January 2013

By Reach Brands

New product failure rates are often quoted at over 80% and fewer than 5% of new brands are deemed to be clear successes. We want to put this statistic to the test, so have built an NPD Monitor to review NPDs which launched in the UK 12 months ago. Our intention is to build this to a two year measure. Each month we choose 2 of these NPD’s to understand what has made them successes or failures, based on what we believe to be the 4 new product launch imperatives.

Launches in November/December 2011

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Cumulative April – December 2011

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Success: Available to buy in grocery multiples or convenience
Failure: Not widely available to buy in grocery multiples or convenience
Covers FMCG products from food, drink, non-food, healthcare, beauty and baby categories
Excludes line extensions


NPD SUCCESS: Zugo’s Deli Cafe Pasta Pots


1. Does it fill a need or gap?

  • The noodle, rice and pasta pot snack market is well established and a hotbed of innovation
  • Zugo’s is the first pasta pot that is positioned in an authentic Italian way and really emanates real foodie cues

  • This entry has the potential to really challenge consumers pre-conceptions of the hot snacking category for being stereotypically processed, downmarket, young and funky
  • 2. Credibility?

  • An authentic Italian brand name and the idea that it comes from a ‘deli cafe’ make the product feel as if it has been prepared in a small kitchen
  • Pasta is at the heart of the Italian diet and culture so it’s believable that it comes from Italy, it therefore must taste great and be of good quality

    3. Uniqueness?

  • Unique positioning tapping into the provenance of pasta
  • The pack contains a fork offering the ultimate in workplace convenience
  • 4. Understandability?

  • At twice and sometimes triple the price of other hot snacks, consumers obviously buy into the added value of authenticity, quality and convenience that the product offers
  • It goes to show that an established product idea can be reinvented successfully purely through brand and positioning

    NPD FAILURE: Seabrook Bread crisps

    1. Does it fill a need or gap?

  • Not really – it appears they were going after the ‘sharing snack’ occasion which is a fiercly competitive marketplace with products like Pringles and brand positionings such as Doritos
  • They could possibly be appealing to an older, more sophisticated consumer through their heritage brand positioning

    2. Credibility?

  • Their heritage brand positioning is oddly juxtaposed with a product that is not really traditional and takes a big step away from their current portfolio and brand positioning of crinkle cut potato chips
  • The brand’s reason to believe is rooted in their potato farming heritage and bread is a far cry from this
  • The packaging design struggles to convey appetite appeal, and for a new product concept, convincing the consumer it will be tasty is critical beyond just descriptors and claims. If the product itself isn’t appetising), rather visually feature the tasty ingredients instead
  • 3. Uniqueness?

  • The product format isn’t really unique – it’s a variation on brushetta or croutons
  • It is however, the first time this type of product has been packaged and positioned as a crisp
  • They missed a massive opportunity to leverage the healthiness vs. standard crisps in the fact they are oven-baked and contain a third of the saturated fat of normal crisps at a fraction of the calories
  • 4. Understandability?

  • You’d be forgiven for being confused with who the products are targeted at. Each variant has a character name ‘Farmer Fred’s’ or ‘Trawlerman Ted’s’, which makes it feel quite playful and childlike, in contrast the product and flavour descriptors are quite adult and serious. Perhaps they should have gone the whole hog and been more quirky and aspirational with the flavours too
  • The product descriptor of “crisp” was perhaps massively misleading for the consumer. They may have been expecting something thinner and crunchier, instead of something with a toast like texture that melts in the mouth. It pays to really understand what consumer’s think the product is, and therefore what it should be called, rather than assuming that following the category norms will work. Perhaps ‘bread thins’, ‘crispy bread bites’ or ‘toasty chips” could have helped make this launch the best thing since sliced bread…

    List of product launches we found in November/December 2011:

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    By Shelly Greenway, Strategist at Reach