I look forward each year to The Most Memorable New Product Launch (MMNPL) survey and I had the privilege of being on a Google Hangout with MMNPL guru Julie Hall.
This years MMNPL 2012 pointed to consumer interest in product attributes such as "Made in the USA," "Made Locally," and "Country of Origin"… generating more influence than ever on consumers' purchasing decisions. Made in The USA" was cited by 62% of consumers as influencing their purchasing decision, a five percent increase from two years ago.
Let's look at the foods that made the MMNPL 2012
Made Local - The Consumer is Vocal
"Made Locally" is growing as an influencer for consumer purchases, 52% of respondents are attracted to products emblazoned with "Local" vs. 48% in 2011 and 46% in 2010.
My view is Whole Foods is a significant driver in creating "local" awareness on theirLocally Grown web page along with local vendors blog posts. Whole Foods is using story telling marketing techniques … rather than focus on features and benefits the tell great stories that make the brands real such as this post on Great Bagels from Kenny and Zukes.
Low Recall by Consumers for New Product Launches
Participants in this year's MMNPL survey showed a universally low recall rate with 67% unable to recall a single new product launched in 2012. This is the second lowest recall rate of the decade, trumped only by the 69% unable to recall a new product launch in 2008-another election year.
I think low recall is coming from stimulus overload because for most of us, we are connected by the computer, tablet, smartphone in addition to television, radio, YouTube, Pandora… yikes! Want proof? Facebook is saying Goodbye Clutter with "Choice of Feeds," or the ability to toggle between different feeds of information by topics. The benefit is users should also be able to filter out the cluster in their newsfeed. I think low recall will be a trend for the foreseeable future.
Most Memborable Food Launches
Other products named in the top ten most memorable of 2012 were all American-made and here are the food and beverage launches.
All American Taco Bell had two products on the list with Doritos Locos Taco coming in at number two on the list ( only 19% of consumers recalling the launch), and the new Cantina Bowls coming in at number eight. McCormicks Flavor Forecast for 2013 pointed out the trends of Empowered Eating and Global My Way,
Mid-Calorie Drinks on the Rise
Pepsi Next was #4 pointing the growing trend in what are called mid-calories beverages. McCormick's No Apologies Necessary factors into mid-calorie products as consumers want great flavors to spur instant gratification… and let's face it, diet cola's don't have really great flavors.
Additionally diet sodas are positioned to women and the product launch of Dr. Pepper Ten illustrates this… it is positioned as a Manly Drink and their new "Manments" Facebook Page is… well you have to see it to believe it!
Pepsi has been creating awareness for Pepsi Next for well over a year with their "silly" and narcissistic appeal (my opinion) to peoples need for their few minutes of fame via the Facebook Pepsi Next's Internet Tasting Contest titled Drink it to Believe It.
Satisfying the Needs of Timid Bakers
Duncan Hines Frosting Creations came in at #9. This is an interesting product for a customer segment I call "Timid Bakers" You buy the kit that is a cup of frosting, with flavor packs you just stir in and voila… you have frosting without even knowing how to make frosting from scratch.
My latest foodpreneur client, food entrepreneur Leslie Kaplan of Ready Set Cupcake, says "…there is a need for products to satisfy the consumers desire to bake things themselves ... without needing the skills of a baker." Duncan Hines clearly knows that many people are intimidated by baking and this product solves a real consumer problem so no wonder it comes in with high new product launch marks.
Innovative QSR Packaging
McDonald's Chicken McBites came in at #10. Besides being what they call " poppable pieces of chicken" they have really cool packaging. It is a colorful Chinese takeout style packaging with built-in holders for flavorful dips, the holders for the dips are great when you have kids… keeps the sauce from spilling all over the back seat of the car. Watch this funny Youtube vide review.