Alara launched Fairtrade mueslis in October

Alara launched Fairtrade mueslis in October

Innovation in the food industry slowed and fewer new products were launched during 2009 as a result of the economic downturn, new research from Mintel has suggested.

According to the research firm's Global New Product Database, product launches were down 30% in the US from 2008 levels.

“In the last decade, Mintel GNPD has only tracked occasional, small declines in new product introductions for the US market, never a decline as strong as this,” Lynn Dornblaser, leading new product expert at Mintel, said.

“We see that a number of small companies, which typically introduce a wide range of products, have been stopping or slowing their introductions due to the economy. Additionally, some categories have simply become so over-saturated that there is little room for new products.”

Products using ethical and environmental claims increased from 9% of all product launches in 2008 to 17% in 2009. However, Dornblaster said that the rise was the consequence of greater levels of communication with consumers rather than an increase in innovation.

Meanwhile, in clear correlation with the recession, products boasting an economy claim have increased by 72% from 2008 to 2009.