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Winners of Innovation: Key Markets, Categories and Retailers for NPD

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World Creativity and Innovation Day, a global UN day celebrated on 21 April, encourages fostering innovation as crucial for economic growth and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. For businesses, monitoring new launches and their development empower companies to identify opportunities and invest in innovation strategically. Euromonitor International provides insights into the most innovative countries, product categories and retailers, based on new product launches across the global digital shelf.

Most promising test markets

Understanding the most vibrant innovation markets and their significance in product testing before further expansion empowers businesses to make informed choices, optimising success and mitigating risks tied to new product launches.

Promising markets for introducing and testing new products are those with a sizeable population and a solid middle class indicating consumers’ ability and willingness to spend, a receptive retail environment and a culture to trying new alternatives. Unsurprisingly, in 2023, the countries with the highest number of new product launches globally were the US, India, Germany, Brazil, France and the UK.Chart showing top markets by NPD

With its vast and varied population and significant disposable income, the US stands out as a prime market for testing new products before expanding into others. It offers an attractive opportunity for companies seeking to gauge product viability and consumer interest.

60% of US consumers agree they like to try new products

Source: Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey (fielded January to February 2024)

The US wields considerable global influence, leading the way in consumer trends, and brands that successfully launch new products in this market can gain global recognition and expansion opportunities. However, the environment is also highly competitive. Companies eyeing the US for product launches must assess the potential carefully, considering target industries, consumer demands and competition.

Identifying product categories with best potential

A critical step in the innovation process is assessing product potential by understanding which industry and category holds the best growth opportunity for new products. Closely monitoring industry-specific innovation trends and the competitive landscape gives businesses the knowledge to identify where to play. It also enables them to quickly react to changes in consumer preferences and market demands.Graphic showing indutstries with most product launches

Euromonitor International’s Passport Innovation, monitoring new product launches online across the 50 most dynamic FMCG categories, reveals that most launches occur in the health and beauty segment. Multiple factors contribute to the high number of new brands appearing online, including the increasing consumer awareness around health and wellness or the growing demand for natural products. The density of competition also serves as a catalyst for innovation as businesses are more encouraged to innovate in an attempt to capture share and stay ahead of the curve.

Vitamins and Dietary Supplements (VDS) is an exceptionally dynamic category for new product launches, due to consumers embracing a more preventative and holistic approach to their health and wellness, and the fragmented nature of its competitive landscape. As a result, companies across the FMCG space turn to VDS for inspiration and to learn how to position attributes and benefits to speak directly to consumers.

Lessons learned from the benefits and positioning of these products can be transported to other categories across the FMCG space, as consumers are constantly looking to broaden the products they use to meet their core needs, particularly around wellness and happiness.Graphic showing various brands

Choosing the right retailer partners for success

Tracking new product launches online helps identify retailers with strong visibility and effective promotional tactics. This offers valuable insights for businesses in selecting partners for successful market testing and launches.Chart showing Top Global Online Retailers Leading New Brand/Sub-Brand Launches in 2023

Of the retailers covered in Euromonitor International’s Passport Innovation in the 32 countries under review, the top retailers, shown in the chart above, represented nearly one third of all detected new product launches across tracked categories in 2023. This highlights their importance as strategic partners for brands introducing new products to the market. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, holding a 4% share of global retail sales in 2023, also led the way in new product launches during the year. Its focus on the US market, crucial for product debuts and testing, is instrumental in maintaining its dominant position.

Tracking new product launches for insights that inform innovation strategy

Monitoring new product development in real-time is crucial in understanding where innovation occurs, who the key innovators are, which product attributes resonate with consumers the most, and which retailers businesses are creating partnerships with to launch their products. Learning about the most innovative markets, categories and retailers gives FMCG companies inspiration and helps them identify areas for future innovation within their own business.

To learn more about tracking new brand and sub-brand launches across the global digital shelf, read our article Strategies for Success in Innovation and New Product Development, download our report Mastering Innovation Through Strategic Tracking of New Product Launches and visit our Innovation product page.

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