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by Kyle LeTellier, Account Supervisor How many of us have been at the supermarket lately asking, what happened to the wonderful samples? Am I too old at 29, that the half cracker with cheese whiz topping is just a childhood memory? What happened to the 70+ year old lady with a toaster oven, making bagel bites at the end of isle six? These, as well as many other food sample related questions, came into my head the other day when I was picking up a few items at the grocery store. As marketers, we are constantly tasked with coming up with sampling programs, advertising campaigns, web campaigns or other promotions to drive consumer awareness, consideration, and ultimately, generate purchase. It seems to me that at my local supermarket, everyone has forgotten about good old-fashioned POS marketing, or as I like to call it, 'snacker marketing'? (actual name: 'Shopper Marketing'?). Makes sense, right? If you want to influence purchase decisions, it's a good idea to try to do this in the in-store environment - a place where awareness can translate almost instantly into purchase. Consumers for the most part are too busy today to think about what ingredients were in that delicious dish they saw on Rachel Ray last night, but most aren't too busy to remember the delicious mini pepperoni pizza bagel they just had. In fact, industry estimates suggest 70% of purchase decisions happen in store; there is something to be said for those advertisers making the leap back into the purchasing environment and doing their best to influence consumers' in-store. All this talk is making me hungry, so I will leave you all with a little 'food for thought'?; Shopper Marketing is an ever expanding marketing channel ' from sampling and POS, to mobile applications and loyalty programs, there are hundreds of different ways to influence consumers to consider your brand. Let me know what you think, I would love to hear your thoughts on Shopper Marketing and its place in the media mix. Do you have a specific Shopper Marketing strategy in place? And, if they still conduct samples at your local supermarket, please let me know where you shop'?¦ I might make the switch.