CHICAGO — E-cigarettes, energy drinks and hard seltzer topped IRI’s 2019 New Product Pacesetters list.
And with 10 products in multi-outlet channels achieving sales of $100 million or more—along with eight products in the c-store channel—2019 marked the return of blockbuster new product pacesetters, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI.
The No. 1 c-store product Juul generated $2.4 billion in sales, for example, followed by Bang ($723.6 million in sales) and White Claw ($344.8 million). The report was derived pre-COVID-19.
“In this short space of time, consumer behavior has radically changed, but only time will tell if the penchant for new products among certain groups will waver, or if new groups will become more inclined to explore new products,” IRI said.
Here were the top 10 pacesetters in c-stores in 2019, according to IRI.
Total year-one dollar sales: $2.4 billion
Juul is a vaporizer that has regulated temperature control and uses Juulpods filled with an e-liquid that combines nicotine, benzoic acide, propylene glycol, glycerine and flavor. While Juul had pods that came in flavors, including Mango, Creme, Fruit and Cucumber, the San Francisco-based company suspended sales of flavored and mint pods, pending review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Juul’s success can be tied to its wide variety of flavor options, as well as consumers’ perception of e-cigs as being healthier than traditional offerings,” said IRI.
Juul is continuing to earn trust as it combats underage use and converts adult smokers from combustible cigarettes, according to the company.
Total year-one dollar sales: $723.6 million
Bang Energy was introduced in 2012 and is carried in more than 200,000 retail outlets in the United States. It is marketed as a healthy energy drink that contains creatine, 300 milligrams of caffeine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAS). It comes in flavors including Blue Razz, Radical Skadattle, Cotton Candy and Rainbow Unicorn.
PepsiCo and the maker of Bang Energy, Weston, Fla.-based Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc., recently entered into an exclusive distribution agreement.
3. White Claw
Total year-one dollar sales: $344.8 million
Chicago-based Mark Anthony Brands' White Claw is made using a blend of seltzer water, a gluten-free alcohol base and a hint a fruit flavor. The drinks have 100 calories, 2 grams of carbs and 5% ABV.
White Claw comes in eight fruit flavors, including Black Cherry, Mango and Watermelon, and recently released a variety with 70 calories.
4. Vuse Alto
Total year-one dollar sales: $225.6 million
Vuse Alto is an e-cigarette from R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., Winston-Salem, N.C., that has a large capacity pod-based system with a ceramic wick and alloy heating element.
Other Vuse varieties include Vuse Solo, Vuse Vibe and Vuse Ciro.
R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. is a subsidiary of RAI Innovations Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. Reynolds American Inc. is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco, London.
5. Marlboro Ice
Total year-one dollar sales: $189 million
Marlboro Ice is a crisp, cool menthol cigarette. It has resealable-pack technology, the first of its kind in the U.S. cigarette market, with the company having patents pending in the United States, according to the company.
Marlboro is owned by Richmond, Va.-based Altria.
8. G Zero
Total year-one dollar sales: $136.5 million
G Zero is Gatorade’s zero sugar sports drink. The beverage comes in Orange, Lemon-Lime, Glacier Freeze, Berry and Glacier Cherry flavors.
G Zero is developed for athletes who prefer a low-sugar, low calorie alternative and has the same electrolytes as Gatorade, according to the brand, owned by Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo.
Total year-one dollar sales: $91.2 million
Myblu, from Bristol, England-based Imperial Brands, is a once-click pod vaping e-cigarette that is designed for all-day vaping, according to the company. The product features a rapid recharge and flavors that can be swapped in seconds.
10. Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel
Total year-one dollar sales: $86.3 million
Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel is made with ingredients to improve accuracy and alertness, according to the brand, owned by Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo. The drink, designed for gamers, has a no-slip grip and resealable lid.
It comes in Charged Cherry Burst, Charged Berry Blast, Charged Tropical Strike and Charged Original Dew. It has 90 calories per 16-ounce can.