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Mintel's Global New Products Database reports that there were more than 22,000 new product introductions during 2002, a 15 percent increase over 2001 and the biggest year for new products since 1995.

Some of the specifics:

• Confectionery accounted for 14 percent of food product introductions.

• The four strongest food categories (confectionery, bakery, beverages, and sauces & seasonings) accounted for half of all food product introductions in 2002.

• Dairy saw a 21 percent increase in product introductions (with Cheese the strongest subcategory) , and Side Dishes increased by 38 percent.

• In nonfood categories, Cosmetics, Soap & Bath, Skincare, Haircare and Fragrances generated 82 percent of the new product introductions, and 42 percent of all packaged goods introductions in 2002.
KC's View:
Despite the millions of dollars spent on all these new product introductions, we find it hard to believe that consumers in general have any real understanding and appreciation for most of them. It is all just a blur, as many companies often replace real innovation with a frenzy of desperate marketing activity.