Survey says customers don’t remember products launched this year

CHICAGO The majority of consumers have no recall of what products have been launched in the past year, according to a new survey from Schneider Associates, Mintel International and Information Resources, Inc., released Tuesday. As many as 69 percent of survey respondents could not remember a single new product launch in 2008—including the Wii Fit, which was recalled by only 22 percent of respondents.

“2008 was a year of distractions, with the average American's attention pulled in many different directions simultaneously,” said Lynn Dornblaser, director of trend insight at Mintel. “The fervent presidential campaigns and election genuinely excited many voters. But even more, we saw people deeply impacted by the financial crisis. From higher food prices to unemployment to housing scares, economic struggles seriously affected the way many people lived this year.”

“Because many people can only afford the basics, they’re sticking to what they know, products and services that bring them comfort,” commented Char Partelow, senior vice president, panel consulting group at IRI, suggesting that trial of new products may be on the decline as a result. “We found that ‘a trusted brand name’ ranked as the No. 1 quality respondents looked for when buying new products. Many Americans are simply less interested in ‘risking it’ on a new product.”

“Sticking to what they know” explains the prevalence of familiar food and drink brands on the MMNPL survey winners list, Partelow added. Of the products most frequently remembered in aided recall, five were new twists on familiar foods and drinks—Bud Light Lime, McDonald’s Southern Style chicken and biscuit sandwich, Kraft Mac and Cheese crackers, Gatorade G2 and Yoplait Fiber One.

The Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey was conducted online among 1,000 respondents aged 18 and over during September 2008. Given a list of 50 new product launches from 2008, people most commonly remembere the following:

1. Nintendo Wii Fit (recalled by 22 percent of respondents in aided recall*)

2. iPod Touch (16 percent)

3. Bud Light Lime (15 percent)

4. McDonald’s Southern Style chicken and biscuit sandwich (14 percent)

5. Kraft Mac and Cheese crackers (13 percent)

6. KY Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant (12 percent)

7 & 8. Gatorade G2, Yoplait Fiber One (11 percent, each)

9, 10, 11, 12 & 13. MacBook Air, Rock Band, Burger King Apple Fries, Neosporin Neo  To Go!, Kraft Bagel-fuls (8 percent, each, five-way tie)

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