If you're an F&B company that believes sampling as an ultimate activity to introduce your brands to consumers, then check out the top ten (10) MUST DO before you conduct any sampling activity. For those of you who still have any doubts on sampling, check out my previous article https://www.psw.co.id/single-post/2019/07/25/Sampling-Never-Dies-Ever
NEVER EVER USE AGEING OR EXPIRED PRODUCTS
In most cases, F&B companies always have a buffer period from their expiry date, however if you plan to conduct sampling, I strongly suggest you never use ageing (nearly expired) or expired products. For safety reasons, I recommend you to use products that expires three (3) months before (at minimum).
USE CERTIFIED MATERIALS ONLY
If your sampling preparation requires additional materials such as ice, water, sugar, milk; always make sure you acquire certified materials from trusted suppliers. Professional suppliers will always be happy to provide you with certification documents before purchase. Don't forget to check that the certification date is still valid and is accredited by a recognized organization.
ENSURE EQUIPMENT USED ARE FOOD GRADE
Any equipment that is used in preparing food sampling must be food grade including any materials used for serving the samples (paper cup for example).
Any time you produce a sample, be sure to keep a log book of the batch/lot code of the product you use including keeping a refrigerated sample secured for at least three (3) days after the sampling activity as a validation if a sampling issue raises (food poisoning).
Everybody that comes in contact with sampling preparation and serving must be in prime health. Any kind of sickness may contaminate the sampling served. For companies that conduct sampling at scale and have dedicated cookers, I recommend to conduct a semester or yearly medical check up for the cookers.
To reinforce food hygiene, additional materials such as maskers, plastic gloves and hand sanitizers are extremely important especially during production and serving.
Never provide a sample that has been exposed for over ten (10) minutes. Besides contamination risks, exposure to air will make food products lose ideal serving temperature and ruin the sample freshness.
LOCK FORMULAS AND CONTROL SERVING TEMPERATURE
Make sure you have a validated formula (recipe) to prepare sampling products. Conduct regular control of the product temperature. If you use ice, always considerate the effect of melted ice in your products.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Never open a sampling booth at a location that is exposed to dust or smell (near trash area). The ideal sampling location would be indoor, however if you conduct an outdoor sampling, always try to use a parasol or umbrella. Don’t forget to place trash bins for disposal of used cups.
No matter how good your sampled products are, without a smile from the person delivering the samples the consumer wouldn't receive a memorable experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Husain Haykal is a sales and marketing practitioner and is currently the CEO of PowerSwitch Indonesia. His range of industry experience covers the industry of FMCG, Education, Job Portal, Music Production and Distribution, F&B (Cafe), Co-Working and Application Development.
With over 15 years of professional experience, he has led PowerSwitch Indonesia from scratch to become one of the largest field marketing agency in Indonesia.