With 2009 drawing to a close, SalesOut has looked at the data from 5,000 independent stores, including 3,000 symbols, to discover the most successful product launches of the past year. The company reports that new products and pack variations of existing products accounted for almost 4% of total sales in independent stores during the 52 weeks leading to October 31, 2009.
The list of best-sellers is available on our website, but among the most successful launch products are Cadbury's Wispa Gold, Rowntree's Randoms and Magners Pear Cider. Impulse items feature highly on the list, with nine of the most successful launches being confectionery/sweet snack lines, along with six soft drinks and four licensed products.
SalesOut chief executive Marcus Vallance comments: "New product launches are vital in the independent sector, with many new products targeted at the impulse market which the independent sector excels at. While consumers are expanding their range of independent purchases to include staple goods and even fresh produce to save money and reduce fresh food wastage in the recession, independent retailers ignore impulse purchases and new products at their peril."
Vallance advises store owners to make sure they are aware of new products by reading trade publications, looking at direct mail and speaking to suppliers.
"It is vital that they stock these products as early as possible and merchandise them prominently in-store. Consumers will often shop for new products specifically," he says. This means retailers run the risk of missing out on additional sales within the same transaction or being bypassed by customers altogether if they are not as quick off the starting blocks as another local store.
To view the list of the most successful new product launches this year, visit www.thegrocer.co.uk/independents.