Many of the museum's exhibits come from the 80s and 90s.
“We don’t tend to see things that are quite as off-the-wall as we used to," says Jago. "People have got smarter and there is less room for manoeuvre. Companies are more risk averse because of the economic climate and shareholder pressure. The pressure is on to perform, grow the category and develop existing business [in other regions] rather than do something crazy.”
It’s not necessarily a question of being less adventurous, however. Companies have also wised up to harnessing data and consumer insights, which have risen both in quantity and quality over the years. “Some of those mistakes are simply harder for companies to make nowadays,” says Jago.
Manufacturers are also engaging with retailers early on in the development cycle, pitching ideas to check the likelihood of a meaningful distribution listing. “If the retailers don’t immediately say yes, then they don’t progress in it. If you can’t sell to retailers, you won’t sell to consumers.”
Whether they are becoming rarer or not, the food industry still has a few skeletons in the NPD closet. The Museum of Failure also features Coca-Cola's Blak, a coffee flavoured soft drink launched first in France, and Orbitz, a fruit drink launched in the 90s with floating edible balls.