Lack of distribution can be a major cause of new product failure. But, what constitutes "adequate" distribution, and how should the manufacturer set about obtaining it. This is the subject of this paper presented in three closely-linked sections : 1. An historical review of the distribution levels achieved by 29 new food products launched nationally between 1962 and 1967 in the United Kingdom. This is mainly based on Nielsen data; 2. Why some products fail to achieve adequate distribution. This section is largely based on a pilot survey in ten large United Kingdom retail or multiple groups at Head Office buyer level. This survey was initiated by Benton & Bowles Ltd. , and carried out by Hurdle and Trew, an independent research organisation; 3. The use of sales promotion techniques to achieve initial distribution and improve it through the critical first year of the new products life. Throughout the paper we are referring to fast-moving grocery products and not to consumer durables.