NEWS24 August 2009

Tokyo café offers diners a taste of new products

Asia Pacific

JAPAN— A café has opened up in Tokyo where there’s more than just food and drink on the menu. Customers are given tokens with every purchase they make which they can exchange for samples of new products.

The Lcafé is run by Sample Lab, which bills its ‘tryvertising’ concept as the future of product research and consumer targeting.

It is specifically targeted at female consumers aged between 20 and 30 and is hosted within the Parco department store in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Tasters of new food and drink products are among the samples on offer to customers, but non-edible items are also available to try out. Telecoms firm KDDI was one of the first companies to take advantage of the café, placing new cellphone handsets on tables for customers to try on opening day.

Lcafé is an extension of Sample Lab’s flagship ‘store’, which launched in the fashionable Harajuku area of Tokyo in July 2007. Access to the original Sample Lab is restricted to members who have paid a registration and membership fee.

Once inside the store-like environment, members can try-out everything they like on-premise and can take up to five items home each visit. In exchange, members are asked to complete surveys on the products they tested with data fed back to the product manufacturers.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Sample Lab is looking to expand its Lcafé concept to other major Japanese cities and overseas in the coming years.


1 Comment

14 years ago

I will be very much interested in the research oriented programme. Thanks.

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