Brewers and importers intro’d 612 new brands in 2014 that sold 7.4 mil cases in IRI supers, noted IRI’s principal, bev alc Dan Wandel on BA’s craft power hour. That’s more than triple the 198 intro’d, selling 2.05 mil cases in 2009. And beat previous record of 2012 when AB intro’d Bud Light Platinum. AB got $93 mil out of $285.5 mil in new product sales in supers, including #1 Mang-O-Rita and #2 Raz-Ber-Rita. Grabbed 1/3 of new product sales and got 5 of top 15. MillerCoors got 20.5% of new product $$ sales and also got 5 of top 15, tho it’s highest placed brand Fortune, only at #4, despite $40 mil or so in media. In fact, Sam Adams Rebel IPA handily ahead of Fortune for all of 2014 in IRI supers (it was slightly behind mid-yr) with $21.1 mil in sales. That’s by far biggest craft new product launch in history. And number 5 new brand was Sierra Variety Pack, the 2d largest craft new product launch ever, at $11.4 mil. That was 2x previous largest, Ranger IPA in 2010 at $5.5 mil.
One other surprise in rankings: fast-starting Guinness Blonde. It wasn’t intro’d until fall, yet still reached #13 at $4.4 mil. In all, Dan pointed out, a record 18 cos achieved more than $1 mil in sales from their new product intros, including at least 10 craft cos. But Dan also showed that many new products don’t sustain their success. Quick peek at class of 2011 showed almost all of ‘em peaked. In fact, 6 of top 15 from that yr already discontinued, including 2 Jeremiah Weeds, 2 Margaritavilles and MGD Light Lemonade. What’s more, several others off 25-50% since then. In fact, only 2 of 2011’s top 15 new brands sold more in 2014 than 2011 (Shock Top and Kona variety packs.) Lotsa churn.