Launch Insight: Food Innovation Wave

Launch Insight: Food Innovation Wave

Every week, we’ll be bringing you an insight from our 2016 Most Memorable New Product Launch (MMNPL) Survey eBook. We’re breaking down our data and letting you know what the trends, behaviors and learnings we’ve gained from the survey. Download the full ebook below.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned after 15 years of conducting the MMNPL survey, it’s that innovation is the secret to a very memorable new product launch. Innovation is attention-grabbing. It can change the way we live our lives, or at least gets people talking. These high-emotion moments are what comprise strong memories, and what makes a significant difference in raising awareness and generating sales.

Over the past ten or so years, tech brands have been in an innovation race. We saw smartphones crowd the market and flaunt a myriad of cutting-edge features – like Samsung’s Gear VR technology.

We saw TVs gain 3D capabilities and curved displays. And in 2016, smart home gadgets like this year’s Amazon Echo Dot and the newly-launched Google Home now allow consumers to connect the internet to their lives like never before.

But there will always be ebbs and flows when it comes to innovation in any sector. The smartphone market is saturated and as a result, the rate of big ideas is slowing. With TVs, blu-ray players and other devices all wired for streaming, the new frontiers for a connected home are changing. But when one sector slows, another steps up to offer incredible ideas. And right now, the food industry is cooking up fresh new ideas.

Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, Reese’s, Doritos, Cheez-Its and Hostess dominated this year’s MMNPL list with their new and exciting food items. These brands went beyond just flavor variations and sizes to develop products that were appetizing and news-grabbing.

This is the first time in five years that the majority of products that topped our MMNPL list were food items. “While technology products continued to be top of mind for consumers, food products took eight of the top 10 most memorable products,” said Joan Schneider, CEO of Schneider Associates.
“With the 24-hour election news cycle as the new norm, products that broke through the noise were national snack food favorites from trusted brands like spicy chicken from KFC, innovative pizza from Pizza Hut, a new form of Twinkies from Hostess, candy treats from Hershey’s, a burrito remix from Taco Bell and munchies from Frito-Lay and Kellogg’s.”

Dr. Aaron Reid, Chief Behavioral Scientist at Sentient Decision Science, notes, “the surprise this year was the number of innovative food items from QSR and CPG companies on the Top Ten Most Memorable New Product Launch list. What didn’t surprise us was the products that did breakthrough were also the most emotionally evocative.”

To get more great insights into product launch marketing and consumer behavior, download our 2016 Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey eBook:

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Noel Fisher
Noël Fisher, Director of Integrated Media & Marketing, acts as creative director for the agency, overseeing client teams to produce content for social media, web, print and more. Noel helps clients develop innovative campaigns with the kind of eye-catching designs that engages audiences, builds awareness and drives results. In her career, Noel has worked with Sleek Machine (a Boston-based advertising agency) implementing earned media strategies for clients like Century 21 and, and MassDevelopment (the state’s economic development and finance agency) designing marketing collateral, planning events and managing the agency’s social media efforts. Noel holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Visual Media Production from Framingham State University.