CHICAGO — Advertisers and brand managers have new challenges to face as Americans are less aware of new product launches than ever before. That's the key finding from the seventh annual Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, conducted by Schneider Associates, Mintel International and IRI.
The survey found that:
  • When asked about new products from 2008, 69 percent of respondents could not remember a single new product launched during the year
  • Wii Fit, the most memorable new product of 2008, was recalled by only 22 percent of respondents in aided recall.
Mintel's director of trend insight Lynn Dornblaser said rising food and gas prices, fear of economic recession and attention-grabbing political campaigns were all to blame.
"From higher food prices to unemployment to housing scares, economic struggles seriously affected the way many people lived this year," Dornblaser said.
Char Partelow, senior vice president, Panel Consulting Group at IRI, said that as Americans have cut back on spending, they are inherently less aware of new products.
"Because many people can only afford the basics, they're sticking to what they know, products and services that bring them comfort," he said. "We found that 'a trusted brand name' ranked as the number one quality respondents looked for when buying new products. Many Americans are simply less interested in 'risking it' on a new product."
Of the products most frequently remembered in aided recall, five were new twists on familiar food and drink:
  • Bud Light Lime (15 percent)
  • McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich (14 percent)
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese Crackers (13 percent) and
  • Gatorade G2 and Yoplait Fiber One (11 percent, two-way tie).
The Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey was conducted online among 1,000 respondents aged 18 and over during September 2008. For aided recall, Mintel gave survey participants a list of 50 new grocery, personal and beauty care, technology and toy products from 2008. This list was selected in advance by Mintel, IRI and Schneider Associates.
From the list of 50 new product launches from 2008, the other products people most commonly remembered included:
  • Nintendo Wii Fit (22 percent)
  • iPod Touch (16 percent)
  • KY Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant (12 percent)
  • MacBook Air, Rock Band, Burger King Apple Fries, Neosporin Neo To Go!, Kraft Bagel-fuls (8 percent, five-way tie).

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