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10/20/2022

New Covered Cart Puts Sampling on the Move

PMG Tastings debuts Cart Wrap tool for mobile in-store marketing
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Tasting cart
An on-the-go tasting station from PMG Tastings recently rolled out at H-E-B stores in the San Antonio area.

Sampling is back, but it’s changing with the times – literally. A new mobile tasting program aims to make the experience easier and broader for both shoppers and retailers.

PMG Tastings, a San Antonio-based adult beverage and food retail marketing company, has launched the Cart Wrap program for samples and displays. A store team members or brand ambassador can move a fabric-wrapped store cart to different approved locations within a store. It’s a self-contained station, with a top “tasting table” and a basket below that can be used to store samples and supplies. A header card can be added to share additional messaging or graphics, and the fabric wraps are easy to clean and store.

Brent Statzer, president and CEO of PMG Tastings, told Progressive Grocer that the Cart Wrap program meets the interests, tastes and needs of today’s shoppers and also helps retailers determine the best areas and times for sampling. “We’ve been working at retail for over 30 years and sampling since 2007, and one of the things we’ve seen is that people get excited with sampling, but there is so much you are competing with throughout the store,” he explained. “”We thought, OK, with this Cart Wrap, we can interrupt a shopper experience with something that is a different way to positively present a brand.”

The Cart Wrap system rolled out this month at 12 H-E-B stores in San Antonio as part of a tasting program for Modelo Negra beer with Constellation Brands. Statzer was on hand for one of those sampling events. “These are three-hour experiences, and it was so good to see the reaction of shoppers,” he noted.

The program also opens up new opportunities for holiday merchandising. “It not only allows a brand to distinguish itself, especially during competitive holidays, but also allows a retailer to direct brand ambassadors to put the cart in areas of high traffic where they wouldn’t be able to put a static table before,” he pointed out, adding, “The cart also has the flexibility to be used for a tasting, or a retailer could wrap a cart and execute a corporate seasonal plan.”

Following the kickoff of the mobile sampling and display station at H-E-B, Statzer is in discussions with other retailers to add the marketing tool to their efforts in 2023.

The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 420 stores and 145,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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