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CHICAGO -- While the recession appears to have reduced new product recall to an all-time low, several products, including a number of c-store items, were among the most memorable products cited in a survey conducted by Schneider Associates, Mintel International and IRI.
The findings suggest that advertisers and brand managers have new challenges to face as Americans are less aware of new product launches than ever before. When asked about new products from 2008, 69 percent of survey respondents could not remember a single new product launched during the year. Even the most memorable new product of 2008, the Wii Fit, was recalled by only 22 percent of respondents in aided recall. For aided recall, Mintel gave survey participants a list of 50 new grocery, personal and beauty care, technology and toy products from 2008. This list was selected in advance by the researchers.
Rising food and gas prices, fear of economic recession and attention-grabbing political campaigns are all to blame for the poor recall, according to Mintel.
"2008 was a year of distractions, with the average American's attention pulled in many different directions simultaneously," commented Lynn Dornblaser, director of trend insight at Mintel. "The fervent presidential campaigns and election genuinely excited many voters. But even more, we saw people deeply impacted by the financial crisis. From higher food prices to unemployment to housing scares, economic struggles seriously affected the way many people lived this year."
Consumers appeared to be sticking to what they know when it comes to new products, as food and drink brands dominated this year’s list. Given a list of 50 new product launches from 2008, people most commonly remembered the following:
1. Nintendo Wii Fit (recalled by 22 percent of respondents in aided recall)
2. iPod Touch (16 percent)
3. Bud Light Lime (15 percent)
4. McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich (14 percent)
5. Kraft Mac & Cheese Crackers (13 percent)
6. KY Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant (12 percent)
7. Gatorade G2, Yoplait Fiber One (11 percent, two-way tie)
8. MacBook Air, Rock Band, Burger King Apple Fries, Neosporin Neo To
Go!, Kraft Bagel-fuls (8 percent, five-way tie)
Of the products most frequently remembered in aided recall, five were new twists on familiar food and drink: Bud Light Lime, McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich, Kraft Mac & Cheese Crackers, Gatorade G2 and Yoplait Fiber One.
"Consumers recalled new product launches from brands they know and love. McDonald's, Kraft and Bud Light are trusted brands that gave people a new variation on something familiar," said Julie Hall, vice president, Schneider Associates.
For the second year in a row, technology products featured prominently on the winners list. The Wii Fit and iPod Touch were numbers one and two, respectively, and MacBook Air and Rock Band were represented in the top 10 memorable launches.
The Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey was conducted online among 1,000 respondents aged 18 and over during September 2008. For more information on the survey or to learn more about the results, visit www.mmnpl.com.
A dozen suppliers were honored in a Sunday morning breakfast during the NACS Show for bringing the best new products to the convenience store industry over the past year. Sponsored by McLane Co., the c-store industry’s largest wholesale distributor, the 12th annual Convenience Store News New Products Awards program was greatly expanded this year. For a rundown of this year’s winners, click here.