Innovation beats price

Despite the tough economic times, product innovation is more important to consumers than saving money according to new research.

A study by GfK found that shoppers regard product innovations that help them save time and do things better as being more significant than cash savings.

The study found that 83% of 2,983 respondents thought the most important benefits of product innovation were making life easier, followed by helping people do things better (81%), saving time (75%), convenience (77%) and entertainment (33%). ‘Saving money’ was third on the list at 80%, suggesting that, despite the recession, consumers consider some of the benefits of product innovation are worth paying extra for.

The top five categories where people buy new products were shown to be snacks, household cleaning products, packaged food, perishable food, and oral care.
Seeing a new product in-store was shown to be the most popular way of finding out about it. This was followed by TV advertising which was particularly powerful for household cleaners, hair care, laundry products and soft drinks. Family and friends were also found to be a powerful source together with print ads, features and professional advisers. Online, internet searches and websites were used more than social media.

Head of FMCG for the UK, Peter Jenkins from GfK said: “There is no doubt of the importance of product innovation in the grocery sector – particularly for products such as snacks and drinks, household cleaning and laundry products and toiletries. Even in these straitened times we see that if people believe a new product will make their lives better, the benefit is more important than cost savings.”

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