GIVE A TASTE TO GET A SALE, VENDOR URGES

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. -- Astute retailers can significantly increase their candy department sales by sampling products, said an official with a leading fudge manufacturer.Speaking last month at the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift & Gourmet Show here, Marty Jacknis, executive vice president of Calico Cottage Candies, Mineola, N.Y., said retailers are in the "need-satisfaction business." As a result,

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. -- Astute retailers can significantly increase their candy department sales by sampling products, said an official with a leading fudge manufacturer.

Speaking last month at the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift & Gourmet Show here, Marty Jacknis, executive vice president of Calico Cottage Candies, Mineola, N.Y., said retailers are in the "need-satisfaction business." As a result, they should make their stores more appealing to the customer.

"You should make your store fun and exciting so that you make the shopping experience memorable," he said.

The best way to reach the customers' pocketbooks is through their stomachs, he added. He said 75% of people offered a sample of his company's fudge in a store would take it, and of that number 55% would buy some.

The combination of sampling, upselling and promotion will make people fortunes," he said.

Jacknis said retailers also have to closely examine where they place their displays to make sure they are fully maximizing the traffic potential.