First, let me state that I am in the UK. Maybe things are different here. But I don't think so, judging from other threads.
Today at Costco I partook of samples of:
Line caught haddock with (it seemed) a lot of black pepper (hot, fresh cooked, nice)
Strawberry dessert of some kind that was revolting and I tossed the sample after one small bite.
A whisky cocktail including elderlower cordial (too sweet)
A brandy cocktail including ginger wine (quite pleasant)
A coffee liqueur (nasty nasty)
Cinnamon rolls (yum)
Coffee (OK but not as good as my usual supplier).
I declined the chicken kiev and cat litter (not sure how one is supposed to sample cat litter, but hey).
My question - what's the point? Are these samples supposed to encourage purchase? None of the 'vendors' made any attempt at selling any product - it was just 'here, have some' (if there was a vendor present at all, which there often wasn't).
So - what's the point? (from their point of view)
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