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    IRI Identifies the Most Successful New Products of 2008

    New Product Pacesetters report showcases brands using innovation to beat new product odds.

    NEW YORK -- Gatorade G2, Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee, Healthy Choice Café Steamers and Progresso Light were among Information Resources Inc.'s (IRI) most successful new consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands of 2008.

    Now in its 14th year, IRI’s "New Product Pacesetters" report—which was released during this week’s 2009 IRI Reinventing CPG & Retail Summit in Las Vegas—showcases brands that used innovation to beat the new product odds and a recessionary economy.

    "These brands are truly remarkable," said IRI Consumer and Shopper Insights Practice Executive Vice President Anne Berlack. "Even in the best of times, approximately 75 percent of new products fail to earn more than $7.5 million during the first year of availability. In 2008, New Product Pacesetters faced unprecedented challenges and came out on top."

    In the face of mounting financial pressures, away-from-home dining activity saw sharp declines in 2008. However, despite hardships, consumers are not willing to sacrifice nutrition or convenience, and are still seeking the occasional indulgence. As revealed below, the top 10 food and beverage brands of 2008 are reflective of changing consumer dining rituals.

    The 2008 New Product Pacesetters Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands (total year-one dollar sales across food, drug and mass channels, excluding Walmart) included:

    -- G2 $159 million;
    -- Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee $112 million;
    -- Healthy Choice Café Steamers $95 million;
    -- Progresso Light $75 million;
    -- Hormel Compleats $71 million
    -- DiGiorno Ultimate $61 million;
    -- Smirnoff Ice Flavors $61 million;
    -- Pepsi Max $61 million;
    -- Tyson Any’Tizers $59 million; and
    -- Doritos Collisions $58 million.

    "In a world of economic uncertainty, consumers seek comfort and stability in small ways," said Berlack, adding home dining occasions are proving to be an area of opportunity. "Shoppers are staying with trusted brands that provide value and comfort, and are diversifying their menus through brand extensions, such as chicken breasts with new flavor offerings, or ice cream with new, indulgent mix-ins."

    For the first time in several years, non-food new product introductions outpaced food product introductions by roughly 80 products, or more than 10 percent. This shift is reflective of shoppers’ stepped-up focus on self-reliance. From health care to beauty care, consumers are saving money with "do-it-yourself" strategies.

    Top performers among nonfood New Product Pacesetters share one of two powerful themes: self-care and improved performance. And across a range of nonfood categories, innovation centers on improving the consumer experience.

    The 2008 New Product Pacesetters Top 10 Non-Food Brands
    (total year-one dollar sales across food, drug, and mass channels, excluding Walmart) included:

    -- Zyrtec $316 million;
    -- Alli $160 million;
    -- Charmin Ultra Strong $144 million;
    -- Ped Egg $69 million;
    -- Secret Clinical Strength $51 million;
    -- MiraLAX $49 million;
    -- Dawn Plus $49 million;
    -- Cover Girl LashBlast $45 million;
    -- Maybelline Define $45 million; and
    -- Tide Pure Essentials $44 million.

    "The customer experience is at the heart of innovation today," said Berlack. "Across nonfoods, technical innovation is occurring at a rapid pace, and will define product development for years to come."

    Click here to download the 2008 New Product Pacesetters report.

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