Some grocery store chains have begun to sponsor an annual food and wine event to which the public is invited to attend at a price. However, oftentimes the revenue collected goes to a charitable cause. Other than contributing to charity, the attendees enjoy an evening of sipping wines and quaffing beers of every brand and type. They also can sample prepared foods from every aisle in the grocery store.Vendors for these products—up to several hundred of them—set up tables and booths in a huge ballroom and invite the public to sample every one of them. Once inside the ballroom, the guest can stay as long as he or she wants and they can eat and drink as much as they want.
The food and wine event is advertised in the stores and customers are asked directly if they want to attend when they check out at the cashier. Since the average number of grocery store customers is approximately 15,000 per week, the attendance is huge.
After the food and wine event, the grocers advertise on the shelf, in print and electronic media and on billboards the items that their “core customers” have sampled and enjoyed at the food and wine event.
Not only do the customers enjoy an evening of food and drink, they taste foods to which they otherwise would not be exposed. They can then follow up by buying it at the store. Additionally, the customer learns something about how the food gets on the shelf and feels a greater bond with the retailer.
Grocers are constantly on the offensive, trying hard to give the customer more than they expect.