Setting up elaborate sampling events can be labor intensive, but it's typically worth the payoff, says Dennis Lombardi,executive vice president of food service strategies at WD Partners, which is a design and development firm that specializes in food and retail.
These promotions give marketers the opportunity to showcase their fare and also provide companies with the chance to closely interact with consumers who stop by to try the food.
"Sampling is a really, really effective marketing technique," he says.
The Pepsi event will provide consumers with "really fulfilling and engaging experiences" with its many brands, says spokesman Jeff Dahncke.
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That helps to build "good will" with customers, says Pepsi chef Kalil.
Pepsi will encourage those who stop by to share their thoughts via the Twitter hashtag #PEPCITY. Pizza Hut is using the hashtag #GoForGreatness to hype its pizza giveaway and other Super Bowl activities.
By encouraging social media use , these marketers and others "can exponentially increase the power of their sampling," says Domenick Celentano, a food and beverage expert and co-founder of The Foodpreneur website.
"Mega sampling events generate great publicity," he says.
This Super Bowl will be played in an area that is susceptible to extremely cold weather. That fact isn't lost on marketers who want to warm up to consumers by providing hot fare.
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Campbell's Chunky Soup—the "official soup sponsor" of Super Bowl XLVIII—will give out samples of its Chunky line to ticketholders who gather in the MetLife Stadium's Game Day Fan Plaza on Super Sunday.
From Wednesday through Saturday, McDonald's will hand out its Premium Roast Coffee to folks on Super Bowl Boulevard. It expects to give away more than 10,000 cups of coffee.
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And even a non-food maker is getting into the sampling action. Apparel company New Era—which will play up the tagline "embrace the cold"—will hand out vanilla soft serve ice cream with sprinkles.
The company plans to distribute about 1,000 ice cream servings daily from Wednesday through Saturday. It will have NFL player Chad "OchoCinco" Johnson and New York Jets coach Rex Ryan hanging out at its ice cream truck on Super Bowl Boulevard.
And for consumers seeking some warmth after downing their ice cream, New Era will hand out free caps and handwarmers as well.
--By Laura Petrecca, USAToday.