CONVENIENCE, CONVENIENCE, CONVENIENCE: That's the best description for the kinds of products that hit the market in news, a year that saw a proliferation of portable foods and 2-in-1 goods.
Naples, N.Y.-based Marketing Intelligence Service, which tracks new products, said its online database showed that a record 31,432 food, beverage, health, beauty, household and pet products debuted last year.
The editors of MIS' four trade-oriented publications rated the products on factors such as packaging, formulation and new markets opened by a new product.
The most popular items of the year turned out to be breakfast bars from General Mills that are based on several of the company's popular cereal lines.
The No. 2 ranking went to International Culinary Group, progenitors of an ideal food for consumers who hate doing dishes: a kit that comes with a pouch of French onion soup and an edible crock pot.
StarKist Tuna took the No. 3 spot for introducing tuna in a pouch (inedible), thereby eliminating the need to drain off oil or water.
AND FOR 2001 ... Ostrich chops and emu cutlets may start to nest in your grocer's meat cases during the new year, along side buffalo burgers.
Those are just some of the toothsome delicacies that consumers can anticipate in 2001, according to Mintel International Group Ltd. The marketing consultant firm, headquartered in London, developed a global new products database that tracks the food, beverage and non-food sectors in 46 countries.
Women-targeted foods with added nutrients such as calcium and folic acid are expected to be a hit this year, as are carbonated soy-based soft drinks.
As for non-food offerings, patches will move beyond the realm of smoking cessation and acne treatment, the company predicted.
Consumers are likely to see the emergence of patches for tanning, bruises, hair removal and muscle relaxation. Aromatherapy patches also may be available, with users sniffing their patch-covered hands to get a quick shot of well-being or energy.
DROPPING THE BALL: Americans may want to resolve not to resolve in the new year.
Of the 50 million people who made resolutions last year, nearly half broke them, according to the WingspanBank.com Financial Index, a recent study of more than 1,000 American adults.
And a majority of those who abandoned their resolutions did so within three weeks of making them.
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