ConAgra Foods, General Mills and PepsiCo have launched some of the “most successful” new brands in the last year, according to the latest research from IRI.

Kraft Foods and Tyson Foods were also among the winners in IRI’s latest annual poll to find the top ten best-selling new products in the US.

In its latest New Product Pacesetters Report, researchers IRI uncovered the ten food brands that enjoyed the highest sales – outside Wal-Mart stores – in the US in 2008.

PepsiCo’s low-calorie Gatorade beverage G2 topped the list, with US$159m in sales last year. The US food and drinks giant also had two other new products in the top ten – Pepsi Max, which generated sales of $61m and was joint sixth on the list, and Doritos Collisions, which was tenth with sales of $58m.

Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee won $112m of sales, which took it to second spot in IRI’s poll. At third, was ConAgra’s Healthy Choice Café Steamers ready meals range, with sales of $95m.

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General Mills low-calorie Progresso Light soups was fourth, with sales of $75m. Fifth on the list was Hormel Foods‘ ready meals range Hormel Compleats, which enjoyed annual sales of $71m.

Kraft’s DiGiorno Ultimate pizza – with sales of $61m – and Tyson’s snack brand Tyson Any’tizers – which enjoyed sales of $59m – were joint sixth and ninth on the list respectively.

Also joint sixth came Diageo‘s Smirnoff Ice Flavors with sales of $61m.

Anne Berlack, consumer and shopper insights practice executive vice president at IRI, said the brands had overcome “unprecedented challenges” to thrive.

“Even in the best of times, approximately 75% of new products fail to earn more than $7.5m during the first year of availability,” Berlack said.

“Home dining occasions are proving to be an area of opportunity. Shoppers are staying with trusted brands that provide value and comfort and are diversifying their menus through brand extensions, such as chicken breasts with new flavour offerings, or ice cream with new, indulgent mix-ins.”