Beverages

Beverages Reign in 2023 C-Store New Product Pacesetters Ranking

Circana’s report finds 9 out of 10 top convenience-store pacesetters are beverages
Circana pacesetters
Photograph: Shutterstock

Market research firm Circana has revealed its 2023 New Product Pacesetters, the 29th annual report highlighting product launches across food and beverage and nonfood consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors.

Overall, 14% of consumers surveyed are “early adopters” who like to have the latest and greatest new products in food, beverage, electronics, beauty and personal care, home care, pet care and health care. Products identified as pacesetters for 2023 accounted for an 18% increase in total multi-outlet sales, compared to an 11% increase in 2022.

“Consumer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years, from the pandemic and then the resumption of active lifestyles and hybrid work,” said Lisa Maas, principal and practice lead of innovation at Chicago-based Circana. “The latest pacesetters align with consumers’ desires for new experiences and product formats, new levels of convenience, trusted solutions for baby and pet and products that deliver superior performance. Brands that lead with relevant innovation stand to not only boost sales, but also cultivate lasting customer loyalty.”

circana

In the convenience-store space, beverages took the top spot highlighting the channel’s prominence in new product discovery and trial, the report said.

The top 10 c-store pacesetters are:

  1. Ghost Energy (Ghost)
  2. Alani Nu (Alani Nutrition)
  3. Gatorade Fit (PepsiCo)
  4. Black Rifle Coffee (Black Rifle Co.)
  5. Voodoo Ranger Juice Force (Kirin Brewery)
  6. Liquid Death Water (Liquid Death)
  7. Gatorlyte Zero (PepsiCo)
  8. Starry (PepsiCo)
  9. Oreo Frozen Desserts (Froneri)
  10. Simply Spiked Lemonade (Molson Coors)

All of the c-store pacesetters were beverages except one,  Oreo Frozen Desserts (Froneri), which was number nine on the c-store pacesetters list. Topping the c-store pacesetter list is Ghost Energy. Intended for consumers aged 18 and older, the zero sugar product contains 200 milligrams of caffeinewith “brain-boosting nootropics,” the report said.

Year after year, new product pacesetters feature beverages that deliver more: more energy, rapid hydration, and nutrients, and 2023 was no different,” the report said. “Similar to 2022, Circana’s new products survey found that 43% of consumers seek hydration in their beverages, often to alleviate headaches, fatigue or muscle cramps.”

Food and beverage pacesetters achieved $3.4 billion in sales in 2023, compared to $3.5 billion in sales for food and beverage new product pacesetters in 2022. Among edible pacesetters, the blurring lines of beverages reflect consumers’ desire for functional benefits, even among traditional carbonated soft drinks, the report said.

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The top 10 multi-outlet food and beverage pacesetters include:

  1. Similac 360 Total Care (Abbott)
  2. Prime Hydration (Prime Hydration)
  3. Starry (PepsiCo)
  4. Oreo Frozen Desserts (Froneri)
  5. Starbucks by Nespresso for Vertuo (Starbucks Coffee)
  6. Ghost Energy (Ghost)
  7. Doritos/Cheetos/Sunchips Minis (PepsiCo)
  8. Black Rifle Coffee (Black Rifle Co.)
  9. Electrolit (Grupo Pisa)
  10. Kevin’s Natural Foods (Kevin’s Natural Foods)

Data from the report shows that product expansion and co-branding is on the rise, including Oreo cookies and Little Debbie snack cakes, which have made their way into the frozen aisle. Ranking number four on the food and beverage pacesetters list is Oreo Frozen Desserts.

 “In 2023, collaborations with well-known brands, compelling brand narratives, and a dedication to product expansion helped drive brand awareness and increase sales,” said Joan Driggs, vice president of content and thought leadership, Circana. “Products identified as pacesetters contributed an 18% increase in total multi-outlet sales, compared to an 11% increase in 2022, highlighting the importance of innovation and strategic partnerships in achieving sustained growth and market success.”

Circana is an advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. Through technology, advanced analytics, cross-industry data, and deep expertise, the research firm provides clarity that helps almost 7,000 of the world’s leading brands and retailers take action and unlock business growth.

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