>>A monthly look at the most promising newcomers in key grocery categories. this month: hot beverages

Newcomers to such an established market as hot beverages are always going to find things hard - after all, the top 10 brands in the market have done little more than shuffle places in the last few years.
That doesn’t seem to deter manufacturers from trying, but the low level of all the scores for this sector’s newcomers reflects the difficulties.
PG Tips Plunger tea is probably leading the pack, with distribution reaching a peak of 61% of all possible outlets last April, according to figures from ACNielsen.
That figure had fallen to 47% by January this year, however, with only 1% of consumers in ACNielsen’s panel trying the product, and only 4% of those going back for a second purchase. CocoDirect’s Drinking Chocolate has done well in its niche. It has managed to reach distribution in just over a third of possible outlets, although the number of consumers sampling the product is too small to register on ACNielsen’s radar.
Competing hot chocolate newcomers Fairtrade Divine Drinking Chocolate and Take One Hot Chocolate, launched later in the year, have yet to make much of an impact, but the Take One product has built distribution to a level of 16% in only four months.
Its Cappucino variant has also managed to penetrate 16% of possible outlets.
Tetley’s Eveil des Sens range has also yet to impact on the market, with current distribution sitting at less than 2%.
n Product:
PG Tips Plunger Tea
Unilever Bestfoods
n Distribution level: 61%
n Repeat purchase rate: 4%