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What Are the C-Store New-Product Pacesetters?

IRI reveals most successful CPG brands of 2014

CHICAGO -- In the convenience-store arena, average year-one sales across the top-10 IRI New Product Pacesetters were an "astounding" $123 million, driven by five brands that surpassed $100 million in year-one revenue, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Angry Orchard hard cider beverages CPG (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

IRI announced the most successful consumer packaged goods (CPG) launches of 2014 in its 2014 New Product Pacesetters report, a benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year CPG sales success for newly launched products.

Consumers are clearly continuing to turn to the convenience-store channel for everyday indulgences, and c-store innovators are rising to the occasion, delivering exciting experiences in convenient packages, said IRI.

Chicago-based IRI revealed the top-10 Pacesetter products for the convenience-store channel:

To see IRI’s top-20 Pacesetter products for the convenience-store channel, make sure to check out the May/June issue of Convenience Store Products magazine.

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IRI also revealed the top-10 products in the Food & Beverage and Non-food arenas.

Thousands of new brands hit retail shelves during 2014, yet only 200 achieved best-of-the-best IRI New Product Pacesetter status. These products captured cumulative year-one sales of more than $7 billion.

“The most successful CPG launches of 2014 brought in big dollar sales, but revenue is just one piece of the pie. These marketers also did a phenomenal job in building brand equity and excitement in the marketplace, catalyzing growth that stations them ahead of the competition," said Larry Levin, executive vice president for mid-market at IRI.

“During the past year, successful innovation has relied heavily on the clear communication of benefits,” said Susan Viamari, editor for thought leadership at IRI. “Today’s consumers expect more from their favorite CPG brands. They want products that save time and energy; products that offer better and longer-lasting results. CPG manufacturers that highlighted and delivered on the expectations for bold and authentic taste and top-notch power and performance were rewarded with sizable launch-year returns.”

Food & Beverage

For the top-100 food and beverage champions, average year-one dollar sales were $35 million.

Products catered to consumers’ need to meet nutritional goals, while satisfying their desire to indulge. The strongest food and beverage launches of the year underscore consumers’ passions for bold and authentic flavors, homemade or handcrafted quality and solutions that are quick, easy and portable.

Greek yogurt launches continue to reap sizable year-one sales, capturing four top-10 spots. Top performers also demonstrated an ongoing appetite for restaurant brands crossing over to the CPG aisles, empowering the untrained to serve restaurant-quality cuisine in the comfort of their homes without the restaurant price tag.

In 2014, five restaurant crossovers achieved New Product Pacesetter status, including Starbucks Discoveries and Starbucks Iced Coffee, Olive Garden Signature Salad Dressing, Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee creamer.

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Non-food

In the non-food arena, average year-one dollar sales for the top-100 new brands were $34 million.

The marketers behind these launches of 2014 are capturing consumers’ attention and affections with solutions that simplify mundane daily tasks and put the power of professionals into the hands of ordinary folks. Procter & Gamble transformed routine personal care into an opportunity to stand out from the crowd with two new Old Spice lines: Old Spice Wild Collection, which landed a top-10 spot, and Old Spice Re-Fresh. Sensory stimulation brings new excitement to home care, proven by the average $46 million in year-one sales earned by 2014’s air freshener and candle Pacesetters.

With nine new launches offering professional quality solutions for beloved furry friends, 2014 was also a big year for pets. Three new dog and cat litter brands achieved top-10 status, capitalizing on opportunities around bringing convenience, power and simplicity to one of life’s less pleasant household chores.

“Despite market challenges, best-practice innovation strategies are allowing CPG marketers to break through,” said Viamari. “Careful execution throughout the product development cycle produces consumer-centric products that are engaging and exciting to consumers. These products will spur volume growth without sacrificing margin, and they will protect and grow brand equity today and in the future.”

Click here to download the full report.

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