Introducing a new product is a carefully orchestrated process.
line extensions to the Grill Mates line of seasonings and marinades -- are now in a regional launch and are on shelves in the barbecue sauce and marinade aisle.
"This is a new type of product for us, a liquid bottled marinade," McCormick spokeswoman Laurie Harrsen told SN.
"Typically when we introduce a new product, it's in the spice department. These are in a different aisle for us, so a regional launch is a good idea; we can learn lessons from it. The spice buyer can be a different person from a barbecue sauce buyer."
She said results of the product launch, which ran in 16 Southern states, will be evaluated to determine a national launch. Harrsen offered an example of the time it took to get these new sauces on shelves and a time line of consumer promotion.
September 2001: Products were introduced to the sales force, which began making presentations to the retailers.
January 2002: McCormick began shipping product into the retailer distribution pipeline.
April/May 2002: Consumer promotion began. In-store sampling started in April. Radio and TV advertising and public relations efforts began the second week of May. FSI coupons dropped before Memorial Day weekend.
Harrsen said McCormick makes all of its products available to all retailers at the same time. "Some retailers are just faster at moving product through their distribution channel than others, no matter what their size. There are fast-moving independents as well as large chains. Orders from our plant are shipped on a first-come, first-served basis."