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Free snacks with purchase of new equipment: it’s a thing in optics research labs.

Thorlabs started including boxes of “Lab Snacks” whenever there was extra room in a flat-rate shipment. Optics researchers are of course completely non-susceptible to inducements of this sort. Yet now, coincidentally, Newport Optics is including “GuruGear” snack boxes as well. The two companies have begun to specialize - Thorlabs has always offered healthy snacks (with fruit snacks occupying a delicious gray area), while Newport is trying candy and non-edible giveaways. Recently Thorlabs has begun to up its game - boxes are now heavier, and more likely to include luxuries such as Goldfish and Popcorners.

I look forward to continued escalation, and the prospect of one day getting a free pony with every optics order.