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June and July are new product season here at Progressive Grocer. It’s when we evaluate the hundreds of new products that are entered in our annual Editors’ Picks contest, the results of which will be published in our August issue.
No, I’m not going to spill any of the center store canned beans here. Of course, I was – as always – impressed by the wide variety of new products that have already or will soon be making their way to your center store shelves. But I will share news of some other new products I learned of after Editors’ Picks nominations closed – news which very conveniently crossed my desk just as I was starting to write this column.
The first batch comes from General Mills, from which a steady flow of new releases emerges under its many brands, and all leveraging some trend that consumers say is important to them, at least right now.
Yoplait 100-calorie Greek yogurt, chef-inspired cooking sauces by Progresso and artisan whole-grain pizza crust by Pillsbury are just a few examples noted on a recent General Mills blog post. Rather than mere line extensions, the company says these “entirely new and different products” reflect a key approach in its strategy to “address unmet consumer needs and attract more consumers to our brands.”
Also among newcomers to the Big G lineup: gluten-free Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal with whole grains; Fiber One Chewy Bars in Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J flavors; Cascadian Farm Ancient Grains Granola, featuring quinoa, spelt, and Kamut khorasan wheat; Gardetto’s Sandwich Crackers, teaming the flavor profile of the popular snack mix with cheddar bacon and garlic cream cheese filling; Betty Crocker Shake-n-Pour Desserts in Chocolate Brownie, Confetti Cupcake and Chocolate Cupcake flavors; Hamburger Helper Cheese Lover’s Lasagna and Supreme Cheese Pizza flavors; and Betty Crocker specialty potatoes in Cheesy Hashbrown and Parmesan Asiago flavors.
Meanwhile, the folks at Kellogg’s shared some of their new products with us, too. As they put it, “from flavors to pop culture, hot trends and insights” are driving new product development in Battle Creek.
The Special K brand continues to see rapid growth as the line’s wellness halo is extended to new products like Pop Corn Chips and Pastry Crisps. Cinnamon is being pushed beyond traditional brands as Keebler debuts cinnamon roll cookies while Pringles launches seasonal cinnamon crisps, on the heels of cinnamon variants of Frosted Mini-Wheats and Raisin Bran released earlier this year.
“Every new product from Kellogg is developed based on keen insights into the lifestyles, taste preferences and nutrition needs of our consumers,” said Brad Davidson, president of Kellogg North America. “By leveraging these emerging trends, we continue to introduce hot new products that excite both our consumers and our retail partners.”
And that will help progressive grocers get their shoppers excited about center store.
Jim Dudlicek is editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer.