenges like overcoming the labor shortage, driving more food sales, and creating a memorable experience for customers.

For 75 years we’ve helped many industries—including hospitality, education, food retail, healthcare, retail, and more—overcome these unique challenges with our expertise and line of products, including displayware, display fixtures, décor, signage, bar & beverage, food prep equipment, large commercial equipment, ice machines, merchandisers, and back of the house equipment.

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