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Is This the Future of Free Samples?

Is This the Future of Free Samples?

The next time you find yourself searching for the sample table at your local grocery store, you may stumble upon a different way of trying out new products. What used to be handed to us on a toothpick or in a mini plastic cup may soon be doled out to us from a vending machine that is smart enough to know our age and gender.

An article from USA Today reports about the new sampling machine introduced by Kraft Foods a few months ago.

The first vending machines were introduced in Chicago where grocery store customers could retrieve free samples of Jell-O Temptation’s mousse-like dessert. The Jell-O samples were meant for adults only and is equipped with a camera that can scan a customer’s face in order to detect their age. If a child were to step up for a taste, the machine would automatically shut down.

Though the new machines do not save photos or videos of customers, it does compare and store the data it retrieves. Creators of the machine say they are working on a way to get the machines to also measure a person’s reaction to the sample by determining whether they are smiling or not.

Director of the Platt Retail Institue, Steven Keith Platt, was excited when he heard about this innovative new way to try products. Platt jokingly said, “This is wow. I'll now have the ability to interact with a cool device that dispenses a unique product vs. walking up to some old lady with a white apron on.”

What do you think of the idea of retrieving your food sample in the grocery store from a vending machine?

Do you think vending machines are a better way for customers to sample products in the grocery store?
 

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  • sabradawn By sabradawn
    04.18.12  

    This may be avant garde for the techies, but I am sure there are many consumers who are more people oriented and would appreciate that white aproned person doling out samples. Believe it or not they are capable of giving out age appropriate samples. Stores have used people for years without that many problems, despite the fact some are talkative. How will this "machine" answer those questions that mothers/grandmothers/new homemakers ask? Will it malfunction when grandma asks how she can adapt product A to be a substitute in her apple pie? Eating is a natural action. Samples should be dispensed by a natural being; the human. Vending machines may be okay for non food items, but then again what if the machine were faced with a baby faced adult?

  • strawberrieebel By strawberrieebel
    04.20.12  

    I like the idea but I think that there should be sample for all ages.

  • lerose By lerose
    04.22.12  

    Bad idea, 1 st- of all people would be put out of jobs. 2- I like the interaction with a human, if I have any questions they can help me. 3- We would not be very sure just how clean that machine would be on the inside. 4- Where are these stores going to put all these vending machines ?? 5- Would the machine have freshness ?? All in all not a good idea.

  • Splashofpaint By Splashofpaint
    04.25.12  

    The revolutionay idea is great, but as for me, I don't like to think of the product as sitting in the machine for who knows how long or who with not so clean hands was there before me. Some of the other types of vending machines sitting around in stores look like have not been serviced in quite awhile. Does the merchandise spoil?

  • 2007sister By 2007sister
    04.25.12  

    I like getting the samples from someone I can talk to, they tell me about the product, give you coupons and give one to everyone in your family. My kids love to try them also, they are very interested in giving their opinions and trying new things. It also is eliminating jobs for all of us...

  • DeeDee042 By DeeDee042
    04.26.12  

    I agree that I have mixed reactions to this but I think I would lean to it being ok - we live in a technology era - its to be expected.

  • zoehunter By zoehunter
    05.11.12  

    I would miss the one on one contact and happy smile!!

  • SimplyDavia By SimplyDavia
    05.19.12  

    I am interested very much in this idea..however I would have to see it in action for myself and I think overtime I may like it alot more then spending so much time trying to track down samples, enter contests to win free samples!

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    06.10.12  

    Saw one for the first time in the entry way of my local Walmart Friday June 8. It was an orange P&G with samples of Tide Pods, you needed a specific mobile phone and app to access it though.

  • SereneFairy By SereneFairy
    09.14.15  

    I think that is a FANTASTIC idea I have been waiting for awhile for another way to receive free samples and not just online I love this concept and wish for others to make this a reality if I must I would make a petition almost everday I'm looking for free samples online all the time finally we get see them in public

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