These Are the Top CPG Products of 2022

Circana: Manufacturers and retailers that prioritize innovation are more likely to drive sales and foster loyalty.

June 08, 2023

CHICAGO—Circana, formerly IRI and The NPD Group, has released its 2022 New Product Pacesetters, a report on the top new product launches across food and beverage and non-food sectors.

Each year, Circana evaluates CPG’s top 100 food and beverage and top 100 non-food product launches. The 2022 New Product Pacesetters achieved $6.8 billion in combined year-one sales across food, beverage and non-food solutions, compared to $6 billion in 2021 Pacesetter sales.

The top 10 food and beverage New Product Pacesetters for 2022 are:

1. Alani Nu
2. Dr Pepper Zero Sugar
3. Chick-fil-A Sauces
4. Truly Punch
5. Truly Margarita Style
6. Mtn Dew Spark
7. Tattooed Chef
8. Red Bull Green Edition
9. Gatorlyte
10. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer

The top 10 non-food New Product Pacesetters for 2022 are:

1. BinaxNOW
2. Flowflex
3. Downy Light
4. quip
5. Dawn Ultra EZ-Squeeze
6. Mielle
7. Blue Tastefuls
8. Crest Whitening Emulsions
9. Febreze Unstopables Touch
10. Huggies Special Delivery

Carbonated beverages and sports and energy drinks have a large presence on the 2022 Pacesetters list, representing 27% of total food and beverage Pacesetters. Taking the No. 1 spot, Alani Nu offers a wide range of whimsical flavors within its energy line designed to enhance performance, highlighting active ingredients biotin, B6 and B12. Other popular brands offer convenient ready-to-mix and ready-to-drink products, including No. 17 CELSIUS Vibe, No. 68 Starbucks Premium Instant coffee and No. 77 Starbucks Cold & Crafted coffee.

Today’s consumers are looking for more than a quick energy boost, and they also desire products that offer functional health benefits and unique flavors. No. 8 Pacesetter Red Bull Green Edition provides energy and “vitalizes body and mind” with its dose of dragon fruit, while No. 9 Gatorlyte offers rapid sports rehydration and recovery through a specialized blend of five electrolytes with lower sugar content than Gatorade’s traditional sports drinks.

Circana’s consumer research shows that brand values, responsible production and product packaging are becoming increasingly important. Consumers are concerned about the impact brands and products have on the environment and the world around them. Plant-based offerings, such as those from No. 7 food and beverage Pacesetter Tattooed Chef frozen products, have a major presence in the 2022 lineup. Plant-based food and beverages represent $411 million in 2022 Pacesetter sales, more than doubling the number of Pacesetter products and dollar sales in the previous three years.

In 2022, more dollar sales came from medium-size companies, a first in recent years. While medium-size  companies delivered 28% of Pacesetter products, they represented a notable 35% of Pacesetter dollars, up nearly 15 percentage points from 2021. Small companies also saw an increase in dollar contribution year over year, delivering 21% of Pacesetter dollars in 2022 compared to 15% in 2021. The growth of small- and medium-size companies was driven by a focus on new brands and social media support, which amplified awareness of new products.

“Big companies’ dollar share dipped from 50% in 2021 to 35% in 2022,” said Lisa Maas, principal and practice lead, Innovation, Circana. “This reflects the emphasis that larger manufacturers placed on brand extensions in an effort to build on the trust consumers have with well-known brands. In this year’s Pacesetters, brand extensions represent 54% of total food and beverage Pacesetters, while new brands represent 46%.”