As shopper behavior ebbed and flowed as COVID-19 persisted through 2021, new products “successfully ran the gauntlet of powering through a pandemic that first caused people to hunker down at home, and then start socializing in public again, only to hunker down again late in the year,” said Joan Driggs, VP of content and thought leadership for IRI.
The Chicago-based firm, which has been identifying New Product Pacesetters for 27 years, recently revealed the top new food and beverage products for 2021. Six of the top 10 Food and Beverage New Product Pacesetters for 2021 included bubbles (alcohol and nonalcohol), which reflected consumers’ desires to socialize at home, IRI said in a release. Click through to see the top 10, starting with No. 1.
Dr Pepper & Cream Soda
Total year-one dollar sales, multioutlet: $137.3 million
By Keurig Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper & Cream Soda comes in regular, diet and zero sugar. The variety combines the taste of Dr Pepper with the taste of vanilla cream soda. “Notably, Dr Pepper & Cream Soda appeals to a large portion of Gen Z eager to explore flavor combinations, exactly the innovation delivered by this product,” IRI said in its Pacesetter report.
AHA Sparkling Water
Total year-one dollar sales, multioutlet: $128.6 million
AHA Sparkling Water from the Coca-Cola Co., comes in a slew of flavors, including Peach + Honey, Orange + Grapefruit, Blueberry + Pomegranate, Lime + Watermelon and Raspberry + Acai. More recently, Blackberry + Lemon and Pineapple + Passionfruit flavors have been added to the mix.
High Noon Sun Sips
Total year-one dollar sales, multioutlet: $103.4 million
High Noon Sun Sips from E & J Gallo Winery are made with vodka, real juice and sparkling water. The drinks come in Passionfruit, Peach, Pineapple and Watermelon flavors. The adult beverages have 100 calories per serving.
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer
Total year-one dollar sales, multioutlet: $87.2 million
Made with coconut water and real fruit juice, Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer from Anheuser-Busch InBev has 90 calories per serving. The adult beverages come in Blueberry Watermelon, Kiwi Lime, Berry Hibiscus and Strawberry Guava flavors.
Total year-one dollar sales, multioutlet: $72.8 million
From Nestle, Life Cuisine is a frozen-entrée brand that caters to low-carb, high-protein, meatless and gluten-free lifestyles. Options include bowls and pizza. “Impossible Burger and No. 9 Life Cuisine delivered a convenient way for people to still eat at home, but easily make a healthy meal for themselves,” IRI said.
Minute Maid Zero Sugar
Total year-one dollar sales, multioutlet: $70.7 million
The Coca-Cola Co.’s Minute Maid Zero Sugar line of juices comes in Mango Passion, Pink Lemonade, Fruit Punch and Lemonade flavors. “Zero-sugar and low-sugar are top growth claims across categories but were notable among healthier beverage options, spanning both drink mixes and RTD offerings,” IRI said in its report.