SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y Supermarkets, based here, held in-store events in selected Connecticut and Massachusetts stores on Fridays and Saturdays in February and March.
Called "A Taste of Big Y," the events invited customers in for extensive product sampling and free balloons for children. The chain also arranged for on-site broadcasts by local radio stations for a portion of the events.
One Taste of Big Y event, held at the Newtown, Conn., store on Feb. 22, ran from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and was advertised in the store's front windows. The first of several food sampling booths, offering sizeable bowls of the newly released Berry and Multi-Berry Cheerios, was stationed just inside the front door.
Store personnel, who were briefed on the event and available to offer information to customers, wore large buttons that read "Ask Me About A Taste Of Big Y!"
"We are to taste the product so we can recommend it to our customers," one food sampling person told SN. "Then we give a sample to each customer, try to elicit feedback, and write down the comments."
The employee then directs customers to the appropriate aisle to pick up the product, or offers them product from on or behind the booth. Featured items got endcap treatment and were offered at promotional prices.
At the end of the day-long event, store personnel were to check the stock of each featured food item to see how effective the promotions were.
Other Center Store products promoted during the Newtown Big Y event included Perugina milk chocolate and milk chocolate with almonds candy bars in the 3.5-ounce size, selling for $2.09 each, and Nestle 2.8-ounce European Style Chocolate Mousse Mix, selling for $1.78.
Other departments participated in the event as well, with honey tangerine and grapefruit sampled in the produce area, pizza slices in the pizza area, and fish and chips in the seafood department.