IRI: Added wellness benefits common theme across new product launches

New products that boasted either a “healthier-for-you” or “let’s-get-well” factor proved the most successful in 2013, according to IRI’s 2013 New Product Pacesetters report.

All told, there were 190,000 new UPCs and 9,500 new brand launches that hit the shelves in 2013. Almost one-third of consumers want to try new products, noted Larry Levin, EVP industry insights at IRI. “Of those 30%, a third of them — or 10% — are calling themselves early adopters,” he said. “Consumers are looking for new products to help them live their lives better and find the best value.”

“This year in our Pacesetters, products that offered health benefits earned a combined year one total of $4.6 billion,” noted Susan Viamari, editor of thought leadership for IRI. “We’re seeing marketers making bodies healthier, homes healthier, enhancing moods, improving pets, keeping the Earth green. There are so many different ways to make consumers’ lives better. Products that help us power up and stay healthy are going to continue to hit the mark with consumers in the coming years.”

Average first-year dollar sales was $34 million for non-food health and beauty brands. Earning $2 billion in aggregate year-one launch sales, 48 out of the top 100 non-food Pacesetters delivered some wellness benefit. Top performers included L’Oréal’s Advanced Haircare and Vidal Sassoon Pro Series. Also, Pantene Pro-V Ultimate, which provided 10 “healthier hair” solutions with just one step, fared well.

Procter & Gamble’s ZzzQuil, the top-selling launch in non-food health and beauty for the year, earned more than $121 million, finding success in offering consumers a one-dose, non-habit-forming sleep aid that helps them get exactly what they need — a restful night’s sleep.

There was a similar wellness theme across food and beverage new product launches. Seven-of-the-top-10 and 73-of-the-top-100 food and beverage products launched in 2013 provided a healthier-for-you benefit.
 As many as 61% of consumers tried a new food item because it helped them meet nutrition goals. For consumers trying new beverages, 56% did so for that same reason. Launches that provided better-for-you nutrition by removing or limiting less desirable attributes racked up more than $1.6 billion in total sales during their collective year one.

Average year-one dollar sales was $35 million for a consumables product.

Overall, the most prevalent addition to brands in 2013’s Pacesetters was fiber and/or whole grains, which were found in 42% of new consumables launches. In addition, the report suggested that “dieting” has evolved into “nutritional management.” Consumers are looking for products that remove or limit less desirable attributes, such as calories and sugar.

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits proved to be a good source of sustained energy provided through grains. And General Mills launched four Pacesetter Fiber One brands, each offering up to 40% of the daily value of fiber.

To download the full report, visit

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