Every year, the Global New Products Database (GNPD) takes a close look at the number of products introduced by some of the largest consumer packaged goods companies.

The companies at the top of the list rarely change—they have included Kraft, Nestlé, General Mills (and Pillsbury), ConAgra and Unilever in almost every year in the last decade or so. Once past the top five companies, the lineup may vary, but almost always includes big players such as PepsiCo, Sara Lee, Campbell Soup, Kellogg's (including Keebler), Heinz, Hershey, Hormel and Masterfoods.

Unique for 2003 is that most of the companies in the Top 20 listing experienced increases in the number of new products when compared to 2002 introductions; many of those companies experienced double-digit increases. Kraft, at the top of the list, was one of the few with a very slight decline in new products launched.

A few notes on the largest companies: Nestlé's increase reflects growth in introductions in beverages (water, coffee and tea) and pet food. Increases from General Mills can be attributed to extensions of the company's broad Helper meal kit line and additional Pillsbury biscuit, roll and cookie dough products. Unilever extended its brands with Carb Options carb-reduced versions of many of its main brands.