Taking The Traditional Route

Data provide evidence that supermarkets/grocery stores are still popular channels for new product launches.

Though the retail landscape has evolved significantly in the past couple of decades, "traditional" supermarkets typically find a place in most consumers' shopping circuit, even if they are supplemented by specialty and mass merchandise retailers.

Thus, it's no surprise that consumer-packaged-goods manufacturers would use the supermarket channel to bolster new product introductions. According to data from Mintel, Chicago, supermarkets account for more than a quarter of new product introductions in the United States during the past year. Mass merchandisers, specialty retailers and internet retailers also report double-digit growth, but the supermarket channel clearly makes a high-performance home for new products.

According to Mintel, convenience stores and drug stores lag in new product launches, reporting 0 percent and 6 percent, respectively. But as these channels become more developed and deliver on the needs of today's on-the-go population, activity likely — or should — heat up. Club stores, too, have ample room for growth, accounting for only 2 percent of launches, yet also offering that "treasure hunt" experience that may be a strong platform for new products.

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