Consumer product archive preserves marketing history

This fascinating nugget comes by way of rebecca’s pocket:

Ann Arbor, Mich., is the home of an extraordinary private collection that claims to house an example of every new consumer food or health and beauty aid product introduced in North America since the early 1970s. Supermarket-style shelving in a former car dealership holds around 80,000 items, with 500 more added every month.

The archive is owned by NewProductWorks, a consumer-products consulting outfit, whose employees reportedly spend much of their time trolling retail stores for new items.
The collection is not open to the general public, but a wide variety of companies send delegations by appointment to investigate the vast historical array of “stupendous successes and colossal flops” represented therein.

Read the Toledo Blade story about the NewProductWorks collection.