What, No More Free Samples?

March 23, 2007 at 1:37 am 7 comments

Since Spring has sprung and the weather was a balmy 60 degree in NYC today, on my way home from a meeting I stopped for “snacktime” at Tasti D-lite.  For those who live outside of NYC, this store sells soft-serve ice cream in a multitude of flavors such as Milky Weigh, Fluffernutter, Trail Mix along with the classic Chocolate and Vanilla.  They bill themselves as “lower in calories and low-fat” soft serve ice cream, so health and weight-conscious NYers flock there on a daily basis to get a treat that won’t pile on the pounds, so they think.  But that’s a story for a different day.

Any way, on today’s visit, I noticed a sign displayed on one of the ice cream machines which said, “Samples 25 cents – first one free with purchase.”  I could not believe it!  How many times have I sampled their creative named flavors, one after another, some times  even just out of curiosity, without having to pay an extra penny?

After I had my (free) sample of today’s creative flavor since I made a purchase, I said to the woman doling out the ice cream, “so you charge for samples now?”.  She responded,  “yes”, and explained that people just come in and taste all of the flavors sometimes without buying anything, and when it gets really busy, it becomes too difficult to give out all these free samples. 

I understood her explanation but wanted to retort, “but isn’t that one of the reasons people go to Tasti D-lite, because they let you taste their flavors before you order something you may not like?  When you make flavors like Angel Food Cake,  Cake Batter,  Burnt Sugar or Pineapple Cheesecake don’t you think you need to be able to taste them for free?  Most of the flavors, although they may be “tasti”, taste nothing like their names.  And if that is the case, how will you get people to try the non-traditional flavors unless you encourage them to try them with free samples. 

I thought samples were “supposed to be free”, to entice you to make a purchase based on your experience, taste or how it matches your decor.  How can consumers make educated decisions unless they “try something on for size?” I guess the folks at Tasti D-Lite are more interested in making a profit these days than letting their customers try all their creative flavors without a taste.  Unless they want consumers to buy just Chocolate, Vanilla, why bother to make these fun flavors if you can’t spare a lick?

So, I guess for now, as ice cream season is upon us, if I want to sample more than one flavor without spending more than my alotted free sample, I can keep my calorie intake the same if I walk a few blocks out of the way to Baskin Robbins.


Entry filed under: Afternoon Snacks, snacks. Tags: , , .

All Out of Pretzels Free Tootsie Pops!

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mr. Buzzy  |  March 23, 2007 at 4:16 am

    How about a free sample of Prockus?

  • 2. janice goren  |  March 23, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Yes! Mr. Buzzy always said that “Prockus was better for the teeth than ice cream” Personally, I”d rather have Rita’s waterice any day…and, incidentally, Rita gave away a freebe to celebrate Springtime yesterday.

  • 3. Pretzelgirl  |  March 23, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Now, that’s a company that is doing something right! Starbuck’s also gave away free coffee last week. Perhaps it spring fever in the air…..you would think that Tasti D-lite had the same idea.

  • 4. Mr. Buzzy  |  March 23, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Hey now! There’s a great snacktime favorite! Prokus Water ice!

  • 5. Theatre Guy  |  March 28, 2007 at 1:56 am

    Does Tasti-D-Lite even have anything natural in their “ice cream”?

  • 6. Pretzelgirl  |  March 28, 2007 at 7:23 am

    I am not sure, but since nothing tastes at all like the names they come up with, I have got to think, the answer is no.

  • 7. Shanan  |  June 19, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Hey everyone, there is now a new soft serve that is taking the city by storm: The Lite Choice. It is this really delicious, yet not fattening, soft serve that is just really really good. I love peanut butter flavors, and they freshly grind peanut butter and almond butter right in each store to make their flavors. I usually go to the one on Christopher St. and Seventh Ave.


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