New product launch activity remains strong despite the economic downturn, according to Innova Market Insights data, which indicate new food NPD launch numbers are up more than 7%. Companies are introducing new products that were in the R&D pipeline before the financial crisis really began to make waves in September 2008, or have entered the next phase with low cost items, according to Innova. Many categories remain stable in terms of product launches. For example, in Q2 2007, there were 1709 new dairy product launches reported vs. 1787 in Q2 2008. There was only a slight decline in the same quarter in 2009 to 1696. Companies have responded in different ways to combat the economic crisis. Some are focusing on their core products or brands with increased promotional and marketing activities and in severe cases pulling less profitable products from the shelves. Meanwhile, investing in emerging markets has been a savior for some companies’ bottom lines, with sales growth reported in countries such as China, India and the Middle East.