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U.S. consumers are more likely to buy products after trying a free sample

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Yahoo Finance Live anchors Seana Smith and Dave Briggs check out the revival of grocery store free samples.

Video Transcript

- Attention all shoppers, free samples are slowly making their way back to some of your favorite stores. Now some locations of Costco and Whole Foods have brought back some nibble-sized freebies. Seana, are you a grocery store grazer? Do you love the free sample?

- Of course. I love the free sample. That's why Stew Leonard's is one of my favorite grocery stores because you have to go down every single aisle. And they have so--

- You get trapped.

- --many samples. And you end up walking out of there eating a full meal. I mean, this is huge, not only for the consumer, for us who goes into the grocery store and shops, but also a lot of times for the seller as well. There was a few people quoted in this "Wall Street Journal" article. One was the president of Phoenix Bean. And what she said was that samples are so critical to her business, when she starts handing out samples, she's noticed that 8 out of 10 people who try her products wound up buying that. 80%. So that might be on the high end.

- That's phenomenal return.

- Yeah. I don't think that's the case for everybody out there. But it really just points to how important it is for some of these sellers, specifically some of these smaller businesses, to be able to get their products out there to consumers to try and attract new users.

- I'm curious about a COVID factor here because I'm still a little wary of the free sample, just that-- OK, for example, the cheese, right, if there someone's manning the sample cart, yes, I'd probably get in there. But the COVID factor still sticks with me in terms of others touching things. I still think even in most people are probably a bit hesitant to get right in there.

- Definitely. Yeah. I don't know if I would be sticking my hand in a bowl that other people were able to stick their hand. And so I think we're talking about individual samples that you know it hasn't been contaminated. There's no germs on it. And it's just the server. I'm OK with that.

- A lot of the ice cream shops have not brought them back, the small sample-size spoons. And what they're saying is they actually find people aren't having that flavor, that they're usually just trying something extra. I'm guilty of that too.

- Every time.

- 16 handles. I need to walk down and try every single thing.