With consumer spending projected to be moderate for 2013, big food brands such as Smucker, Jif and Folgers are thinking outside the box to keep sales rising. So get ready for blueberry coffee and cashew butter, among the 90 new products coming on the market.
America’s major food distributors gathered recently at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York, or Cagny, meeting in Florida where they rolled out new product lines that J.M. Smucker Co. CEO Richard Smucker says will make 2013 “the most robust period of innovation” in the company’s history.
Straying from its fruit spread roots, the the J. M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM) introduced a line of products that revolve around large-scale acquisitions the company has made in recent years, including taking on Jif from Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) in 2002.
Jif, the largest peanut butter brand in the U.S., is taking 2013 by the horns with a trio of offerings that include Jif Hazelnut, Jif Cashew Butter and Jif Almond Butter. The line of products is reportedly Jif's first move into the $250 million "specialty nut" segment that Smucker’s executives said has grown 50 percent in the past year.
In addition to the trio is Jif Whips, which was mentioned briefly in the Cagny presentation that showed an image of the brand packaged in tubs that appear to be meant for convenient dipping. (An early package design shows apples and strawberries covered in peanut butter.)
Smucker will also focus on its Dunkin Donuts brand in 2013 as it introduces a new "bakery series" that includes flavors such as blueberry-, jelly- and chocolate-flavored coffee. Additionally, the company will launch a gourmet line of coffee under a licensing agreement utilizing “The Life is Good” brand, an expansion of the company’s specialty nut butters and a natural fruit spreads product line.
In total, Ohio-based Smucker plans to launch 90 products this year and expects to deliver more than $550 million, or nearly 10 percent, of fiscal 2013 net sales from the new product lines.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.