CHICAGO -- Health and beauty care items, particularly self-care products, dominated the recently released "New Product Pacesetters 2002: Nonfoods" report from Information Resources Inc., based here.
There are more new products flooding the nonfood sector than ever before, according to IRI, and more health and beauty care items than in the past five years.
The top four new nonfood products in 2002 were all in the self-care categories, each earning over $100 million in year-one sales, reported the study. The top four are: Crest Whitestrips teeth whitener, with $192.6 million in sales; Gillette Venus razor and blades, with $172.9 million; Listerine Pocketpaks breath strips, with $152.5 million; and Crest SpinBrush battery-powered toothbrush, with $116.6 million.
The Pacesetters data, according to Valerie Scala, vice president, analytic product management and development, can be very useful to nonfood buyers who face complex purchasing and merchandising decisions of what to buy, what to promote and what to dump and how to fit it all in.
To be identified as a "Pacesetter," new products must achieve 30% or more distribution and top $7.5 million in sales during the first 52 weeks of distribution.
There were 426 new nonfood brands introduced in 2002 as compared to an average of 317 for the five years prior. That is an increase of 34%, she pointed out. If you compare 2002 to 1997, the number of nonfood product introductions has increased by 70%.
"From the perspective of a supermarket buyer, he is being required to evaluate a lot more new products than ever before," Scala said, adding that nonfood buyers' increasing workload has made everything from purchasing choices to promotion priorities much more difficult.
The HBC subsegment constitutes 42% of nonfood sales, but it accounts for 75% of new nonfood brand introductions for 2002. Six out of 10 of the top-performing new nonfood brands were HBC products, according to the Pacesetters report. Four of those six brands made it onto the list with more than $100 million in year-one sales.
"Health and beauty is the highly active area of nonfood. Historically, it is the most active or innovative of the three subdivisions of nonfood, but it was particularly dominant this year," Scala explained.
What all this information means for retailers comes down to a number of consumer product trends that IRI identifies as affecting product sales for 2002. These trends included the aging of the U.S. population, continued emphasis on convenience, and a move toward higher-quality or high-performance products.
A number of 2002 introductions focused on appearance. Among these were anti-aging products, which have found a strong consumer base among the graying baby boomers. Crest Whitestrips, Olay Total Effects and Clairol Renewal 5X all owe their sales performance to the boomers, Scala said.
The boomer generation is a force to be reckoned with: Over the next decade, they will swell the 55 to 64-year-old age demographic by 4%-5% a year, she said. The boomers not only tend to resist aging, but they also tend to be more educated, work longer, and have accumulated more wealth than their predecessors. These factors combined are a major influence on the HBC category, she added.