How to use maize meal sampling as a maize milling entrepreneur

How to use maize meal sampling as a maize milling entrepreneur

Jan Jordaan |

Samples can include anything from a free sachet of cosmetics in a magazine, to a small tub of cereal in the supermarket. When it comes to food products, sampling is also a great way to promote your maize meal.

Getting customers to try your maize meal first-hand could be key to making sure they come back for more, and give you repeat business. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like something for free?

Says Rob Six, Vice President of Communications at American juice company POM Wonderful: "If you want someone to try your product twice, they have to try it once."

taster samples


A sample is a sales promotion in which a little bit of your product is given to consumers to try. Samples encourage trial and also a better awareness of the product. The main reason we give away samples is getting people to buy a product.

In the food industry, one of the best ways to get people to buy your product is to taste it. It’s therefore no wonder that so many big and small food brands sample product in retail stores.

Sampling takes time and money, but it’s usually very effective for food products. People try the product, the person providing the sample tells consumers about it, and mentions any special pricing or offers for the product.


  • It can help you create good relationships with small retailers or shops in your area.
  • It’s a chance to hear feedback directly from your customers, which can help you improve your product.
  • In some cases, sampling can boost sales 5 to 10 times above normal – resulting in a 10% to 15% long-term residual increase.
  • Customers who get something for free are more likely to buy something.
  • It increases word-of-mouth marketing. People talk about products more when they get it for free.
  • It can help set your brand apart by “giving it a face and a flavour”.

sample maize meal with sauce


Decide why sampling is necessary
Have a clear idea of why sampling is a necessary part of your specific marketing or sales plan. It can be helpful to take a look at your business’s mission and core values to remind yourself why your maize meal is worth trying, before you decide on your sampling strategy.

Find your target audience
Like any other sales tactic, targeting the right audience is critical for your sampling success. It will also determine where you offer your samples and how you offer them.

Have a plan
How are you going to offer your samples? Will it be linked to a competition or discount? Will you pair your cooked maize meal sample with tomato relish or chesa nyama (barbeque) – or do a breakfast promotion and serve porridge with milk and sugar?

Stand out
Sampling requires you to think creatively. What will you use to package your sample in? Is it appealing to your target customer?

Samples must turn into sales
In order for sampling to be successful, samples must become sales. If not, it’s not worth continuing with it. To see if your samples are actually effective, you need to track its success. For example: are sales higher at stores where you offered sampling? Or, if you have a social media presence, are you getting positive feedback?

Food sampling is a great marketing tool
– one that you can use to your advantage!

Roff believes in entrepreneurs and small business owners, and supports you through a diverse range of maize mills, technical support and helpful content. Contact us on +27 56 212 2697 or


Contact Us

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.