Top 2006 I.R.I. pacesetter is Kraft South Beach line

by Staff
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CHICAGO — Kraft Foods’ South Beach multi-category line, Dreyer’s/Edy’s slow-churned ice cream, Breyer’s double-churned ice cream, Dannon Activia yogurt with probiotics and Coke Zero were the top 5 new food and beverage brands introduced in 2005 and 2006 according to Information Resources, Inc. (I.R.I.), a provider of enterprise market solutions.

I.R.I. made the announcement in conjunction with the release of its "2006 New Product Pacesetters," a ranking of the most successful new consumer packaged goods brands that is now in its twelfth year. The rankings include the 2006 pacesetters, which are the top new brands launched between February 2005 and December 2006.

"These brands truly beat the odds, since less than one quarter of new brands exceed the $7.5 million hurdle for year-one sales that is required to earn Pacesetter status," said Sunny Garga, president of I.R.I. business and consumer insights. "The Pacesetter report provides a detailed assessment of this year’s winners to reveal the product benefits that resonated with consumers, the trends to watch for future new product opportunities and sales benchmarks to consider when evaluating new product introductions."

Other products on the top 10 food and beverage list were Gatorade Rain, Black Cherry Vanilla Coke, Sarah Lee Soft & Smooth whole grain bread, Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Paninis frozen entrees and Stouffer’s Corner Bistro frozen entrees.

The top food and beverage brands show a focus on health from weight management to total health and wellness. I.R.I. pacesetters are required to achieve at least $7.5 million in first-year retail sales across food, drug and mass channels, excluding Wal-Mart.

Mr. Garga said trends that will affect new product development in the next year include increasing gourmet consumers and a demand for eco-friendly packaging. Yet overall, he said consumers’ desire to have more nutritious foods and beverages will be the biggest factor.

The 2005 pacesetters included Frito-Lay Light salty snacks, Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs and Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper soda.

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