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New Product Flood Recedes Slightly

The annual surge of new product introductions has been a long-time challenge for retailers because of limited in-store space. Retailers have frequently asked suppliers to be more selective about these launches.

Now the stars are aligned for retailers. That’s the word from Lynn Dornblaser, director, CPG Trend Insight, Mintel International Group, who spoke at an FMI workshop.

“In 2009 the number of new product introductions dipped in all retail channels,” she said, citing Mintel data. “This was driven mainly by food and beauty and personal care products. So far in 2010 we’re seeing similar levels as last year.”

So what happened to cause this change? One of the biggest drivers was SKU rationalization by U.S. retailers, which actually led to declines in new product introductions, particularly by smaller suppliers.

Interestingly, private label has represented a bigger percentage of new products, and a wide range of store label items figure in this growth.

“There are more premium and personal care private label offerings, and there are more value items,” She said.

Dornblaser said private label will continue to show outsized growth levels, although the share won’t reach the extraordinarily high levels seen in the United Kingdom and Europe.