According to Innova Market Insights data, new worldwide food New Product Development launch numbers recorded in the Innova Database (www.innovadatabase.com) between June 08-June 09 were up 7.3% on the previous 12 months, despite the downturn.
Companies have responded in different ways to combat the economic crisis. Some are focusing on their core products or brands with increased promotional and marketing activities and in severe cases pulling less profitable products from the shelves.
The impact on innovation at global giants has varied dramatically, as a look at recent activity at just one global players covered in the new research reveals. According to Innova's data Unilever followed a highly productive Q2 2008 (507 new product introductions) with a decline to just 258 in Q1 2009 and a slight increase to 328 in Q2. The main activity area was ice cream, with 77 new product launches tracked by The Innova Database (Apr-Jun 09) from Unilever during this period in the run-up to the summer ice cream season.
Innova also reported a notable decline in new product innovation at PepsiCo in recent months, however. While there were 99 PepsiCo new product launches tracked in Q2 2008, this number steadily declined in the following 12 months to 50 in Q2 2009. Between April and June, Innova Market Insights tracked 19 new savory snacks from the company, 10 carbonates and 8 iced tea products.