Skip to main content

Beverages Dominate New Product Launches in 2022

Circana: Despite inflationary and supply chain challenges, new products saw $6.8 billion in combined sales.
Food and drinks in a grocery cart

CHICAGO — Of the top 10 new food-based products launched in 2022, eight were beverages with a near-even split between alcoholic and nonalcoholic offerings.

[Read more: The Convenience Channel's 'Halo Effect' on Snacking]

According to Circana's 2022 New Product Pacesetters report, consumer spending on new product offerings remained elevated last year despite challenges surrounding high inflation, supply chain adjustments and ingredient costs. The products highlighted in the report achieved a staggering $6.8 billion in combined year-one sales across food, beverage and nonfood solutions, compared to $6 billion in 2021 Pacesetter sales.

"Consumers have a big appetite for new products, and the 2022 Pacesetters represent companies and brands that satisfy genuine needs and desires with focused, strategic approaches," said Joan Driggs, vice president of content and thought leadership at Circana. "Manufacturers and retailers that prioritize innovation are more likely to drive sales and foster loyalty."

The Top 10 Food and Beverage New Product Pacesetters for 2022 were:

  1. Alani Nu
  2. Dr Pepper Zero Sugar
  3. Chick-fil-A Sauces
  4. Truly Punch
  5. Truly Margarita Style
  6. Mtn Dew Spark
  7. Tattooed Chef
  8. Red Bull Green Edition
  9. Gatorlyte
  10. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer

Consumers Seek Elevated At-Home Experiences

New product innovation that provides uplifting at-home experiences helped to alleviate the strain of inflation for consumers. Among food and beverage Pacesetters, Chick-fil-A sauces ranked No. 3, generating more than $140 million in sales and highlighting the appeal of recreating restaurant-style experiences at home, according to Circana.

The market research firm also found that brand values, responsible production and product packaging are becoming increasingly important. Consumers are concerned about the impact brands and products have on the environment and the world around them, which aligns with previous research on the increasing power Generation Z is exerting on the marketplace, and has led to greater dominance by plant-based offerings, such as those from No. 7 food and beverage Pacesetter Tattooed Chef.

Iconic Brands on the Move

Nearly a third of shoppers surveyed by Circana stated the importance of purchasing products from trustworthy brands and manufacturers. Over the past decade, the number of licensed food and beverage products on the Pacesetters list has tripled, reaching a notable $242 million in 2022. Co-branding is also increasing in popularity, with Pacesetters like No. 63 Cattleman's Cut Takis meat sticks and No. 100 Snack Pack Sour Patch Kids Juicy Gels breaking into new spaces.

However, in 2022, more dollar sales came from medium-size companies, a first in recent years. While medium-size companies delivered 28 percent of Pacesetter products, they represented a notable 35 percent of Pacesetter dollars, up nearly 15 percentage points from 2021. Small companies also saw an increase in dollar contribution year over year, delivering 21 percent of Pacesetter dollars in 2022 compared to 15 percent in 2021. 

"Big companies' dollar share dipped from 50 percent in 2021 to 35 percent in 2022," said Lisa Maas, principal and practice lead, innovation, Circana. "This reflects the emphasis that larger manufacturers placed on brand extensions in an effort to build on the trust consumers have with well-known brands."

The full report, including information on nonfood pacesetters, is available here.

Chicago-based Circana, previously The NPD Group and IRI, serves as an advisor on the complexity of consumer behavior. Through advanced analytics, cross-industry data and subject matter expertise, Circana provides insights and research that helps clients unlock business growth.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds