New products bubble up for consumers

Information Resources, Inc.
Tuesday, 14 June, 2022

New products bubble up for consumers

Information Resources, Inc. has released its list of top food and beverage, and non-food product launches for the year of 2021. The Pacesetter products discussed in the report demonstrate consumer trends and can give manufacturers an idea of what sort of products consumers might want to reach for in the future.

The 2021 New Product Pacesetters report notes that the second year of pandemic was more difficult for manufacturers than the first, with the buying behaviour of shoppers ebbing and flowing in 2021. Despite this the sales of the Pacesetters were high. Interestingly, of the beverage products outlined by the report, those with bubbles seemed to be particularly enticing for consumers, with 60% of the top 10 products in the list of beverages being carbonated.

“This year’s New Product Pacesetters successfully ran the gauntlet of powering through a pandemic that first caused people to hunker down at home, and then start socialising in public again, only to hunker down again late in the year,” said Joan Driggs, Vice President, Content and Thought Leadership, IRI.

“COVID-19 generated trends that both helped and hindered growth trajectories. In-home stockups eased from 2020 levels, while concurrently, interest in new products representing beverages, frozen convenience foods, household goods and self-care resulted in healthy growth.”

The products outlined in the report show that in 2021, consumers prioritised beverages with new experiences like carbonated drinks with interesting combinations of flavours and alcoholic beverages such as bubbly hard seltzers and premixed cocktails that came in variety packs. Convenience-boosting drinks such as bottled or canned coffees also proved popular for consumers, who were juggling home, work and school duties while also dealing with the pandemic. Relatedly, cleaning products were some of the most popular non-food Pacesetters.

The report also indicates that the property of new flavours being explored by consumers was in part due to them wishing to make their cooking experiences easier and more exciting, with 80% of meals now being made at home, compared to less than half before the pandemic.

The products outlined in the Pacesetters report account for a relatively small percentage of sales but are a major source of growth for the industry, and while the growth of the revenue from this year’s products was down compared to 2020, 2021’s growth was equal to 2019’s. This is despite challenging supply chain issues faced across many industries last year.

Finally, sustainability is also a driving force for new products, with consumers making more and more purchasing decisions based on whether or not a product has sustainable attributes such as a low carbon footprint.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/madeaw

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