Progressive Grocer

SEP 2016

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42 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2016 We We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' loved We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' the We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' idea We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' and We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' deemed We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' it We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' a We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' PG We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' Editors We loved the idea and deemed it a PG Editors' Pick. Yet as we prepared this issue for publication, we got word that Marzetti had withdrawn the product from the market due to poor sales (it's our practice to honor only products on shelf at press time). Perhaps the timing was wrong. Maybe consum- ers didn't quite understand the product. We hope Marzetti has another go with this one and that it eventually clicks with the public. In any case, it's a great example of the risk CPG companies take when they launch new products. R&D, market research, innovation, marketing, packaging — significant investments of resources, time and talent are on the line, with many products vying for the same space. Up to 80 percent of new CPG product launches fail, according to a 2015 Catalina study. Critical to success, the study asserts, is immediate and con- sistent consumer engagement. But even that won't help if the product doesn't taste good, or consum- ers just don't get it. We feel that consumers will get PG's latest class of Editors' Picks. Out of 245 individual food prod- ucts and 18 individual nonfood products submitted this year, we selected 76 food winners and eight nonfood winners, honored as individual products or lines, as our favorites. Would We Buy This? Our Editors' Picks food product evaluation team this year included PG Editor-in-Chief Jim Dudlicek, Se- nior Editor Randy Hof bauer, Editorial Director Joan Driggs and Progressive Grocer Independent Editor-in- Chief Katie Martin. Managing Editor Bridget Gold- schmidt led evaluation of the nonfood entries. In addition to its own assessments, the panel sought sought the input of other EnsembleIQ staffers, as the input of other EnsembleIQ staffers, as well well as family members and friends when evaluat- as family members and friends when evaluat- ing ing products requiring home kitchen preparation. products requiring home kitchen preparation. All All input was considered, but final decisions were input was considered, but final decisions were up up to the editorial team. to the editorial team. Factors taken into consideration included taste, innovation, innovation, function and convenience. Other questions function and convenience. Other questions we we asked ourselves: Is this product on trend? Does it asked ourselves: Is this product on trend? Does it fill fill a need in the marketplace? Does it create a new a need in the marketplace? Does it create a new category, category, or might it breathe new life into an existing or might it breathe new life into an existing one? one? Is this product, in substance and price point, ap- Is this product, in substance and price point, ap- propriate propriate for the mainstream supermarket channel? for the mainstream supermarket channel? Snack foods seemed to dominate the entries this year. year. e best ones offered innovative flavors, better- e best ones offered innovative flavors, better- for-you for-you attributes and new twists on old favorites. attributes and new twists on old favorites. Some examples: Angie's BoomChickaPop Sweet Barbecue Barbecue Popcorn, Buck Wild popcorn and tortilla Popcorn, Buck Wild popcorn and tortilla chips, chips, Crunchies freeze-dried beets, Good Health Crunchies freeze-dried beets, Good Health veggie veggie chips, Good ins crackers, Lorissa's Kitchen chips, Good ins crackers, Lorissa's Kitchen protein protein snacks, Oreo ins, and Skippy P.B. Bites. snacks, Oreo ins, and Skippy P.B. Bites. Meal solution ideas also impressed us, like the Grainful Grainful Tuscan Bean & Kale Steel Cut Meal, Tuscan Bean & Kale Steel Cut Meal, Kahiki Bowl & Roll, LoveeWild Red Trout with Salsa Verde, and Mann's Nourish Bowls. Entertaining made simple is a consumer demand met by products like Better4U Poppy Seed & On- ion Bread Bowls, and Emmi Fondü. Other entries also had great brand stories, like Honchos chips by Deep River Snacks, and Skylar Rae cherries from Stemilt. Toast, a U.K.-based design and marketing agen- cy, has this advice for anyone planning to launch a new food product: Be brave: Get your target audience to take notice of what you have to say. Know your market: Where do they shop, what do they shop for, and why? Make it your passion: People love a great brand story. Make it different: Fill a need that's not being met. Make it consistent: Give consumers a reason to trust you and buy your product again and again. Be realistic: Success usually doesn't come overnight. Our panel truly enjoyed experiencing the bravery and passion behind this year's PG Editors' Picks entries. We believe that they'll be a hit for grocers who feature them front and center for today's pro- gressive shoppers. PG 2016 Editors' Picks Food

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