Nielsen Reveals 2015 Breakthrough Innovation Products

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Jun 11, 2015

"Creating game-changing innovation is challenging, and turning it into enduring sales is even harder," said market data firm Nielsen Co. "The Breakthrough Innovation Project and Award celebrates this exceptional triumph by companies that are changing category dynamics, not just conforming to them."

With that, the firm in May announced its U.S. Breakthrough Innovation Winners for 2015. They include both food and nonfood consumer packaged goods. The food winners:

Atkins Frozen Meals (Atkins Nutritionals)
Lunchables Uploaded (Kraft Foods)
Monster Energy Ultra (Monster Energy Co.)
Mountain Dew Kickstart (PepsiCo)
Müller Yogurt (Muller Quaker Dairy/PepsiCo)
Redd’s Apple Ale (MillerCoors)
Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwiches (Kellogg)
The Red Bull Editions (Red Bull)
Tostitos Cantina Tortilla Chips and Salsa (Frito-Lay/PepsiCo)

The nonfood winners were Advanced Haircare (L’Oreal Paris), Duracell Quantum (Procter & Gamble) and Tidy Cats LightWeight (Nestlé Purina).

Champions in the report must satisfy three requirements in order to qualify for the award. Each product is required to be distinctive and deliver a new value proposition to the market. Succeeding products must have significant relevance by generating a minimum of $50 million in year one U.S. sales. The final condition is the ability to endure the market, demonstrated by achieving in year two at least 90 percent of year-one sales.

“Breakthrough Innovation winners identify opportunities in consumers’ lives and fulfill unmet desires,” according to Rob Wengel, senior vice president of innovation at Nielsen. “Today, consistently successful innovation is not a pipedream but a choice available to creative leaders. We uncovered the science of creating breakthrough innovations and winning in this dynamic and highly competitive market.”

Nielsen studied 3,522 consumer products that were introduced to the market in 2013 and determined which products had truly broken through in their categories that were sustained two years later. This year’s Breakthrough Innovation Project identified only 12 that met the Nielsen requirements for distinctiveness, relevance and endurance to earn the top spot.

The comprehensive Breakthrough Innovation Report, with case studies for selected winners that detail their approach and how they applied the science of innovation successfully, will be launched June 22-24th 2015 at Nielsen’s U.S. Consumer 360 event in Washington, D.C.

“One of the most exciting discoveries of the Breakthrough Innovation Project is to reveal and validate the causal mechanisms of innovation success -- the science of innovation,” said Taddy Hall, senior vice president of Nielsen's Breakthrough Innovation Project. “The same fundamental factors persist through all of Nielsen’s Breakthrough Winners and distinguishes them from their less successful peers.”

The U.S. Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Project is an analysis of more than 20,000 product launches over six years. Since its inception in 2008, the project has celebrated 74 top products, representing less than 0.5 percent of new product launches. The findings and winner spotlights are featured in the Breakthrough Innovation Report which is published yearly and launched at Nielsen’s U.S. Consumer 360 event in June.

For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

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