New-Product Rewards Merit the Risk

by | Oct 4, 2018

Product innovations – including new flavors, consistency and combinations – continue to drive incremental sales for retailers willing to take a chance.

It’s been said that new products are the lifeblood of retail. This is particularly true in the retail food business, where both packaged goods manufacturers and the foodservice operators push the limits of customer acceptance of new formats, brand extensions and flavor profiles.

Just the last several months has seen the sudden appearance (and disappearance) of bold attempts like Taco Bell’s taco with an egg shell, Tim Hortons’ Buffalo sauce flavored latte and Sonic’s surprisingly well-accepted Pickle Juice Slush. Adding to these seemingly incongruent ingredient and flavor combinations is the even less-traditional means of gaining acceptance. For example the social-sharing of secret menus, containing products such as Shake Shake’s (now reportedly unavailable) Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger.

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But risk-taking can have its rewards. In a recent interview with Business Insider, Sonic vice president of product innovation Scott Uehlein said the success of edgy menu items is the result of consumers generally “being open to trying new things.”

“Pickle Juice Slush, for example, sounds repulsive,” the Business Insider article understates. “But if people are able to get it half price, they might find it’s shockingly enjoyable and continue buying the limited-time offering while it’s on the menu.”

Innovation is important to the growth of any brand and especially foodservice brands.  Interesting products and edgier advertising campaigns are ways to stimulate trial, remain relevant and provide the launching company with media opportunity.  Furthermore, today there are many companies like Datassential with intelligence related to flavors, consistency and combinations, all helping food companies, both retail and packaged, tantalize consumers and find success.

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Business Accelerator Team is an outside-in catalyst assisting with insight, strategy, marketing and connections. Our consultancy provides business-development expertise derived from a deep understanding of what has worked with suppliers, retailers and media in retailing and foodservice. If you would like to learn more about how Business Accelerator Team can help your Company introduce new products to the market, contact us for more information.


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