Convenience retailers like the Campus Market at California Polytechnic State University need a constant flow of trendy new products to keep customers coming back. New packaged product introductions have escalated from a trickle to a gusher to a veritable cascade in the past 20 years. In 1986, manufacturers rolled out about 12,500 new products to the nation's retail channel. By 2004, that number had almost tripled to over 33,000, driven in part by the explosion in ...

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