CNN) – Sam’s Club is the newest chain of storage bringing back food samples and, in partnership with rival Costco, is returning to a pre-pandemic staple.
As of this week, the company will restart its sampling and demo program “Taste & Tips” at its around 600 US locations. The perk was discontinued in March 2020 when the pandemic hit America.
It won’t be exactly like pre-pandemic times, however. “Taste & Tips” will only be available on weekends, at least for the time being, and it will contain sealed samples in limited quantities. Sam’s Club said in a press release that it is also planning “new, comprehensive sampling experiences,” including food trucks handing out samples of its own-brand Member’s Mark.
“In the past year, the purchasing behavior of our members has evolved. Now more than ever, members want more than just shopping when they come to our clubs – they want an experience, ”said Megan Crozier, Sam’s Club chief merchandising officer, in the press release.
Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart, also said it is testing “new ways to sample items”, including giving members samples when they check out at the cash register.
Last week, Costco announced it would “begin a gradual return to full sampling” this month after a 14-month hiatus. About 170 US locations – or about 30% of stores – will be bringing back food samples this week, with “most of the remaining locations” doing so towards the end of June. The discount club introduced new security measures, including plexiglass protectors and samples that were delivered to customers one by one.