Digital product sampling is a win for brands, consumers, and retailers

Impact at a glance


consumers applied to try Haven’s Kitchen


purchase intent


post-trial response rate


star product rating

97% New consumer acquisition

consumers reached that have never tried Haven’s Kitchen


email opt-in rate

The Challenge

Due to its cooking school roots, Haven’s Kitchen didn’t want to sample their sauces in little paper condiment cups. They wanted to provide a full experience with their sauce drizzled on perfectly grilled chicken or tasty fresh pasta.

They knew that “sauce in mouth” meant more people bought sauce. But in-store demos can be a lot of work and expensive.

The challenge of in-store demos

Each demo needs to be coordinated at the store level with 1099 contractors. This made it hard to control the feedback process. Plus, some of Haven’s Kitchen’s demos were complete cooking demos, which required more supplies and preparation.

Through another brand referral, Haven’s Kitchen learned that there was an easier way to demo that still drove in-store velocity and supported their key retailers – enter Social Nature’s digital product sampling.

The Solution

Social Nature’s digital product sampling offered Haven’s Kitchen a seamless solution to drive in-store trial, collect consumer feedback and reviews, and acquire new fans for their mailing lists.

No more individual coordination of stores, contractors, and supplies. Feedback is no longer lost in the busyness of in-store demos, as post-trial survey responses and product reviews are easily accessible in an online dashboard provided by Social Nature. Plus, Social Nature is more cost-effective on a per demo basis.

Digital product sampling streamlines the demo process


16,765 shoppers applied to try Haven’s Kitchen by filling out a pre-trial survey.


Qualified shoppers living within 6-miles of a key retailer received a coupon to pick up the product in-store.

Trial & Velocity

Shoppers tried their sauce of choice at home.


74% of shoppers filled out a post-trial survey sharing how they used the product and left a product review for Haven’s Kitchen to use on their website


37% of shoppers who left a review opted-in to Haven’s Kitchen’s mailing list to receive direct communication from the brand.

Applying consumer insights across the business

As a growing brand, the data from the pre-trial and post-trial surveys and the thousands of product reviews proved to be very useful and reassuring. Haven’s Kitchen applied the consumer feedback across all areas of their business:

1. Insights at the store level

The surveys revealed that shoppers had a hard time finding Haven’s Kitchen sauces at one specific retailer. Through this data, the brand learned that the retailer wasn’t stocking their products adequately.
This allowed the sales team to get insight into what was happening at the store level and follow up.

2. Changing product names

The reviews and consumer feedback revealed that one of the product flavor’s could be described differently. This is prompting a rename to make the product flavor more clear for consumers.

“For a long time we’ve been running on our gut. It’s reassuring to hear from consumers that we’re going in the right direction. The constructive feedback has also helped us to adjust some things along the way.“

– Courtnie Alvear-Beceiro, Director of Brand Marketing, Haven’s Kitchen

3. Improving education around packaging

The recyclable pouches are a main product attribute of Haven’s Kitchen’s squeezy sauces. Through the surveys, Haven’s Kitchen learned that this benefit was not clearly communicated.

They’re now making updates to the packaging, landing pages, and creating more specific communications on how shoppers can recycle the pouches.

4. Building an affiliate program

Haven’s Kitchen is starting to build an affiliate program to engage and reward their most loyal fans. To kick-start recruitment, they’ll be reaching out to Social Nature community members who opted-in to their mailing list and those who posted about the brand on social.

The fans who tried their sauces and posted on social media are already excited about the brand. Therefore, they make excellent prospects for their affiliate program.

5. Reviews for multiple use cases

The thousands of 4.5/5 star reviews collected by Haven’s Kitchen are shared beyond their website.

  • Consumer reviews are embedded in sales decks for retailer meetings to validate that their new products have been tried and tested by thousands of consumers and have received rave reviews.
  • The R&D team uses the feedback from reviews to guide reformulations and new innovations
  • Usage trends and ideas are pulled from the reviews to guide recipe content on their blog.

6. An opportunity for product expansion at Whole Foods Market

50% of shoppers picked up their free product at Whole Foods. In the reviews, many shoppers expressed that they wished the sauce came in a bigger pack. Now Haven’s Kitchen is taking this data to build a case for a bigger sauce pack at Whole Foods.

Social Nature becomes Haven’s Kitchen’s primary retail marketing lever

Haven’s Kitchen now relies on Social Nature as its primary retail marketing lever. “We used to use Social Nature reactively when velocity fell. Now it’s proactively integrated into our quarterly planning. We look forward to using future campaigns as a way to test different regions, retailers, price points, and more,” states Courtnie.

Looking for more?

Annalea Krebs, Founder of Social Nature, and Alison Cayne, Founder of Haven’s Kitchen discuss driving trial, winning in retail, and more on the In the Sauce podcast.

About Haven’s Kitchen

Haven’s Kitchen has been helping people cook good food since 2012. The brand started as a NYC cooking school. Now Haven’s Kitchen makes deliciously fresh sauces to make cooking even easier. Each sauce is packed into a squeezy pouch that is easy, neat, and 100% recyclable through Terracycle.

Ready to drive retail foot
traffic and trial?

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