Beverages and snacks accounted for a third of 2016’s new food products

A bar chart showing the share of new food and beverage products, by category.

Looking for a new type of chip or dip or soft drink to serve at your Memorial Day cook out? In 2016, food and beverage companies introduced 21,435 new products on U.S. retail shelves—new package sizes, new flavors, new packaging, and truly new products. New beverages accounted for 18.5 percent of new food and beverage products in 2016, and snack products were second with a 14.8-percent share. Food retailers seeking profitable new products for their shelves often look for “trending” foods and beverages being sought by consumers, such as craft beers and wines and gluten-free snacks. Beer and wine accounted for 21 percent of the 3,975 beverages introduced in 2016. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, 3,172 snack products were introduced that year—820 more than in 2011. A growing snack selection could reflect more Americans grazing during the day rather than eating full meals. The increase in new snack products was led by snack/cereal/energy bars, wheat and other grain-based snacks, vegetable snacks, and meat snacks. Bakery foods—such as cookies and baking mixes—accounted for 12.6 percent of new 2016 products. The data for this chart are from the Processing & Marketing topic page on the ERS Web site.

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