Book Details Strategies for Launching New Products

Most food and beverage marketers would agree: It’s virtually impossible to keep a product category flourishing without a healthy flow of new products into the marketplace. Unfortunately, however, more than 75 percent of all new products fail to make a go of it at retail.
Public relations expert Joan Schneider decided to scrutinize the process that companies use when bringing new products to market and write about it in a book titled “New Product Launch: 10 Proven Strategies.” Her conclusion: A great launch can’t save a bad product, but a well-executed launch can significantly improve the odds that a good product will succeed.
Schneider’s new book offers a roadmap for product development teams seeking to rethink the launch process and to avoid common pitfalls.
The following recommendations are but a few examples of her advice to product developers.
• Treat launch as a separate phase in the process. It is every bit as important as all the other phases in the process, says Schneider. Begin thinking about the launch the minute you decide to roll out a new product.
• Learn to live with delays. Seventy percent of launches are delayed at least once, so have a contingency plan and be flexible.
• Budget adequately. Bigger budgets fuel success, says Schneider. So don’t spend everything in the product development phase and leave nothing for the actual launch.
• Don’t overlook PR. Use public relations initiatives to get exposure in as many different media outlets as possible. It’s a cost-effective tool for awareness building.
“New Product Launch: 10 Proven Strategies,” is published by Confectioner’s publisher, Stagnito Communications Inc., which selected the book to inaugurate its book publishing division. The book is available on
Warner Consolidates
In New Facility
Warner Candy Co., a provider of packaged candies and nuts since 1927, has consolidated two Chicago area facilities.
Operations in Chicago and Schiller Park have moved into an 112,000-square-foot facility in Elk Grove Village, Ill., a Chicago suburb. The new corporate headquarters allows the company to bring staff and resources together under one roof.
“As we look ahead, it will be more and more important to improve our production efficiencies in order to remain competitive in the marketplace,” said Mike Halverson, company president. He added that the Elk Grove Village location boasts new offices and a state-of-the-art packaging room.
“Remaining in the Chicago area was key in this decision,” Halverson continued. “Our experienced employees are one of the main reasons for our success.”
Hershey Store Slated  
For the Windy City
Traversing the city’s celebrated Michigan Avenue will become a sweeter experience this spring for Chicago tourists and locals.
In June, Hershey Foods is slated to open Hershey’s Chicago, a 3,600-square-foot store in the high-traffic Water Tower area.
A Hershey press announcement describes the new store as an “interactive retail experience.” Don Papson, vice president of consumer interactive at Hershey, told the Chicago Sun-Times that he expects the new Hershey venue to complement other “experiential stores” in the area, including the American Girl and Nike stores.
The Chicago store will be Hershey’s third. There is another in New York City’s Times Square as well as the original one at the company’s Hershey, Pa., headquarters.
NACS Announces
Changing of Guard
Henry O. “Hank” Armour will take over as president and CEO of the National Association of Convenience Stores in July of 2005.
He will succeed Kerley LeBoeuf, who will retire at that time after 24 years as the president/CEO of the association.
Armour will be only the third person in the position in NACS’ 43-year history.
He served in a volunteer capacity as NACS 2002 and 2003 chairman of the board.