Nielsen Unveils 2019 Breakthrough Innovation CPG Products

Dec. 17, 2019
Fifteen products in the food and beverage category created new categories or otherwise broke new ground.

Nielsen Global Connect in December unveiled its Top 25 Breakthrough Innovation winners for 2019; 15 of them were in the food & beverage category. The winners (in alphabetic order) and some of why they were chosen:

  • Bubly Sparkling Water, PepsiCo – "A billboard at shelf, Instagrammable."
  • Caulipower, Caulipower LLC – "Identifying a white space and being among the first to act upon it."
  • Dave’s Killer Bread Bagels, Flowers Foods – "Supports second chance employment, hiring those with a criminal background but are ready to change their lives."
  • Devour, Kraft Heinz Co. – "A brand grower."
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Bottled Iced Coffee, Coca-Cola Co. – "A brand grower."
  • Just Crack an Egg, Kraft Heinz Co. – "Immediate consumption packaging."
  • Kinder Joy, Ferrero – "Bigger than just a chocolate treat, creates a parent-child bonding opportunity."
  • Lamb Weston Grown In Idaho – "A brand grower."
  • Lay’s Poppables, Frito-Lay North America – "A crowd pleaser."
  • Mountain Dew Dew-S-A, PepsiCo – "A short-term play."
  • Oui by Yoplait, General Mills – "Sustainable packaging, ingredient transparency."
  • Red Bull Summer Edition, Red Bull North America – "A short-term play."
  • Ritz Crisp & Thins, Mondelez International – "A brand grower."
  • RxBar, RxBar – "An obsession with transparency" and few, simple ingredients.
  • White Claw Hard Seltzer, Mark Anthony Brands Inc. – "Massive growth in hard seltzer [but] outpacing the rest of the category."

The other 10 include such non-food hits as Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide, Flonase Sensimist and Harry's razors.

Of the new items launched each year, approximately 21% are truly new brands (like White Claw Hard Seltzer), 9% are new sub-brands of existing brands and 70% are variety extensions of existing brands, such as new sizes, flavors, colors, or scents, according to a Forbes analysis.

Nielsen data shows that in 2019, a new product was launched to the U.S. marketplace every two minutes. "Building on this, over the last three years, brick-and-mortar CPG unit volume has barely wavered above a 1% growth rate year-over-year in the U.S.—a clear indicator that some innovations aren’t earning their keep," wrote the data analytics company. "There’s never been a more important time for manufacturers to find breakthrough success."

For this year's crop of Breakthrough Innovation winners, Nielsen reviewed close to 45,000 product launches introduced to the market in 2017. Nielsen looks for products that reflect strong, distinct qualities such as mass potential, longevity, brand incrementality, category distinction and appeal toward a specific consumer target. We've carried past stories here and here.

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