Decade's most successful introductions

PepsiCo's Frito Wow! took top honors for the most successful CPG product debut of the past decade, according to a new Information Resources Inc. (IRI) report. With the taste of traditional Lay's, Ruffles and Doritos but with less fat and up to half the calories, first year sales were $347.2 million. Vanilla Coke, with $292.1 million in sales, and Pepsi One with $225.3 million, followed in popularity.

These products are among the less than 3 percent of new products that exceed $50 million in year-one sales, according to IRI. Fewer than eight in 10 pass the $7.5 million mark. Since they require less investment and shorter lead times, brand extensions are more common than new brand introductions. The drawback to extensions is an average 13 percent less in year-one sales across food and beverage categories.

About one in 10 successful new products are also new brands, like Dunkin' Donuts coffee, which made its CPG debut in 2008, and Iams pet food in 2001.