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Beverages, Snacks Account for a Third of 2016’s New Food Products

If you are a regular reader of Today In Food, you’ll know that just about every day, a new food or beverage product hits store shelves. While we do our best to track all new emerging products, it is a daunting task: according to new data from USDA, there are about 58.7 new product launches per day.

Food and beverage companies introduced 21,435 new products on U.S. retail shelves in 2016, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS). That total included new package sizes, new flavors, new packaging and truly new products.

Of those new products, beverages accounted for 18.5% of total new products, and snack products were second with 14.8%. In total, the two categories accounted for about a third of all new food and beverage products introduced in the year.

ERS cited Mintel’s Global New Products Database and found that 3,172 novel snack products were introduced that year, representing a 820-item jump from 2011. This increase is consistent with reports indicating that Americans are more prone to snacking than they were in the past, as they eat smaller meals during the day rather than consuming full meals.

For snack products, snack/cereal/energy bars, wheat and other grain-based snacks, vegetable snacks and meat snacks were the top categories. Bakery foods, including cookies and backing mixes, accounted for 12.6% of total new 2016 snack products.