Department Demo-Ramas Liven Things Up and Drive Sales

Jan 31, 2019


Archie’s IGA Plus | St. Marie’s, ID
Department: Whole Store
Difficulty : Medium

Store Specs:
26,000 sq. ft.
Average Weekly Sales: $145-150k


While we host a cooking demo in one of our departments each week, our big Demo-ramas have become one of our signature events. Held on a Thursday afternoon from 3-6 p.m., the Demo-ramas are truly festive occasions, featuring demos and samples in each department throughout the store. While we do see an uptick in sales on the demoed items, the sales in the whole store are typically up about 10 percent on the day. Because they have been so successful, we now offer four Demo-ramas a year. We make sure that the cooking demos and recipes are different each time, but they always revolve around seasonal offerings. Some of our most popular demos include wine and beer samples, meat and cheese platters, and meatballs.

4 Demo-ramas Per Year
10% Increase In Sales


For Our Shoppers:

Festive Occasion
Our customers always tell us how much they love sampling our recipes and learning about new products, and our employees also have a great time. It is really win-win!

Great Meal Ideas
Each demonstration includes a printed recipe card, so customers can go back home and recreate the recipe for their families.

Something Different
We scan a variety of sites, such as Pinterest, to make sure that our demos always give our customers new ideas.

For The Store: 
Increased Sales
The Demo-ramas have become so popular, many shoppers come in specifically to sample, and they often end up leaving with several items.

Introduce New Food Items
Demo-ramas are a great opportunity for us to draw attention and drive sales on new products. For example, we introduced a pre-seasoned tenderloin during one event and our meat department quickly sold out of all four cases.

Valuable Feedback
As our customers sample new products, we get a better idea of what they like. Then, we can trace which products see sales spikes following the Demo-rama.

The Demo-ramas are free community events.


1. Plan Ahead
About a month before the Demo-rama, we start talking about it in the weekly meetings. This ensures that all of the departments have plenty of time to plan what they are going to demo.

2. Get the Word Out
Two weeks before the Demo-rama, we run an ad letting everybody know they can “enjoy a taste of the season.” We also begin posting about the event on our social channels.

3. Choose your Recipes Carefully
You want to give the customers something that is interesting enough that they want to take it home for the family, but simple enough that they aren’t intimidated.

4. Be Prepared
On the day of the demo, give yourself plenty of time to get set up. Make sure that you have the stations prepped with everything each department will need and that you have enough recipes printed for customers to take home.

Pro Tips:
Educate the employees who are demoing. You want to make sure that they are comfortable cooking in front of a crowd and that they have tried the product, so they are able to answer any questions that come up.

We have found that just demoing the products increases sales enough that we don’t really need to offer an additional discount. We might offer something small, like a $.50 off coupon for a pizza, but we are still looking to make a profit.

Don’t be afraid to try something a little different. Customers might surprise you by really responding well to an item you didn’t expect to be popular.

Choose your day and time carefully. We originally tried hosting the Demo-ramas on a Friday, but found that it was a little bit too crazy. By moving them to Thursdays from 3-6 p.m., the events are more manageable, and we increase sales on a day that is typically a bit slower than the weekends.

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