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Graceful Aging, Portion Control, Educated Consumers Predicted for 2006
Posted: March 7, 2006
Companies are exploring a vast range of innovation for 2006. According to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), more than 156,000 new products appeared on store shelves around the world last year. This number equates to approximately one new product introduction every three minutes in 2005.
"Globally we have seen a significant rise in variety of products," said Lynn Dornblaser, director of Mintel Custom Solutions, in a press statement. "Consumers are looking for more products that address their individual needs and this is resulting in more product offerings. There is a particular focus on catering to the aging consumer, specifically in the non-foods product categories."
The most active category in food and drink was beverages, carrying close to one-fifth of the launches, followed by bakery (12 percent) and confectionery (11 percent). On the non-food product front, more than 68,000 new products were launched internationally with cosmetics, skin care and hair care leading the way. Food experienced close to a 10 percent increase in launches from 2004, where non-food product introductions remained relatively level to the previous year. In the United States alone, more than 16,000 new food products were introduced. In addition, there were more than 13,000 non-food products launched in the United States, with cosmetics and skin care innovations driving the numbers.
Several new and evolving trends are predicted to impact product innovation for 2006. Age-defying treatments, increases in portion control, brain-power foods and customized products are all among the trends expected to make strong impressions on the consumer packaged goods industry. With the aging population experiencing global growth, companies have a key opportunity to focus efforts on this newly rediscovered consumer group. Displaced for several years by youth marketing initiatives, marketers are now banking on the senior market for non-food products.
However, age-focused food is a generally untapped area. Mintel recently tracked a couple of product examples that show the possibilities in the category. In Japan, home of the largest senior population in the world, new easier-to-chew foods such as Kameda Seika's rice porridge are being launched. Recently, Gerble chocolate biscuits were launched in Europe, claiming to be formulated for the dietary needs of seniors. Companies worldwide are battling with new antiaging skin care technologies, expanding on the massively successful category. Neutrogena and Oil of Olay in the United States have both recently launched home microdermabrasion systems, positioned as skin-renewing products but antiaging cosmetics are moving into “anti-tiredness” as well.