On January 7th Taco Bell issued a press release announcing that their newest product would be introduced in a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl, on February 7th.
To maintain secrecy, and heighten suspense, Taco Bell redacted* the press release to avoid revealing any description or details about the new product.
There are some lessons to be learned for our industry from what Taco Bell is doing. No, we don’t have to issue redacted press releases every time we present a new product in our vending, OCS or micro market operations. We know that new products are very important for us. Initial trial purchases usually generate a significant volume surge.
But we can probably do much better at creating excitement and driving even more awareness, trial and repeat.
Above are some of my photos (taken in 2013) from the Paris (France) metro – where you’ll find multiple vending machines at every station. New products are highlighted using a bright yellow sleeve to quickly capture the shopper’s attention. In this candy/snack machine, the new product was sold out – as it was at every station I visited. A route technician told me that the product was so “hot” that the sales peak ran them out of inventory for a few days. That result was lost sales. We’ve seen that sort of thing too. Do you remember the excitement surrounding the introduction of single serve Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®?
In OCS and at micro markets, it’s even easier to feature new products. Look for the “how-to” in local convenience stores. There is a lot more to it than simply observing what c-stores are doing. We’ll save those insights for another day.
* Editing, censoring or obscuring (a document or letter or other printed or written material) for legal or security reasons. (Source: Google)