Brand giants see new product success

01 March 2012

NEW YORK: PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser were some of the brand owners that rolled out the most popular new products of 2011 in the US, a study has shown.

Product of the Year, which runs an annual awards programme, and TNS, the research firm, asked 50,000 adults about their favourite new brands and extensions from last year.

Sierra Mist Natural took the honours in the beverage sector. Last month, PepsiCo, the parent of Sierra Mist, named it as one of the 12 "mega brands" set to enjoy greater advertising support going forward.

"To have more than 50,000 consumers speaking to you, voting for you, it's a good thing," Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer at Pepsi Beverages North America, said.

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Blend Foam, manufactured by Procter & Gamble, assumed this position in the beauty care field, as did Huggies Little Movers Slip-on diapers, from Kimberly-Clark, concerning baby care.

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, made by Mars, received the plaudits among new candy lines, with ConAgra Foods' Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn the preferred product for snacks.

Reckitt Benckiser's Air Wick Flip n' Fresh scooped the top prize in the air care segment. Laurent Faracci, its chief strategy and marketing officer, said this status would aid cut-through in a "very boring category."

"It gives you a vote of confidence," he added. "It's voted for by the people, which is why we like it."

Colgate-Palmolive was the winner in two sectors: firstly, teeth whitening with Colgate Optic White, and secondly, personal hygiene, thanks to the Softsoap Coconut Scrub.

"We place a big emphasis on driving innovation," Nigel Burton, chief marketing officer at Colgate-Palmolive, said. "[Retailers] like new products and, obviously, new products that work."

Elsewhere, Sun Products' Wisk Deep Clean led the laundry field, as did Johnson & Johnson's Listerine Total Care Zero in oral care and Beauty Bioscience's RetinoSyn-45 for skin treatments.

"Now more than ever, brands are focusing on implementing innovative solutions and creative strategies to stand out on shelves in a crowded consumer marketplace," Colleen Kelly, managing director of Product of the Year USA, said.

Data sourced from Product of the Year/New York Times; additional content by Warc staff