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More than one quarter (26%) of US consumers consider themselves to be early adopters when it comes to new food and beverage products, while the majority (61%) of consumers take a more ‘wait and see’ approach when a new product is released, according to the latest consumer survey [download page] from IRi. But regardless of when consumers are willing to try a new product, taste is the factor that has the most impact on their interest.

Indeed, 93% of the more than 2,400 US consumers surveyed said that the taste of a food and beverage product influences their interest in it. After taste, price is the next-most important factor, with an impact on the vast majority (83%) of consumers.

Some 62% of respondents said that food and beverage choices play an important role in supporting their health. This is reflected further in the findings, with more than two-thirds (67%) of consumers considering healthfulness when weighing their interest in new food or beverages. Other factors that influence interest include convenience (65%), simple ingredients (64%), sustainability (39%) and that it complies with a special diet (31%).

IRi’s data shows that brand trust and word of mouth still have influence when it comes to awareness of a new product. Some 4 in 5 (80%) respondents cited previous usage/trust in the brand, while 3 in 5 (60%) said that a mention or recommendation by a friend or family member has been among the sources that influenced their awareness of a new product. However, only one-quarter (25%) of respondents said they were influenced by TV or radio advertising. This aligns with consumer purchases in general, which tend to be more influenced by word-of-mouth than by advertising.

Top New Product Pacesetters for 2018

So, what were the new products that IRi named the top Pacesetters of 2018? Here are the top 5.

Food and Beverage:

  • Kinder Joy ($124.4 million)
  • M&M Caramel ($120.6 million)
  • Oui by Yoplait ($100.5 million)
  • Gatorade Flow ($78.1 million)
  • RXBAR ($73.9 million)

Non-Food:

  • Tide Ultra Oxi ($139.8 million)
  • Natures Recipe ($95.3 million)
  • Olly ($90.3 million)
  • Tide Pods Plus Downy ($82.0 million)
  • Xyzal ($76.5 million)

To qualify as a pacesetter, the product needed to complete a full year of sales in calendar year 2018. The list is ranked by year-one sales across multi-outlets (e.g. supermarket, drugstores, mass market retailers).

To read more, download the report here.

About the Data: Consumer behavior data was based on a consumer survey of 2,456 US consumers.

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