Nielsen Chooses Top Product Innovations

Oct. 1, 2020
2020 U.S. BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations List.

"It's worth the risk to innovate in a pandemic and a complicated marketplace" begins a Nielsen announcement that 16 food and beverage products are among the products recognized in the data company's "2020 U.S. BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations List."

"Breakthrough innovation" is certainly the main point, and Nielsen lists as criteria "mass potential, longevity, brand incrementality, category distinction or appeal toward a specific consumer target." Food or beverage products on the list:

  • Bang Energy Drinks
  • Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
  • Blue Bunny Load’d Sundaes
  • BodyArmor Lyte
  • Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade
  • CHEEZ-IT Snap’d
  • Corona Premier
  • “Game of Thrones” Oreo
  • Gatorade Zero
  • Ketel One Botanical
  • Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold
  • Monster Energy Mango Loco
  • MTN DEW Liberty Brew
  • Pop-Tarts Bites
  • Ripple Plant-Based Milk
  • Two Good yogurt

"Consumer needs and priorities are evolving, just as they did before COVID-19, clearing the way for new innovation to happen. And manufacturers are answering this demand," said BASES, a Nielsen Global Consumer Business. "In fact, we see a strong number of innovation ideas being tested by BASES, signaling a bounce back following a dip in the early months of the pandemic."

“This year’s winners have attained the elusive recipe for product innovation success—good idea + good product + good activation,” says Ben Macedo, leader of BASES, North America. "A fine line separates risk, resilience, and reward, and all of these winners have navigated each of these flawlessly."

Several of this year’s winners extended their brand by expanding when and how it is consumed. Risks in extending an established brand exist and need to be managed carefully. Up to 25% of new product launches shrink an existing brand franchise. The key to success is balancing the core essence of their brand heritage with communication about the new product and consumption occasion it addresses.

Still other winners broke the mold by enlisting out-of-the-box development and activation. They utilized marketing and promotional tactics in the places where their new consumers are, but their brands haven’t typically gone.

"As we look at trends today that are creating the breakthrough innovations of tomorrow, a few notable themes emerge. The first is addressing the disruption that COVID-19 has spawned. The Homebody Economy sees consumers bringing convenience in-home to replicate out-of-the home experiences," said the BASES announcement.

"Somewhat related to the Homebody Economy is the hold that health & wellness has on consumers. When asked how enduring the changes in their purchase behavior for health products will be, nearly a third of U.S. consumers anticipate it lasting for the next six months or more.

"Lastly, the interest in cannabis is expanding, due in part to new legalities. U.S. sales of Hemp-CBD products are expected to grow more than 3.5x from 2020-2025, exposing new opportunities for brand innovation and forcing category leaders to play smart offense. Although much remains to be seen about the post COVID-19 new normal, one thing we can be sure of is that innovation continues to be a key driver of business growth and viability."

The non-foods BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations winners were Air Wick Essential Mist, Crest Gum Detoxify, Enfamil NeuroPro, göt2b Hair Color, Love Beauty and Planet, Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops, Lysol Laundry Sanitizer, Mucinex Fast-Max All in One and Pampers Pure Collection.

See the full announcement here.

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