Offering food samples has proven to be an effective sales strategy at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, with sales rising up to 150 percent, airport officials said yesterday.
Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said that the airport has more than 50 sites inside and outside the restricted areas in its two terminals to allow passengers and others to sample food or beverages for sale at the airport.
Fresh-baked pineapple cakes and freshly brewed coffee can be found at the C2 boarding gate. Grilled sausages and tea are on offer at gate D4, grilled mullet roe and meat jerky at gate A9 gate and nougat made on the spot can be found in Terminal One.
TIAC senior vice president Weng Yung-sung (溫永松) said providing samples may increase store owners’ operational costs, but it is more important to increase the time people spend in the airport’s stores and gain the opportunity to market the products.
He said that the sale of pineapple cakes increased by at least 10 percent after samples were provided, while allowing customers a taste of grilled sausage boosted sales by 150 percent.
A survey conducted by the company found that Japanese tourists prefer to buy Taiwanese tea and mochi with red-bean paste after tasting samples, while pineapple cakes remain a favorite among Chinese tourists.
Grilled sausages and meat jerky are mostly purchased by Chinese as well as Taiwanese businesspeople headed to China, because the Chinese government does not bar visitors from bringing in processed meat products.
Allowing visitors to sample these products has helped increase TIAC’s revenue as well, the company said.
Seeing how sampling has brought in customers has encouraged international brands such as Godiva to consider allowing customers to try samples, TIAC added.
Weng said that the company has made sure that people sampling food do not disrupt the flow of traffic inside the terminals.
Some foods have been banned to preserve the airport’s image and maintain air quality, including stinky tofu and cakes made with congealed pork blood, he said.
Starting next month, there will be vending carts near boarding gates, Weng said.