To avoid raising prices, many manufacturers are trimming package sizes in ways that are difficult to detect. Unilever's Skippy peanut butter jars, for example, now have a dimple on the bottom and hold 16.3 ounces instead of 18 ounces, and Kellogg reduced the weight of many of its cereals in June.
In a study called "Key Determinants for New Product Success," almost 700 consumers evaluated products from companies including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Campbell Soup, Smucker, Dannon and Hershey. Swiffer, Listerine PocketPaks and Red Bull were successful innovations at the time they launched and developed platforms to expand.
"The foundation of great marketing is understanding consumers in a very holistic, fundamental way," says Mary Beth West, chief marketing officer of Kraft Foods. Kraft focuses on the value propositions of brands, and provides products and recipes that help customers use Kraft products to "feed a family with food they feel good about."