According to Packaged Facts, a leading market research firm, purchases of consumables (food gifts) for corporate gift giving reached a new record last year of $7.2 billion dollars. To put that in perspective, the entire promotional products industry does about $20 billion.

Now is the time your clients and prospects are thinking about holiday gifts. Here are quick tips to help you cash in on the giant food gift market.

Call or email every one of your clients. Ask if they or anyone else in their company purchases food gifts for the holidays. Explain that you can provide a more cost-effective program than they would get from a mail-order company, internet merchant or retail store.

Follow up by getting a catalog in their hands. Food gifts are different from other promotional products. Buyers like to leaf through catalogs. Make sure you have enough catalogs on hand for all your major customers.

Order tasting samples from companies like Maple Ridge Farms. Tasting samples, as the name implies, are samples of the food only, no fancy packaging, just great tasting food that will have your clients eating out of your hand in no time – and probably giving you their holiday gift order too!

Here’s a great sales strategy using tasting samples. Instead of asking your client for an appointment, ask to schedule a tasting event. As we all know in this busy world, appointments are sometimes hard to get. Tell your customer they are welcome to invite fellow workers. Who could refuse that? Here’s the secret… after the tasting is over, all those fellow workers will be raving about the wonderful samples and will lobby for you to get the order for the holiday gift program. It’s like having a secret salesforce within the walls of their building.
How this Strategy Produced 50 New Orders

Here’s another great way to use tasting samples. A distributor who writes over 50 new food gift orders every year shared his technique with us.

“Here’s how it’s done,” he said, “On every call I make from September through November, I bring along a chocolate tasting sample. It doesn’t make any difference whether we’re talking about t-shirts, calendars, or desk accessories; I just open the box and set it on my client’s desk. Before long my client comments on how good it is. At that point, or just before I’m ready to leave, I explain that we can package this great-tasting food in a variety of different ways. Then I suggest that they try a couple dozen gifts this year, just for their very best customers, and explain that after they’ve seen the response they get, I know they’ll use a lot more next year. Sometimes I get an order right away. But if not, I leave the catalog, ask them to figure out exactly what they’ll need, and tell them I’ll call after they’ve figured out what they want to order.”

“It really works, it’s very economical, and what’s the worst thing that can happen? Even if my client doesn’t order, he thinks I’m a nice guy for bringing in the chocolate.”

Go ahead and try this technique yourself. Order your tasting samples today!


Tom Riordan, President
Maple Ridge Farms
(800) 477-5577
tom@mapleridge.com