A study has found that the number of food innovations reaching the consumer since 2008 has decreased by 6.5%. 

The research, carried out by the European Commission, found that while food innovation used to be about new products, in 2012, roughly a third of all innovations instead concerned the packaging of a product.

It also found there had been an increase in the concentration of brand manufacturers and overall retail nationally. However locally, modern retailer concentration decreased on average, because the main chains have entered each other’s local markets.

The report was compiled in response to suppliers, who had complained that large retailers imposed conditions on them, which reduced the capability for them to invest in NPD.

The report concluded that the size and variety of shops, the economic environment and product turnover determined how much choice and innovation was available in a product category.

The study sampled choice and innovation available in over 300 shops, in nine EU states between 2004 and 2012. It surveyed 23 product categories and was carried out by a consortium of Ernst & Young, Arcadia International and Cambridge Econometrics.

The Commission is planning a follow-up study to allow people to comment on the results.