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Taste Test

Let customers see firsthand the value of your product by offering them a try.

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This story appears in the December 2007 issue of Start Up.

Brian Taylor was seeking the perfect venue for his unique popcorn flavorings. He had spent his last year in college working on the idea he hoped would turn into a booming business, but his test market had barely reached beyond the confines of his college campus. He needed proof his idea was going to succeed on a larger scale, and the summer after graduation, he found it. All it took was a dash of free samples and a pinch of persuasion for the manager of a local theater, and Taylor's business was popping. "We weren't sure if people would like the idea of sprinkling nacho cheddar or white cheddar on popcorn," says Taylor, 28, whose business, Kernel Season's, projects sales between $7 million and $11 million for 2007. "Sampling it in theaters was a test not only for the theaters, but also for us to make sure it was a product people would purchase for home use."

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