US CPG Dollar Sales Neared $800B Last Year. Which Categories and Brands Were Growth Leaders?

US CPG dollar sales reached $797 billion last year, though the 1.4% year-over-year rise was the slowest since 2011, reports IRI in a recent study [pdf]. That was due to deflationary price trends, with the average price increase dropping from 2.4% in 2015 to 0.8% last year. Nevertheless, some categories and brands saw strong growth, as outlined in a pair of IRI studies.

The first report – GPD Growth Leaders – outlines the fastest-growing categories. Among the categories with at least $1 billion in dollar sales, 5 saw double-digit growth:

  • Cosmetics & Accessories (+18.9%);
  • Nasal Products (+12%);
  • Refrigerated Lunches (+11.9%);
  • Refrigerated Side Dishes (+10.7%); and
  • Refrigerated Tea & Coffee (+10.4%).

Prior data from Nielsen had pegged liquid tea as the fastest-growing grocery category of 2016, with ready-to-eat meals also seeing big gains.

Meanwhile, the largest category to appear in IRI’s top 10 fastest-growing $1B+ categories was Bottled Water, which grew by 8% and which saw $15B in 2016 sales.

Fastest-Growing CPG Brands

IRI’s study also revealed the CPG “Growth Leaders” – with companies ranked on the basis of dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains.

Tobacco brand Reynolds American emerged as the top brand on this metric among large brands (at least $5.5B in dollar sales). The brand raked in almost $27B in sales last year, representing a 4.5% increase from 2015.

Next on the list was Johnson & Johnson, with almost $7B in dollar sales and a 4.2% increase from 2015.

Among midsize brands ($1-5.5B in dollar sales), Chobani was the growth leader, followed by Hostess Brands. Of note, the latter had the biggest dollar sales gain of the top 15, with an increase of 13%.

Top CPG Product Launches

In a separate study – the “2016 New Product Pacesetters” report, IRI identified the brands that had the most successful launches last year. (New products that completed their first calendar year in 2016.)

The following highlights the top 3 pacesetters by category:

  • Food & Beverage

1. DairyPure: $1.163B in sales, with 73% of triers becoming repeat purchasers
2. Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups: $204.1M in sales, with 51% repeat purchasers
3. Not Your Father’s Root Beer: $114.6M in sales, with 38% repeat purchasers

  • Non-Food

1. Flonase: $316.5M in sales, with 45% repeat purchasers
2. Gillette Fusion ProShield: $144.9M in sales, with 31% repeat purchasers
3. Garnier SkinActive: $117.5M in sales, with 32% repeat purchasers

  • Convenience Store Brands

1. DairyPure: $385.9M in sales
2. Red Bull The Summer Edition: $149M in sales
3. Quest Bar: $78.4M in sales