Phil Roos started the small boutique Arbor Strategy Group in 1998. After years of rapid growth, the company merged in 2008 with GfK, which has an international presence. Roos had purchased NPW from Robert McMath, marketing veteran and author of “What Were They Thinking,”; a book about product development.

Robert McMath originally started The New Product Showcase and Learning Center in 1968 as a new products reporting service by in 1968. It started with only a small percentage of the products on display in Canandaigua, New York. Over the years the NPSLC grew to nearly 70,000 products, put most of the products on display, took up over 6,500 sq. feet of space, and moved to various facilities in and around New York. The new company, NewProductWorks, was formed by merger of the New Products Showcase and Learning Center of Ithaca, New York, and the new products practice of the Arbor Strategy Group. The two firms combined in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the spring of 2001.

Arbor Strategy Group ended up in Ann Arbor somewhat by chance – owner Phil Roos lived here and liked it. But Raymond says it's turned out to be a great venue – in the same time zone as the many consumer package goods companies in New Jersey and Connecticut, four hours from Chicago and the companies there, and close to a major airport. Between the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor's foodie community there's always an expert nearby.

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