SAN ANTONIO — SymphonyIRI released its annual list of New Product Pacesetters here at its CPG & Retail Summit last month. Rankings are based on year-one sales in food, drug and mass channels (excluding Wal-Mart).
Besting all other new food and beverage brands in 2009 was Campbell's Select Harvest with $202 million in sales, followed by Bud Light Lime, with $133 million in revenue.
“Having two items go over [$100 million] is a big deal,” Anne Berlack, executive vice president of SymphonyIRI's consumer and shopper insights practice, told attendees.
In fact, during the past 15 years, 70% to 80% of new products didn't even reach the $7.5 million threshold required for consideration for the list. This year, about 12% of new items met the criteria.
Also among the top 10 is Arnold Select Sandwich Thins with $87 million in sales, Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers ($85 million), Dreyer's/Edy's Fun Flavors ($72 million) and Gatorade Tiger Focus ($65 million), which was discontinued 14 months after its release. MGD 64 ($53 million), Mountain Dew Dewmocracy ($52 million), Bush's Grillin' Beans ($45 million) and Kellogg's FiberPlus Bars ($45 million) are also on the list.
In 2010, a new wave of products is making an impression on shoppers. Dubbed “Rising Stars” by SymphonyIRI, the items are projected to become this year's top food and beverage brands. They include Trident Layers gum; Yoplait Delights Parfait, with 100 calories per serving; VitaminWater10, with 10 calories per serving; Trop50, with 50% less sugar than orange juice; Nature's Pride 100% Natural bread; Thomas' Light Multigrain English Muffins; Danimals Crush, kids' yogurt in a pleated cup that allows for eating without a spoon; Marie Callendar's steamable Pasta Al Dente meals; Orbit Mist Gum with “Microbursts”; and Healthy Choice all-natural entrees.
Other successful new products are geared towards kids, or focused on daily health, simple ingredients and green packaging, said Berlack. Fruit mash-ups, or squeezable pouches containing a child's serving of real organic fruit purees, fruit bits and fruit juice, are among the items gaining momentum.
“There are both store-brand and national-brand versions of this,” Berlack said.
Daily health enhancers like Chiquita Frozen Fruit Smoothies, with a half cup of fruit; Special K Protein Shakes in ready-to-serve reclosable bottles; and Fruit2Day, an adult version of fruit mash-ups, are also new to the market, she said.
Simple ingredient foods like Green Giant Fresh Patio Grillers grill kits with fresh produce, chef-inspired sauces and a resealable grill tray, and Ragu Fresh & Simple pasta sauce in a microwaveable pouch, appeal to shoppers' desire for transparency and foods with minimal ingredients that also make short work of meal preparation.
“Convenience is the ticket to the dance,” Berlack said. “It helps me get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.”
Innovative packaging is also catching the shopper's eye, she added. Sun Chips' 100% compostable bag is made in Frito-Lay's solar-powered plant, while Straus Milk is testing a paper-plastic bottle with Whole Foods that uses a recyclable plastic pouch inside a recycled cardboard container, and 70% less plastic than traditional jugs.