MARKET BRIEFS

Automated Sampling Slated onal sampling company Super Marketing here is planning to market an interactive sampling machine. The company said it will announce its plans at the Promotion Marketing Association of America's annual conference March 13-14 in Chicago.Company president Dave Schwartz said 11 prototype machines have already been built. They have been in pilot tests with stores, including Sam's

Automated Sampling Slated

onal sampling company Super Marketing here is planning to market an interactive sampling machine. The company said it will announce its plans at the Promotion Marketing Association of America's annual conference March 13-14 in Chicago.

Company president Dave Schwartz said 11 prototype machines have already been built. They have been in pilot tests with stores, including Sam's Wholesale Club, for several months.

After absorbing the operations of a company known as Automated Sampling, Minneapolis, Super Marketing invented an automated process for delivering samples, according to Schwartz. The patent for the system is pending. "We took the best of what they had and we quantum leaped where they were to what really is going to be a very hot product in the marketplace," he said.

He said a full industry presentation will be made at the Food Marketing Institute's annual convention May 7-10 in Chicago.

Drug Store Shopping Study Due

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- Brand marketers will soon have access to a detailed analysis of the shopping habits of consumers who visit drug stores.

Nielsen North America is undertaking this comprehensive study, called "The Thrift Drug Super Study," with help from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and Thrift Drug, Pittsburgh.

In addition, Marketing Resources Corp., Scottsdale, Ariz., a firm that took part in creating "The Marsh Super Study" -- the supermarket version of this work -- will assist Nielsen in collecting and analyzing the data for this project.

The "Thrift" study aims to interpret consumers' shopping habits by examining scanner data, consumer intercepts, focal groups and "market basket" studies.

The project also will examine all facets of store operations, including assortment, replenishment and category management practices, as well as private-label positioning. The study even takes into consideration weather conditions and their effect on sales.

Pringles, Orlando Magic Teaming

CINCINNATI -- Pringles brand potato chips from Procter & Gamble here was part of an account-specific promotion in Gooding's Super Markets, Altamonte Springs, Fla., that gave away an official basketball autographed by the Orlando Magic team. Advertisements in circulars in Gooding's last month directed consumers to register to win the ball at an in-store display for Pringles, priced at 99 cents. Gooding's operates 17 supermarkets and combination stores in Florida.