Despite the rapid surge of new product introductions into the grocery product distribution system, relatively little is known about the process and acceptance criteria of trade buyers. In this work, Edward McLaughlin and Vithala Rao examine the crucial role played by trade buyers, and its place in the success of new product introduction. Their study integrates scholarly research and industry information as it explores the various processes used by manufacturers and trade intermediaries in developing and introducing new products.The book begins with a background survey of the overall structure of U.S. grocery distribution, along with a discussion of the key participants in new product introduction and their standard operating procedures. A broad framework for analyzing new product introductions is presented, and various methodologies that are useful in the process are explained. This is followed by an account of the extensive research conducted by the authors, focusing on new product acceptance by trade buyers, and drawn from three sources: publicly available information, survey data of actual buyer decisions, and buyer decisions based on hypothetical descriptions of new products. The statistical results on the relative importance of decision criteria are used to develop several management tools, including an expert system. The work concludes with a discussion of the implications of these results for marketing managers, procurement executives, and public policy makers. This book will be an important reference tool for practitioners involved in product procurement, as well as for students of marketing and sales.