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SymphonyIRI Group is out with its annual New Product Pacesetters report, which highlights the past year’s most successful food and beverage and non-foods consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, saying that while “many of today's most powerful launches hail from the industry's biggest and most well-rooted manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo,” there also “is an increasing trend toward manufacturers, big and small, bringing highly-targeted new products ... Both long-established manufacturers and newcomers to the game are providing innovation that is setting the stage for the CPG world of tomorrow.”

The top 10 new food product brands of 2011 were PF Chang’s Home Menu, Thomas’ Bagel Thins, Oscar Mayer Selects, Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cups. M&M’s Pretzels. Sun Drop, Kellogg's Special K Cracker Chips, Lean Cuisine Market Creations, Gold Peak Chilled Tea, and Bailey’s Coffee Creamer.

In nonfoods, the top 10 brands of 2011 were Pampers Cruisers/Swaddlers with Dry Max, Gillette Fusion ProGlide, U by Kotex, Schick Hydro, Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies, Nicorette Lozenge, Sally Hansen Salon Effects, Tide plus Febreze, and Ensure with Revigor.

"The Pacesetters of today, having beaten the new product odds regardless of a difficult and complex environment, are truly remarkable," says Larry Levin, executive vice president, Consumer Insights, SymphonyIRI. "It all begins with really listening and responding to consumers. Those manufacturers that are taking the time to gain an intimate knowledge of the needs and wants of their consumers are cracking the code on true innovation."
KC's View:
The notion that more and more the most successful new products are highly targeted, as opposed to having mass appeal, is an interesting one ... especially in the context of my contention that, more and more, marketers may be wasting their money with programs aimed at the mass market. I think that all efforts - from product creation to marketing to sales - have to be more targeted, based on an information continuum about needs and desires and preferences.