Survey results from the eighth annualMost Memorable New Product Launch Survey show consumers had more memorable experiences with fast food launches than with technology, toys or personal care products.
Officials said the survey -- conducted bySchneider Associates,Information Resources Inc. andSentient Decision Science-- reversed a two-year trend where technology has dominated the top 10 most memorable launches. This year, five quick-service restaurant favorites reached the top spots -- including three considered "premium" offerings that fit into the "migration marketing" trend. These products encouraged consumers to "trade up" or "trade down" in the recessionary environment.
Although 93 percent of respondents could not name a new product launch from the a list of 50, the majority who did -- an overwhelming 40 percent -- recalledKFC's Grilled Chickenlaunch in April 2009, which involved Oprah Winfrey in a national, free grilled chicken promotion.
"2009 was the year of comfort food and small indulgences," said Julie Hall, executive vice president and partner at Schneider Associates, Boston. "This past year, real estate values plummeted, massive corporations failed, the stock market was in freefall, our government was managing bailouts and there were continued job losses. The economy is improving now but looking back, it's no surprise people donned Snuggies and tried new and premium fast food offerings."
In the Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, consumers received a list of 50 new product launches from the past year. The most commonly remembered included ...
- KFC Grilled Chicken (40.1%)
- McDonald's McCafe (29.6%)
- Beatles: Rock Band (18.3%)
- Snuggie (17.7%)
- Blackberry Storm (13.2%)
- Quizno's Torpedo sandwich (12.9%)
- McDonald's Angus Deluxe (12.6%)
- Taco Bell Volcano Nachos (10.7%)
"Across several key CPG categories, premium tier products are driving growth despite recessionary economic conditions," said Char Partelow, a Consumer Packaged Goods consultant at IRI, Chicago. "Consumers take solace in home-based dining and entertainment. They're indulging without breaking the bank."