NEW YORK: Over 80% of consumers around the world are interested in trying new food, beverage, household and personal products despite the onset of the economic downturn, a survey from Ipsos Marketing reports.

It has been argued that research and development spending is one area where companies often seek to cut back during periods of financial stress, but many successful brands have also been launched during previous recessions.

Ipsos Marketing conducted a poll of around 1,000 consumers across 18 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and US.

It found that a total of 89% of participants stated a desire to sample new food and beverage offerings, a figure that fell to 86% with regard to household goods, and 81% in the personal products sector.

However, in terms of the categories that contributors regarded as being "extremely or very innovative", these three industries did not perform as strongly.

Only 34% of respondents viewed the household sector as matching this description, with 28% saying the same for personal products, and 26% for food and beverage manufacturers.

The computer equipment segment actually came out on top on this measure, with a score of 60%, followed by electronic media on 58%, and cameras and video equipment on 54%.

Lauren Demar, ceo of Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods Sector, argued that "it's not surprising that consumer packaged goods would not rank as high as more obvious technological products."

"What is interesting is that consumer packaged goods are viewed to be innovative by almost one-third of global consumers – not bad for an industry that, generally speaking, has been unfairly tagged as sluggish on the innovation front."

Similarly, "while food and beverages are viewed as less innovative than household and personal products, consumers crave new food products the most."

What is essential, therefore, is "communicating to consumers when new products become available and what differentiates them from products currently on the market," Demar concluded.

Data sourced from Ipsos Marketing; additional content by WARC staff