Top 10 New Brands Cater to ‘Do-it-Yourself’ Crowd

March 26, 2009

Allergy medication Zyrtec, weight-loss aid alli, Gatorade’s G2 sports drink and the Ped Egg foot-care product are among the most successful new consumer packaged goods in 2008, according to the “New Product Pacesetters Report” from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).

The top brands, in both the food and non-food categories, reflect consumers’ changing lifestyles during the recession – such as dining in, “do-it-yourself” spa treatments, and the quest for more value and function from existing products -? and have used insight and innovation to beat the steep new product odds in the down economy, IRI said.

“Even in the best of times, approximately 75% of new products fail to earn more than $7.5 million during the first year of availability,” said IRI consumer and shopper snsights practice EVP Anne Berlack, adding that last year’s products still came out on top despite tough economic challenges.

Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands

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

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“In a world of economic uncertainty, consumers seek comfort and stability in small ways,” said Berlack. “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,” as well as new coffee flavors that taste like they came from a coffee shop, and ice cream with flavorful mix-ins.

Top 10 Non-Food Brands

For the first time in several years, non-food new product introductions outpaced food product introductions by roughly 80 products, or more than 10%. This shift is reflective of shoppers’ stepped-up focus on self-reliance, IRI stated, adding that consumers are saving money with “do-it-yourself” strategies:

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Top performers among non-food New Product Pacesetters share one of two themes: self-care and improved performance, IRI said. Moreover, across a range of non-food categories, innovation relates to improving the consumer experience. This is evident with products such as Charmin Ultra Strong and better performing versions of cosmetics, laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids.? The demand for self-care products, such as alli, Zyrtec, Ped Egg and MiraLAX also suggests that consumers might be less willing to seek professional help before trying to address ailments themselves.

Future forces that will likely shape the non-foods category are sustainability, technologically enhanced beauty and Neutraceuticals, IRI said.

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

About the report: The report, “2008 New Product Pacesetters: The Role of Innovation in a Down Economy” is available free from IRI. The findings of the report were compiled based on IRI New Product Profiler, IRI Consumer Network and IRI InfoScan Reviews. To achive Pacesetter status, new launches must exceed $7.5 million in year-one sales and complete a full year of sales.

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