IRI Announces Top-Selling New Products of 2013

Health and wellness front and center for New Product Pacesetters

CHICAGO -- There's a dichotomy pervading the typical consumer's eating habits, with a tendency to reach for better-for-you products on one hand, offset by an unwavering thirst for indulgence. 

Such was the trend reflected in this year's 2013 New Product Pacesetters report, released today by Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI). An industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year CPG sales success for newly launched products, Pacesetters encompassed 190,000 new UPCs and 9,500 new brand launches filing the retail pipeline in 2013.

The findings indicated that for the Top 10 Pacesetter products leading the c-store channel, the average year-one sales across that top 10 clocked in at an astounding $94 million.

Using a more macro lens for the Pacesetter report that placed the top 100 food and beverage champions for multi-outlet distribution in sharp focus, a trend sees more consumers banking on what IRI refers to as "nutritional management," evolving simply from "dieting." In short, consumers are looking for products that remove or limit less desirable attributes, so products offering lower calories, less sugar and fewer ingredients are hitting just the right note, according to IRI research.
Indeed, healthy attributes are playing a significant role in that success. IRI revealed that a whopping seven of the top 10 and 73 of the top 100 food and beverage products launched in 2013 offer a healthier-for-you benefit.

"The power of consumers' pursuit of health and wellness is even seen in the convenience channel, with neuro Drinks landing a top-10 ranking," says Larry Levin, executive vice president and practice leader for IRI. "However, 'grab-and-go' indulgence is still top-of-mind for consumers, so beer, liquor, tobacco and energy drinks still dominate this channel's best-selling launches."

The Top 10 c-store New Product Pacesetters and their total year-one dollar sales in millions are:

  1. Monster Energy Ultra ($268.2).
  2. Red Bull Total Zero ($139.1).
  3. Marlboro NXT ($117.9).
  4. NJOY ($115.5).
  5. Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita ($113.1).
  6. Budweiser Black Crown ($55.9).
  7. neuro Drinks ($52.1).
  8. Pepsi Next ($31.1).
  9. Doritos Jacked ($25.9).
  10. Starbucks Refreshers ($24.1).

By comparison, the top 10 Pacesetters for multi-outlet distribution assumed a decidedly healthy leaderboard:

  1. Dannon Light & Fit Greek ($144.9).
  2. Yoplait Greek 100 ($135.1).
  3. Kellogg's Special K Pastry Crisps ($100.6).
  4. Tostitos Cantina Tortilla Chips ($100.3).
  5. Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita ($97.4).
  6. Müller Yogurt ($95.8).
  7. Eight O'Clock K-Cups ($89.8).
  8. Pepsi Next ($83.2).
  9. Kellogg's Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwiches ($77.9).
  10. Atkins Frozen Meals ($74.0).

In addition to nutritional management evolving from dieting, the most prevalent "add" in 2013's Pacesetters brands was fiber or whole grains, found in 42% of the new launches.

"Innovation in 2013 is all about healthier-for-you products," said Susan Viamari, editor of thought leadership for IRI. "'Healthy' is truly everywhere. From food and beverages to hair care, skin care and even pet food and cleaning products, consumers not only want to look and feel their best, but they want improved wellness to extend to their homes and pets, too."

Viamari added that consumers are looking across CPG aisles "for opportunities to make their homes, menus, bodies and minds healthier, and that CPG innovators have a "significant opportunity to help consumers live well for less. Brands that provide powerful results and exciting experiences are sure to capture attention and excitement, accelerating share of spending into 2014 and beyond."

In the non-food arena, average year-one dollar sales for the top 100 brands were $34 million. The best-selling launches of 2013 also demonstrating the power of promising healthier, worry-free expectations and experiences, as well as of providing economical options.

Earning $2 billion in aggregate year-one launch sales, 48 out of the top 100, non-food Pacesetters deliver wellness. And, for the first time in recent Pacesetter history, three home-care products achieved top-10 status, including Tide Pods, Ajax Triple Action and Downy Infusions. Hair-care marketers are also "going big" with results, experiences and value, with L'Oreal's Advanced Haircare and Vidal Sassoon Pro Series securing top spots.