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In-Store Tasting/Demo, need new food ideas!

demo in-store tasting

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#1 Hellraising Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 10:10 AM

We've got an in-store with a new client (a very important one) coming up in a few weeks and it's time to step up our game a little. We typically offer the choice of mini tasting spoons or a 1-ounce cup with a tortilla chip in it -- fairly common for most vendors. But this is a different type of place, with lots of fancy food and gourmet items -- the buyer basically told me we would need to offer something a little more upscale than plain old tortilla chips.

 

I have no problem with that, just want to keep my costs down -- we can't offer something that is too fancy/expensive or needs much prep time. It needs to go with hot sauce -- I don't want grazers coming up just for free food that have no interest in the hot sauce. And it needs to be something we have a lot of, this place has tons of foot traffic.

 

For our serrano lime sauce, I was thinking guacamole -- cheap, premade and works with the chips. We add our sauce to the guac to spice it up and tasters can try that if they don't want the spoon.

 

We also will demo pineapple habanero and garlic habanero sauces -- trying to think of something the might work with those.

 

Anybody have any good ideas? 


Edited by Hellraising Hot Sauce, 12 August 2015 - 10:15 AM.


#2 Lucky Dog Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 10:21 AM

I would politely explain to the store management that you don't want to impart other flavors on the tasting. It's best to have a pure, uunadulterated taste of the sauce.

If that fails, you've got a tough row to hoe....people have so many food issues these days. Vegetarianism / veganism is a hurdle right off the bat. Don't want to alienate that many people.

And as you mentioned - if you're serving pizza or pasta or whatever, you're the "free snack" station, not a tasting demo.

Personally I'd never let a store dictate to me how to run a demo. They'd immediately become my least important client.

Edited by Lucky Dog Hot Sauce, 12 August 2015 - 10:21 AM.


#3 Hellraising Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 10:27 AM

I see your point LDS, and I agree -- I prefer to keep it simple so I can explain the intricacies of the sauce flavor. But this is kind of a one-shot deal for this specific client.

 

It could be a huge client for us, potential game changer.



#4 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 12:01 PM

Ask them what they mean by more upscale than tortilla. It may be as simple as changing the chip to something like a chick pea chip or black bean chip or something (or choices). You need to stress neutrality so your product shines, but also, should be able to work with them on it. Ask them with this in mind and it should work after a meeting of the minds.


Like, if this is a grocery chain, and they sell Garden of Eatin' chips, that could be a way to go.



#5 Hellraising Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 12:10 PM

That's kind of what I was thinking -- like a pita chip or some other chip-like vessel for the sauce. 



#6 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 12:26 PM

Also consider blue corn chips, looks gourmet, tastes the same.



#7 romy6

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 01:05 PM

 How about a triscuit . They are fancy  to me  :party:


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#8 Crazy Gringa

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 01:42 PM

When I demo  at Whole Foods I use the chips that they make in house so if this grocery store has any special chip and or cracker I would look into using them. Just a thought. 



#9 OSUPepperGuy

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 02:40 PM

baked zucchini chips? 

 

idk unfortunately, I'm the farthest thing from fancy. 



#10 Lucky Dog Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 03:22 PM

With any sort of chip you also have to deal with the gluten-free crowd. 

 

Have fun with that...



#11 The Hot Pepper

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 03:33 PM

It sounds a little snobby.

 

"You want to serve our customers... nachos?" LOL! Why does the sample base need to be upscale? This must be a fancy shmancy organic snobby place...

 

Make sure they understand YOUR product is the sample. 



#12 JoynersHotPeppers

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 03:33 PM

I vote for putting it in a halved fresh reaper. 


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#13 Hellraising Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 03:45 PM

It's just an alternative option for people who don't want to taste it right off a sample spoon.  

 

Plain tortilla chips work well, but I was just looking for other ideas or anything else anyone had tried.



#14 Lucky Dog Hot Sauce

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 04:12 PM

It sounds a little snobby.

 

"You want to serve our customers... nachos?" LOL! Why does the sample base need to be upscale? This must be a fancy shmancy organic snobby place...

 

Make sure they understand YOUR product is the sample. 

 

That's exactly the point.  Many stores (Whole Foods included) have companies pay to demo there.  Your product is the demo, not whatever house brand chip the store is trying to pimp. 

 

I don't care how fancy the store is - if they're that snobby they should allow you to sample only on a taster so that customers get a pure taste of the product you're demo-ing. 

 

Tell them if they'd like to prepare a few tri-tip roasts and chop them into bite sized pieces, you'll be happy to use that as an optional tasting vehicle. If they're that high end, they should have no issue with this. 

;)



#15 salsalady

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 07:03 PM

Plus to what others have said. I've used a small thicker than normal round tortilla chip, AmigaOS Deli brand. Perfect one bite sample. More the texture of the blue corn chops, customers loved em and even bought bags from me at the market to take home .lol. I also have some (low salt if possible ) rice chips on hand for gluten-free.

If your hab sauce is spicier than a 4 for most normal people, maybe sample on a pita chip with a bot of cream cheese, sauce on top.
AMIGOS DELI, and a BIT of cream cheese.....

 

edit-

Amigos Deli Little Dipper chips.  (Finally off the phoan so I can look up these things~~  ;)  )

We have some rice crackers that come in plastic trays, not a box, that are pretty crisp and would work good to spread a bit of cream cheese and dash of sauce, maybe better than a pita chip. 


Edited by salsalady, 13 August 2015 - 09:42 AM.

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#16 Fitsea

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 08:50 PM

While I get the shying from snacks concept, I think you could make an argument for cooking something like a frozen pizza and just cutting the servings extremely small, la Trader Joe's. This way, the serving is too small to constitute a snack, but higher brow than a corn chip.

If going this route, would suggest experimenting with cutting then cooking, as frozen thin crust pizzas tend to cut like crap after cooking.

#17 El Angeleno

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 10:17 PM

Maybe chicharritas? Thinly sliced banana chip things.....you can buy them pre-made
Or perhaps pappadom, like an Indian chip.
Both are pretty inoffensive vessels that are exotic to many Americans.

#18 Hellraising Hot Sauce

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 03:22 PM

Thanks for the tips guys, very helpful!







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