IRI: Beverages Commanded 2018's Most Successful C-store New Products

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IRI: Beverages Commanded 2018's Most Successful C-store New Products

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CHICAGO — Beverages dominated the top 10 most successful new products in the convenience channel last year, according to IRI's 2018 New Product Pacesetters report, which highlights the most successful new product launches across the food and beverage, non-food and convenience store sectors.

Beverages are clearly the "energy" driver in convenience, taking eight of the top 10 spots in the 2018 New Product Pacesetters ranking. Pepsi products earned the No. 1, No. 6 and No. 10 positions, while Red Bull held two spots — No. 4 and No. 8.

Consumers turn to the convenience channel for a boost: three of the top 10 products were energy drinks. Other items on the list include stimulants, two chocolate candy products, one ready-to-drink coffee beverage and one ready-to-drink tea beverage.

The top 10 convenience store brands among the 2018 New Product Pacesetters are:

  1. Gatorade Flow — $144.9 million 
  2. Core Hydration — $129 million 
  3. Monster Hydro — $57.3 million 
  4. Red Bull Purple Edition — $52.7 million 
  5. M&M'S Caramel — $48.4 million 
  6. Mountain Dew Ice — $45.8 million 
  7. Kinder Joy — $42.2 million 
  8. Red Bull Lime Edition — $37.6 million 
  9. Starbucks Cold Brew — $32.1 million 
  10. Pure Leaf Tea House Collection — $31.8 million 

Leaders in Indulgence

In the multi-outlet universe, 2018 was the year for consumers with a sweet tooth. Among the top 10 food and beverage brands, Ferrero U.S.A.'s Kinder Joyand Mars' M&M'S Caramel achieved first- and second-place status, respectively, with sales of $124.4 million for Kinder Joy and $120.6 million for M&M'S Caramel. In fact, five of the top 10 food and beverage Pacesetters embodied sweet or savory indulgence.

Health and wellness was also well represented with such products as Oui by Yoplait and RXBAR joining the food and beverage Pacesetters list at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively. Lay's Poppables, at No. 8, also highlighted healthier manufacturing by baking vs. frying. Additionally, Duncan Hines Perfect Size for 1 is an example of portion-controlled indulgence.

The top 10 food and beverage brands among the 2018 New Product Pacesetters are:

  1. Kinder Joy — $124.4 million 
  2. M&M’S Caramel — $120.6 million 
  3. Oui by Yoplait — $100.5 million 
  4. Gatorade Flow — $78.1 million 
  5. RXBAR — $73.9 million 
  6. Grown in Idaho — $59.9 million 
  7. Mountain Dew Ice — $59.9 million 
  8. Lay’s Poppables — $51.6 million 
  9. Ritz Crisp & Thins — $41 million 
  10. Duncan Hines Perfect Size for 1 — $47.9 million 

Non-Food Leaders

Laundry product manufacturers continue to bundle new ingredients and benefits into their products as Tide Ultra Oxi led the 2018 Pacesetters non-food category with $139.8 million in sales and Tide Pods Plus Downy captured the No. 4 position.

Beauty care products also featured prominently among this year's non-food New Product Pacesetters. Three made it into the top 10: Idea Village's Finishing Touch Flawless at No. 7, Unilever's Love Beauty and Planet at No. 8, and L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise at No. 9. 

The top 10 non-food brands among the 2018 New Product Pacesetters are:

  1. Tide Ultra Oxi — $139.8 million
  2. Nature’s Recipe — $95.3 million
  3. Olly — $90.3 million
  4. Tide Pods Plus Downy — $82 million
  5. Xyzal — $76.5 million
  6. Flonase Sensimist — $69.8 million
  7. Finishing Touch Flawless — $68.4 million
  8. Love Beauty and Planet — $62.3 million
  9. L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise — $60.5 million
  10. Arm & Hammer Slide — $57.1 million

"The majority of 2018 New Product Pacesetters addressed at least one of the overriding themes we've observed over the past few years," commented Joan Driggs, vice president, Content and Thought Leadership, IRI. "They're upping the consumer experience, delivering against expectations and addressing simplicity — either with ingredients, convenience or sustainability."

Small Companies Dominate

For the first time, products developed by companies with annual revenues under $1 billion represented the majority of top-ranking brands, accounting for 51 percent of the products listed and representing 27 percent of Pacesetters revenues.

Companies with sales between $1 billion and $5 billion continued to have declining representation, responsible for just 27 percent of the products and 19 percent of the revenues, as compared to 35 percent and 26 percent five years ago, respectively.

Larger companies — those with more than $5 billion in revenues — accounted for just 22 percent of Pacesetters products, but 54 percent of Pacesetters sales.

Total 2018 Pacesetters' first-year sales dollars also continued to decline. Revenues of winners collectively shrank by $3.4 billion between 2012 and 2018; however, total IRI-measured multi-outlet channel sales — not including c-store — grew 1.7 percent in 2018, following increases of 1.2 percent in both 2017 and 2016. This reflects improved understanding of consumer behaviors, which results in consumers remaining interested in new products longer, according to IRI.

"Two driving forces are reshaping the CPG landscape and are deeply reflected in this year's New Product Pacesetters," said Larry Levin, executive vice president, Market and Shopper Intelligence, IRI. "E-commerce is driving home to consumers the value of convenience, and shoppers now expect convenience in the products themselves, in addition to how they purchase them and have them delivered. Second, artificial intelligence and machine learning are arming manufacturers and retailers with new insights into consumers’ wants and needs, resulting in a new wave of products that capture shoppers’ initial interest and maintain that interest over the longer term."

To download the full 2018 New Product Pacesetters report, click here.

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