Launches from Hershey, Mondelez and Nestlé were among the top 100 bestselling new food and drink items in 2012 having filled consumer needs for convenience, indulgence and functionality, according to Information Resources (IRIs) ‘New Product Pacesetters’ list.
Launches are considered ‘Pacesetters’ if they completed a first full year of sales in calendar 2012 and were among the top 100 bestselling new food and beverage launches in multi-outlet channels, including drug, mass, dollar convenience and Walmart.
Hershey’s Reese’s Mini’s: $39.8m first year sales
The proportion of confectionery items with pacesetting sales in the overall food category declined to 11% from 19% from last year, but candy and gum’s share is still higher than the historic average of 7% between 2002 and 2011.
Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends and researcher for the New Product Pacesetters Report told ConfectioneryNews.com: “The largest launch in this area is Reese’s Mini’s, which captured $74.1 million in year-one sales across the Multi-Outlet geography. This product was also the #6 launch in the Convenience Store channel, with $39.8 million year-one in that channel.”
Convenience and indulgence
FACT BOX - $43.4m was the average 2012 sales of the food and beverage items making the pacesetters list. Dannon’s Oikos yoghurt was the top selling new food and beverage product with $283.8m first year sales, while no confectionery items made the top 10.
According to the report, the amount of food and beverage pacesetters offering convenience benefits is the highest in the last four years, with confectioners firmly on the bandwagon.
Asked for the key theme among confectionery pacesetters, Viamari said: “Indulgence, of course. Consumers are looking for exciting flavors and flavor combinations. They are also looking for ways to treat themselves on a budget, so home-based treats are a lower-costing splurge versus heading out to a coffee house, ice cream shop, restaurant, etc.”
Nestlé gained pacesetter status for both its Skinny Cow chocolate and Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters brand extension.
In 2011-12, around 1,900 new consumer goods brands hit store shelves in the US. Most of these were brand extensions.
The past decade has shown new food and beverage introductions yield an average 9% more sales in the first year than brand extensions, said IRI’s report.
Functional or healthier
There were fewer ‘healthier-for-you’ products with pacesetting sales than the previous year. These are products that claim less calories, sugar or fat for example. But there were more products claiming functional benefits with high in protein, a source of antioxidants and enriched with vitamins and minerals the main claims.
Mondelez’s Stride Spark sugarfree gum for example had pacesetting sales and contains vitamins B6 and B12, designed for an energy boost.
Perfetti Van Melle’s Mentos UP2U, a gum for teens and young adults was another confectionery item to make the list. The cookie category also had eight brands with pacesetting sales including Mondelez’s Oreo Fudge Cremes and Nabisco Newtons Fruit Thins.