SymphonyIRI Group releases 2011 Pacesetters report naming most successful new launches

CHICAGO — Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max, Gillette Fusion ProGlide and P.F. Chang's Home Menu were the top three new product introductions in 2011, according to the SymphonyIRI Group "2011 New Product Pacesetter" report released Tuesday afternoon. Respectively, Pampers generated $296 million in first-year sales, Gillette Fusion ProGlide generated $169.4 million and P.F. Chang's Home Menu generated $101.6 million. The three were the only new brands to break the $100 million barrier in year-one sales through 2011.

SymphonyIRI Group also identified several brands to watch for next year — the 2012 Pacesetter Rising Stars — including Dr Pepper 10, MiO liquid water enhancer and Magnum gourmet ice cream bars across food; and Allegra, Huggies Little Movers Slip-On and Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro Meals across nonfoods.

Absent from the top 10 nonfood pacesetters were any Rx-to-OTC switch products that typically generate in excess of $100 million in first-year sales. "A trend that we're seeing — very, very few products are able to achieve more than $100 million, and most are lucky with $20 million in first-year sales," Larry Levin, EVP consumer insights at SymphonyIRI, shared during a webcast on Tuesday. Two-thirds of all Pacesetter products did not clear $20 million in the first year.

Still, 198 new product introductions qualified as a "Pacesetter" — defined as greater than $7.5 million in first-year sales beginning once the product has reached 30% distribution — in 2011, out of more than 1,500 new product launches. That collectively brought in more than $4.4 billion in sales to food, drug and mass retailers, Levin noted.

As many as 15% of new food products and 11% of new nonfood products reached Pacesetter status. A slow economic recovery has many consumers holding on to their dollars, but still 22% of consumers are actively looking for new product innovation, and a lot of them are looking for innovation in food products. "We did see food innovation pick up just a little bit, while nonfoods was essentially flat," commented Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends for SymphonyIRI.

The ritual of home-based eating has really driven the need for products that offer quick and easy meal solutions and provide the variety, comfort and/or restaurant quality that consumers need at a solid value. According to SymphonyIRI’s Q1 2012 MarketPulse survey, 55% of consumers are eating out less frequently today versus before the downturn began. This opportunity has been addressed and capitalized on by today’s most savvy manufacturers, evidenced by the fact that successful dinner solution launches became more numerous versus historical averages in 2011.

Another trend potentially driving down first-year sales expectations is the industry gravitation toward more targeted media vehicles. “With the growing presence and power of social media, as well as the potential to innovate freely and creatively, the ‘go-to-market’ playing field is a bit more level than it has been in the past,” Viamari noted. “Many of today’s most powerful launches are quite targeted and this trend is ultimately changing the definition of successful innovation. Big or little, CPG manufacturers with a laser-like focus on true marketplace needs, at an increasingly granular level, will be the ones to enjoy new product success in the years to come.”

In nonfoods, most of the 2011 innovation came out of beauty and personal care launches — only nonprescription medicines GlaxoSmithKline's Nicorette Lozenge ($45.2 million in first-year sales) and Abbott Nutrition's Ensure with Vigor ($37.5 million) cracked the top 10 nonfood new product Pacesetters.

“Just like home-based eating is on the rise, more and more consumers want to take care of many of their beauty and personal care needs at home,” Viamari added. “They want professional-level performance of such places as spas and hair and nail salons without the price tag. From the top of your head to the tips of your toes, beauty and personal care products that bring luxury and indulgence into the home are really striking the right chord with consumers.”

The top 10 food and beverage Pacesetters:

  1. P.F. Chang's Home Menu ($101.6 million);
  2. Thomas' Bagel Thins ($73.6 million);
  3. Oscar Mayer Selects ($69.2 million);
  4. Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cups ($58.4 million);
  5. M&M's Pretzel ($58.4 million);
  6. Sun Drop ($55.8 million);
  7. Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips ($50.6 million);
  8. Lean Cuisine Market Creations ($48.6 million);
  9. Gold Peak Chilled Tea ($44.3 million); and
  10. Bailey's Coffee Creamer ($44.2 million).

The top 10 nonfoods Pacesetters:

  1. Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max ($296 million);
  2. Gillette Fusion ProGlide ($169.4 million);
  3. U by Kotex ($74.6 million);
  4. Schick Hydro ($64.9 million);
  5. Maybelline Volum' Express Falsies ($46.5 million);
  6. Nicorette Lozenge ($45.2 million);
  7. Sally Hansen Salon Effects ($41.8 million);
  8. Tide Pluse Febreze Freshness ($37.9 million);
  9. Ensure with Revigor ($37.5 million); and
  10. Maybelline Fit Me ($36.2 million).
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