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Nielsen Unveils 'Breakthrough' Innovators

What do lightweight kitty litter, sandwiches that fit perfectly into one hand, and apple-flavored beer all have in common?  All of these products broke through the clutter this year to earn a spot on 2015's "Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Report," which was presented at the Consumer 360 Conference, in Washington D.C.

The report examines the state of new product innovation and roadmaps best practices of brands that broke through the clutter over the past two years. Lessons in the report, which are applicable for companies big or small, are from this year's winning brands, including Pepsico, Kraft Foods, MillerCoors, Kellogg's, Nestlé Purina, Atkins and L'Oreal Paris.

Topline findings in the report revealed:

  • American consumer sentiment toward new product innovation is relatively low in an environment that shows CPG innovation investment currently at an eight-year high. With projections that show a real acceleration in the number of products that are being introduced into the marketplace in the next 12-24 months (yet failure rate for new products stands at 85 percent), businesses need to be primed for an uphill battle for consumer attention.  
  • The efforts mapped out in this year's case studies showcase proven methods to flip the odds from high failure to regular, repeatable and scalable success.
  • The application of a "jobs theory" yielded success for the brands named in this year's "Breakthrough Innovation Report," which highlights examples of innovation that not only helped to redefine their category, but also served a specific purpose or performed a "job" for consumers
  • The Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Project has examined more than 20,000 new product launches over the past four years. To date, only 74 products have been named Breakthrough Innovation Award winners. Twelve brands were named this year, with seven highlighted in this year's report, all meeting the following strict criteria of success: they achieved minimum sales of $50 million in the first year, sustained enduring success for two years (achieving in year two at least 90 percent of year-one sales), and delivered a new value proposition to the market

The Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Award winners are:

  1. Advanced Haircare, L’Oreal Paris
  2. Atkins Frozen Meals, Atkins Nutritionals
  3. Duracell Quantum, Procter & Gamble
  4. Lunchables Uploaded, Kraft Foods
  5. Monster Energy Ultra, Monster Energy Co.
  6. Mountain Dew Kickstart, PepsiCo
  7. Müller Yogurt, Muller Quaker Dairy
  8. Redd's Apple Ale, MillerCoors
  9. Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich, The Kellogg Co.
  10. The Red Bull Editions, Red Bull
  11. Tidy Cats LightWeight, Nestlé Purina
  12. Tostitos Cantina Tortilla Chips and Salsa, Frito-Lay (PepsiCo)



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