Sara Lee and American Historic Inns, Inc. Sample 2000 Senseo® Coffee Pod Systems and New Coffee Blends at Bed & Breakfasts Around the Country.

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Sampling products at bed & breakfasts proves to be a powerful grassroots marketing campaign.

American Historic Inns, Inc. (AHI), publisher of more than 2.5 million bed & breakfast guidebooks and owner of leading bed & breakfast website iLoveInns.com, has teamed up with Sara Lee to sample Senseo® coffee pod systems and 700,000 coffee samples at 2000 bed and breakfasts across the US.

Senseo® is one of the growing number of consumer goods companies gaining new customers through the bed & breakfast industry. “B&B visitors are usually always up for an adventure and love to take in all that an inn has to offer, from the old oak trees that line a property to the luxurious amenities that innkeepers provide,” says Deborah Sakach, AHI owner and president. “Visitors usually associate a positive experience with the products they use and commonly ask innkeepers where they can buy them.”

Senseo's plan is to market their product to upscale coffee drinkers looking for that “perfect” cup of coffee. “The bed & breakfast industry appeals to the exact demographic that we are going after,” says Pam Venn, Corporate Brands Manager of Sara Lee Retail.

AHI surveys reveal that the average B&B traveler falls under the following demographics:

  • 93 % have attended college, graduated or earned a post-graduate degree
  • 48% have a household income in excess of $95,000
  • 77% are between 25-54 years of age
  • Inn guests travel primarily as couples
  • Primary activities are dining out, sightseeing, exploring, hiking, shopping, and relaxing.
  • 50% are leisure travelers

Consumer demographics weren't the only thing that led Senseo® to sample at bed & breakfasts. “The program allows us to have each innkeeper act as an ambassador for our brand and brand ambassadors are our single best vehicle for reaching and persuading 'new adaptors' to try and buy our system,” says Venn.

Senseo® was impressed by the idea of having innkeepers embrace their product, surrounded by the comforting ambiance of an inn, rather than passing coffee samples out in a sterile grocery store. Venn explains that in-store samples don't allow for the consumer to leisurely experience the product and can be costly.

“Previous demo efforts, over a period of about 8 months, saw us hand out about 1.3 million samples at about 20 different retailers”, says Venn. That is an average of 37,000 samples per weekend. “With American Historic Inns, our program is conceivably providing 700,000 samples during a 30 day period. That's an average of about 175,000 samples per weekend!”

The program, including a free Senseo® coffee pod system, six Senseo® mugs, and samples of three new coffee flavors (Paris, Killarney, or Vienna), has been enthusiastically received by innkeepers and their guests. March Riggio, innkeeper of the White House on High Street in Port Jefferson New York, reports, “We have had the system and samples for less than two weeks and it's already a big hit with our guests…two guests have already purchased a system.”

About American Historic Inns, Inc.

Founded in 1981, American Historic Inns, Inc. is the industry leader in publishing country inn and bed & breakfast guidebooks, with more than 2.5 million bed & breakfast guidebooks sold. AHI also owns and runs iLoveInns.com, a top bed & breakfast and country inns website and has newly formed a product sampling and promotions division.

© 2005 Sara Lee Coffee & Tea and Philips Electronics North American. Senseo® is a registered trademark. http://www.Senseo.com

If you would like more information on such programs, or to schedule an interview with related parties, please call Jennifer Engevik at (949) 497-2232 x 307 or e-mail Jennifer at jen@iloveinns.com

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