Innovation in beverages continued and even outperformed some consumer product good (CPG) categories during the downturn economy, according to SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago. The market research firm announced its annual list of New Product Pacesetters during the SymphonyIRI Group Summit that took place this week in Miami Beach, Fla.

Powerade Ion4, a brand of The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, topped the list of food and beverage brands in SymphonyIRI’s 2010 New Product Pacesetters list. The sports drink reported $190.5 million in dollar sales across food, drug and mass channels, excluding Wal-Mart, according to SymphonyIRI.

Ranking fourth was another brand of The Coca-Cola Co., Glaceau’s Vitaminwater Zero, which had $110.3 million in sales in its first year on the market. Launched in February 2010, Vitaminwater Zero replaced the previous Vitaminwater10 line available from the company.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo’s Trop50 line was sixth on the Top 10 food and beverage brands with $74.4 million in sales in 2010. Trop50 expanded its line of reduced calorie and sugar juices with the addition of a Farmstand Apple variety in August 2010.

Also ranking in the Top 10 were Waterbury, Vt.-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ K-Cups with reported sales of $62.1 million and Budweiser Select 55 from Anheuser-Busch InBev, St. Louis. The low-calorie beer reported $59.9 million in annual sales in 2010.

SymphonyIRI presented the New Product Pacesetters report under the theme of “Innovating Growth in a Down Economy.” The theme underscores the success that CPG marketers are finding in bringing to market products that raise the bar on consumer expectations around everyday CPG solutions, the market research firm said.

Food and beverage innovation continues as the categories still see consumers dedicated to eating at home, SymphonyIRI reported. In addition, the Top 10 food and beverage New Product Pacesetters also delivered against consumer desires for health and wellness and a bit of indulgence, the market research firm reported.

“It was an exciting year for food and beverage manufacturers,” said Susan Viamari, editor ofTimes & Trends, for SymphonyIRI, in a statement. “Evolving consumer trends opened the door to a broad range of innovation opportunities. Food and beverage manufacturers really did a phenomenal job seizing those opportunities to drive market growth.”