To Launch or Not to Launch: An Empirical Estimate of New Food Product Success Rate

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  • Ekaterina Salnikova
  • Stephen L. Baglione, Saint Leo University
  • ,
  • John L. Stanton, Saint Josephs University

New product introduction is one of the most important activities for a company’s growth. It is generally accepted that new product introductions are essential to the health of food companies. Yet, many believe that most new products fail, therefore discouraging companies to introduce some new products. However, most of the estimates suggesting high failure rates are either anecdotal or qualitative. This article provides a quantitative approach to measuring new product success rates for food products and to show the relationship between the success of new product and entry strategies. This article uses a quantitative approach to measuring product success/failure exclusively for food products. The authors contend that failure rates for food products are not nearly as low, and success rates much higher than it was previously established in the literature and perceived by the industry professionals. There was a significant variability of success rates between various food groups ranging from 58% for both fruit and vegetables and desserts and ice-cream categories to 88% for baby food. Success rates also varied among the different introductory strategies of the new food products, ranging from 50% for new packaging to 75% for re-launch strategies. Academics and practitioners usually quote very low success rates for new products based on subjective and/or strictly qualitative information. This empirical quantitative research shows that success rates for food products are much higher than previously reported. This should encourage greater use of new products to grow sales and profits. The previously reported low success rate may have led to the reluctance to introduce new products and therefore set many of the legacy food companies in their current poor financial condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Pages (from-to)771-784
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • failure rate, food, launch strategies, New product, product categories, success rate

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