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April 1, 2024
min read

Plant-based protein brand shakes up interest with health-conscious consumers through sampling

If your perception of plant protein in drinks is that it’s bland, thin, and chalky, you should have been one of the participants in the omnichannel product sampling campaign we did with a plant protein shake brand. Their delicious product samples had recipients raving, and we were excited to help our client get those into over 120,000 people’s hands.

By tapping into our extensive partnership network and pinpointing the affinities most relevant to our client, we were able to collaborate on a nationwide campaign to increase brand and product awareness and drive retail sales in strategic and effective ways and show customers the true, tasty power of plants.

F45 members enjoy a refreshing, chilled protein drink after class.

What the partnership with our plant protein brand client aimed for

Customers have so many choices these days when it comes to protein products and liquid\ consumables, so we wanted to make sure that our client’s brand would be top of mind when people shopped. Brand awareness marketing tactics can take many forms but because consumers increase their likelihood of purchase after trying out edible products in low-risk situations, we also set goals for redemption of promotional coupons.

Our omnichannel product sampling strategy to grow the brand

There are many ways to get in front of potential customers. We believe and have seen that sampling events are very powerful, particularly if they happen in places where the customers are most likely to be. So we had to figure out who was the target customer for the brand. By using the Recess platform, we were then able to find the perfect locations to distribute samples to these key people.

DashMart customers receive beverage samples with their groceries delivery order.

In multiple states, we sampled chilled plant protein shake products in fitness studios, at races, and at drive-in events as well as included promotional material through a grocery delivery marketplace. However, reaching customers only in person was not going to make the campaign as powerful as it could be. We integrated parallel efforts to include digital marketing, engaging on-site signage, and retail coupons for in-store redemptions.

Additionally, depending on the area of exposure and campaign activity, the product sample size shifted accordingly. For example, fitness studio members who would be looking for smaller items to consume pre- and post-workout received 12 oz. bottles while drive-in attendees, who would be sitting with the product for an extended period of time, received 17 oz. bottle samples. 

Brand launches sampling at Barre3 studios to target millennial women.
By the numbers: How the product sampling campaign performed

So how did we do with the campaign in spreading the word and driving sales of such delicious plant protein shake products? We distributed samples at 7 fitness studios, a Spartan Race, multiple drive-in movies, and in thousands of grocery delivery orders in more than one state! These were followed up with multiple social media posts through partner accounts that received strong engagement. We also saw that our campaign tactic of providing promotional coupons resulted in nearly 1,100 redemptions at retail locations that carried the product.

Positive sentiments are ingredients to sampling experience success

Being able to get product samples into the hands of the specific target customers we were aiming for was already great but we also gathered positive feedback from participants that helped our client learn more about their market.

Protein drinks with unique flavors are a huge hit at gyms!

For sites where we were able to share on-site event signage and information about the variety in the plant protein brand’s protein shakes line, fitness studio members shared excitement about checking out more flavors. Racers and fitness studio members alike expressed high purchase intent and even asked our partners directly where they could buy the products after they left their race and workout. And we even got some insight into which flavors were fan favorites!

We also saw how crucial partnerships were in making the sampling experiences excel. Our client’s target customers trusted the locations where they received their products, and our client’s delicious samples gained a positive resulting association. The partners themselves also appreciated getting the positive association through fun sampling - one told us that “This was the best product we have sampled to date. Response was through the roof!”

Everyone was thrilled to see how the campaign would shake out and even more so once the results were in.

Members express excitement about checking out more flavors from the brand.

Want to bulk up your marketing strategy with omnichannel product sampling?

Recess can help. With more than 15,000 opportunities for sampling which you can filter by consumer demographic, customer behavior, location, proximity to retailer, Recess can support your unique brand activation and sampling event execution in turnkey, measurable, and scalable ways. Talk to a Recess expert to learn more.

Minerva Thai
Minerva Thai
Writer at Recess

Translates super neat CPG brand experiences and strategies into words. Wants you to say hi to a dog for her.