Some commentators suggest that as many as nine out of 10 new products get the axe before notching up even 12 months on shelf, while findings from Information Resources show that only 300 of the 5,000 product launches each year will achieve sales of more than £1m.
Now five small and medium-sized manufacturers have bravely agreed to give The Grocer a unique insight into the trials and tribulations of throwing a new brand into one of the most competitive grocery markets in the world.
The five companies ­ Natco Foods, Abergavenny Fine Foods, Lakeland Willow Water, Rensow and Stream Foods ­ have promised a warts and all' account of their experiences.
Beginning here, and continuing on the next page with detailed accounts of the plans and aspirations for their latest launches, The Grocer will keep tabs on the companies' successes and failures during the year and, in the process, define the challenges small suppliers face as they chase shelf space. Simon Mowbray reports.