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Get the most out of Pepsi’s Taste Test

Pepsi Canada recently launched the Pepsi Ultimate Taste Challenge sampling event that will last until mid-September.

It’s similar to the taste-test wars that Pepsi ran in the 1980s, where consumers tried a small cup of unbranded Pepsi and Coca-Cola, then choose which cup they prefer. The theory was that in the absence of any branded packaging (red for Coke and blue for Pepsi), the consumer would prefer Pepsi more than Coke and buy Pepsi more.

Times have changed and sampling events have also changed.

Pepsi doesn’t want to just give away product and prizes anymore–they need the sampling to materialize into sales. Pepsi now leverages a retailer’s store traffic to increase sales conversion by running the sampling events inside the grocer’s premises.

As such, how can the retailer ensure they are taking full advantage of these sampling events?

One way would be to optimize the conversion opportunity from the sampling traffic. Pepsi Canada’s Facebook page lists the locations where the sampling will take place and at what times.

If the grocery store is one where the sampling will occur, the grocer may be notified to temporarily adjust their store layout or parking lot to accommodate the event.

The retailer should use this opportunity to set up extra displays to coordinate with the sampling event. It doesn’t need to be a big display, but it should feature the same products that the Pepsi Ultimate Challenge samples: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max against Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero.  Setting up a display with Pepsi and Coca-Cola franchise products maximizes this opportunity at translating browsing traffic to converted consumers.

Beyond making products easily accessible to shoppers, dedicate one staff member to manage the area helps to direct traffic flow to other store zones, prevents lingering, and improves the overall the shopping experience.

Grocery stores are already treating beverages as a loss leader to increase destination traffic. Now that the retailer is given the opportunity to increase visitors without having to take a further price adjustment, they must make it work in their favour at every chance.

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