Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago, released the results of its annual New Product Pacesetters report that included four beverage brands: Bud Light Lime, Gatorade Tiger-Focus, MGD 64 and Mountain Dew Dewmocracy. The 15th annual survey recognized innovations designed to cater to consumers’ needs and desires in a recession, IRI said at its Summit 2010: Reinventing CPG & Retail Conference hosted this week in San Antonio, Texas.

Bud Light Lime from St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch ranked at No. 2 on its Top 10 food and beverage brands with $133 million in sales for the total year 2009 in food, drug and mass merchandise channels, excluding Wal-Mart. Now-defunct Gatorade Tiger-Focus by PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., ranked sixth overall with $65 million sales. The brand was followed by MGD 64 by Chicago-based MillerCoors, which had $53 million in sales in 2009. Another PepsiCo brand, Mountain Dew Dewmocracy ranked eighth and posted $52 million in sales for its consumer-created flavor, Voltage.

“Many consumers feel hesitant about trying new brands during tough economic times,” said Anne Berlack, IRI Business Insights Practice executive vice president, in a statement. “As a result, we’ve seen tremendous growth from brand extensions bringing to market a new product by leveraging a pre-existing, trusted brand.”

Although many shoppers held on to frugal habits due to the recession, IRI noted the trend of consumers choosing to cook and entertain at home. Its Top 10 food and beverage brands of 2009 also reflected consumers who were looking for fun, interesting products for at-home and from-home dining with a greater focus on wellness, IRI said.