CHICAGO — McCafe coffee from McDonald’s Corp. was the top selling new food and beverage launch of 2015, continuing the trend of several years of strong K-cup launches, according to the top 10 New Product Pacesetters for 2015, published by Information Resources, Inc. (I.R.I.).
McCafe earned approximately $172.7 million during its first year on the market, according to I.R.I., capitalizing on strong brand equity. Despite earning the top spot in 2015, I.R.I. said McCafe earned less than other similar product launches from Starbucks Coffee Co., Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
|Susan Viamari, vice-president, Thought Leadership, I.R.I|
“The key to launching a successful new product today is not only understanding your core and target shoppers but also how these shoppers view the C.P.G. (consumer packaged goods) marketplace,” said Susan Viamari, vice-president, Thought Leadership, I.R.I. “Their viewpoint is very different from manufacturers’ and retailers’. Consumers think about satisfying needs in terms of eating occasions, drinking occasions and product usage occasions. C.P.G.s need to recognize which C.P.G. categories compete for each occasion. It varies by mindset, day part, channel and shopper, so the days of one-size-fits-all strategies are gone forever.”
Just behind McCafe in the 2015 rankings was Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Bold luncheon meats, with sales of $146.2 million. The luncheon meats from Pittsburgh-based Kraft Heinz Co. were part of a meal makers and appetizers sector that I.R.I. called “a hotbed of activity” during 2015. The sector grew 2.7% during the past year and included 11 products that achieved New Product Pacesetter status, I.R.I. said.
Rounding out the top 5 were Dannon Oikos Triple Zero yogurt, with sales of $108 million, fairlife milk, with sales of $87.1 million, and Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! yogurt, with sales of $83.6 million. The rest of the top 10 included:
No. 6: Chili’s At Home — $78.9 million
No. 7: Simply Juice Drinks — $70.5 million
No. 8: Breyers Gelato Indulgences — $66.9 million
No. 9: Cobblestone Bread Co. — $60.2 million
No. 10: Cheerios Protein — $49.8 million
Among the top food and beverage brands, median year-one dollar sales for the top 100 brands were $19.6 million, down from $22.9 million as the median in 2014, according to I.R.I.
“The shift in median year-one average is telling of the ongoing gradual shift to innovation that is intended to serve a more finite segment of the population,” I.R.I. noted in the report. “It is also telling of innovation that is coming through in sectors that have seen high levels of high-earning new product introductions for several years straight.”
As part of its 2016 I.R.I. New Product Survey, I.R.I. found 29% of consumers want to indulge without paying restaurants prices, while 24% want to add excitement to the daily diet, and 21% want to enjoy options that are truly new and different. Chili’s At Home frozen dinners and appetizers were identified as a new product that has allowed consumers to “take their taste buds for a spin with restaurant-inspired recipes that combine for a flavor fusion.” Fairlife milk, meanwhile, was described as a healthier product “with a flair for sophistication” due to its use of a patented filtration process that concentrates some of the milk’s natural nutrients while filtering out lactose and reducing sugars.
Consumers also are looking to tap into the protein trend with convenient products such as Cheerios Protein, Quaker Protein Instant Oatmeal and TruMoo milk. Twenty-three per cent of consumers surveyed by I.R.I. said they are looking for new food options that may be eaten on the go, and 12% are looking for new beverages that provide protein.
Beyond the New Product Pacesetters, I.R.I. identified 10 Rising Stars, which are new products currently performing well within the year-one launch window. Products included on the Rising Stars list that may make the New Product Pacesetter cut in 2016 include:
No. 1: DairyPure
No. 2: Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups
No. 3: Hot Pockets Bites
No. 4: Not Your Father’s Root Beer
No. 5: Oscar Mayer Selects Natural
No. 6: Pagoda
No. 7: Red Bull Yellow Edition
No. 8: Sargento Balanced Breaks
No. 9: Screamin’ Sicilian frozen pizza
No. 10: Starbucks Iced Espresso ClassicsFor the full report, click here.