IDEA & OPPORTUNITY > Taste strips for mass sampling

Food and beverage marketers have long known that there's nothing quite like sampling to convince a consumer to try something new, but the high cost and limited reach of traditional sampling campaigns are often prohibitive. Enter First Flavor, which converts flavours into Peel 'n Taste strips that can be mass-distributed in a broad-scale tryvertising campaign.

Readers of Rolling Stone magazine may already be familiar with Peel 'n Taste strips, which made their debut in the fall entertainment preview issue of the magazine in September. As part of a promotion of its new "Cane" TV series about a family rum business, CBS placed a two-page ad in the magazine featuring a taste strip flavoured like a rum mojito. The insert included a thin, tamper-evident pouch with a nonalcoholic, dissolving taste strip-much like the breath strips already on the market-that enabled readers to try the full-flavour taste of the rum drink.

First Flavor's strips contain no sugar or calories, and all ingredients have been FDA-approved. They're produced in bulk quantities of 100,000 to 10 million or more, and quantity-based pricing ranges from 7 to 40 cents per strip. Possible uses for the strips include not just print advertisements but also direct mail, product-on-product, and in-store coupon dispensing applications. Though only four promotions have launched so far, First Flavor's customers range from small, entrepreneurial firms to large, Fortune 50 companies, president and CEO Jay Minkoff says. The US-based company, which was founded last year, already has sales representation in the EU, but it has also received inquiries from around the world. It's open to the possibility of nonexclusive partnerships to help bring Peel n' Taste to more consumers, Minkoff says.

We've already shone the spotlight on the tryvertising trend, and this is yet another piece of evidence that it's taking hold. Only time will tell how consumers take to it in this form, but it's a concept worth considering for any business in food and beverages or beyond. We're just hoping a chocolatier will sign up soon....



Spotted by: Diana Zhou
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