Waitrose - supermarekt sampling and retail sales

True Nopal Cactus Water

Gold Award Winning Campaign

The Most Effective Retail Sales Experience

The Field Marketing & Brand Experience Awards – 2019

Campaign Objectives

  • MEASURABLE SALES: To show a measurable rate of at least 10% positive sales uplifts specifically at Waitrose
  • NEW STOCKISTS: To obtain at least 50 new independent stockists in London, in the lead up to summer
  • PRODUCT EDUCATION: Effectively educate the UK public on the Nopal Cactus and its health benefits
  • TASTE SAMPLING: Present 5,000 chilled True Nopal samples specifically aimed to Waitrose shoppers per week

Phase One: Waitrose Sampling & Sales Activation

To drive measurable sales across Waitrose, a portable sampling station was created which included:

  • Compact sizing to enable positioning in front of high street stores
  • An ice chest to hold and chill samples 
  • Hidden storage for cups and leaflets 
  • Real ‘Nopal Cactus’ fruits and cacti for consumers to inspect and act as a visual talking point 
  • Branding and graphics, with messaging and overhead canopy .
True Nopal Cactus Water Sampling Campaign Canary Wharf London

Sampling Team Engage Consumers With New Cactus Water Product

The cart was deployed across Waitrose stores during peak shopping days Thursday to Sunday.  Where geography permitted, the team split their shift across two stores, covering lunchtimes at one and afternoon/evenings at another.


To aid impulse purchases when not on discount, customers were offered an on the day ‘Buy One Get One Free’ incentive, using promotional stock. This enabled customers to purchase in store, show their receipt to the team and receive an extra carton and heartfelt thank-you.

The teams focussed on shoppers walking into Waitrose as their priority. The trike was positioned in front of each store enabling experiential sampling at point of purchase. A three person team suited the flow of customers enabling one-to-one presentations, followed by a personal acknowledgement of thanks to customers who came back outside to claim their free carton.

Measurable Retail Sales Growth

  • The campaign reaached an averaging of 6,390 shopers per week, exceeding the target by over 20%.
  • The supermarket street sampling generated an average 423% sales uplift across all stores attended.
  • The stores in the most demographically aligned areas achieved circa 1,000% sales growth (such as Islington).
  • The very first sampling session rocketed a mid-table store to the number one selling store across all Waitrose.
  • By week three, the top three selling Waitrose were all sampling stores selling over 100 units each day on average.
  • Larger scale event days sold even more, generating a 836% uplifts and sustained long term 90% sales uplift.
  • Lower cost sampling days also created sustained long term sales growth of 80% in the weeks following the sampling.
  • The activity generated a huge peak of 383 units sold in just one store on one day (at Canary Wharf Waitrose).

Find out more about convenience retail sampling.

Phase Two – Growing New Retail Distribution

A secondary requirement of the campaign was to secure new listings for the product. Our team of Brand Ambassadors actively engaged with a wide range of targeted businesses pre-selected as being ideal stockists. The field sales teams presented to 674 new stockists and achieved 114 new stockist listings during their visits. This equates to 23 new stockists selling True Nopal each week, with a 5:1 successful product placement ratio.

New listings were incentivised with the offer of (1) a BOGOF deal on all cases purchased and (2) the offer of a sampling session in front of their store, if they make a bulk stock purchase. The impact of this approach prompted repeat trade orders from the new fledgling retailers, all of which came from a zero baseline starting point

Small scale sampling event days in front fo these new small independent stockists then achieved uplifts of up to 50 units per day  and prompted repeat trade orders from the new fledgling retailers, from a zero baseline starting point.

Extension and Expansion of Best Practise:

In addition to the campaign being awarded “The Most Effective Retail Sales Experience of 2019”, the success of the activity lead to an extension of the activity too. In addition, new campaigns across other brands in the client’s portfolio were successfully activated including Orangina summer tour and the large scale launch of the new MayTea ice tea range across Morrisons, M&S, BP and WHSmiths

Discover how product sampling can grow your business.

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