Have you ever heard the expression, "People eat with their eyes"? It's an idiom I only recently learned, but I can certainly verify that it's true. Did you also know that research suggests that people are least likely to eat or even sometimes drink things that are blue, as it seems the most unnatural color to ingest? Weird, isn't it?
But if you think about it, it actually doesn't seem all that strange. When it comes to great cuisine, we generally want it to appeal to all of our senses. For instance, have you ever come home when your spouse was cooking dinner and the aroma permeated the whole house? You could feel your mouth beginning to water as you followed your nose to the kitchen, right?
Knowing these things can be a great key to unlock your customer base if you are in the food retail industry. This means that it isn't just about the packaging anymore – not only does your logo have to be pretty and your slogan catchy, but the food item itself needs to be visually appealing.
One way to draw in potential customers without having to cook up a whole gourmet meal that is still gorgeous is to create and give out samples of your product. This is a very non-threatening, no-risk way for shoppers to literally see what your product is all about – not to mention how it tastes and / or smells!
If you realize that your product is unattractive by itself – on a plate or a little paper cup – you might want to think about making some adjustments if at all possible, particularly if it has to do with color. Color in food products is one of the easiest things to change, so keep in mind what I said earlier about people being repelled by food products that are blue. If people aren't even attracted to your samples, that could be why!
Providing samples at grocery stores, drug stores, specialty food stores, or wholesale warehouses can be tough, especially since it can get a little pricey on your end. But just try it for a day or two during a weekend, and maybe try it at some community event like a farmers' market. If you notice a boost in your sales, continuing the practice at select high-traffic times may be well worth it!
In my personal opinion, you should avoid handing out literature on your product or using salespeople to man the sample counter. This undoubtedly chases people away.
Make sure the display is beautiful, too – whether you're selling cold food or hot, it can be equally appealing. But if your product also smells especially good, be sure to make sure those aromas leak out from time to time, too. Good luck!