NielsenIQ BASES reveals 2022 top breakthrough innovations in SA

BASES, a NielsenIQ project, has released its 2022 Top Breakthrough Innovation report – and here’s news of the South African laureates.

For over a decade, this list has been the gold standard in recognising innovation and global success within the FMCG space. The 20 winners among this year’s innovative brands in South Africa come from a wide range of categories across Food, Beverages, Personal and Home Care.

The award recognises successful product launches across all strategies, ranging from launches that managed to disrupt their categories and grew their brand, to targeted plays that did not intend to appeal to the mass market but were meant to delight a specific target.

Additionally, the new report recognises winners that transformed their categories by offering innovative benefits before they were mainstream, as well as new brands in the marketplace.

“In the face of inflationary pressures, looming economic crisis, supply chain disruptions and increasing energy and commodities prices many brands may naturally hold back on innovation, often refocusing on their existing portfolio,” comments Maria Zaki, NielsenIQ BASES lead in South Africa.

“Recently in South Africa, the shopper landscape has been changing, where shoppers put more scrutiny in their purchasing choices than ever before. They’re cutting down on the number of times they go to the shops, offering less chances for them to interact with products (and especially innovations) in store and for those products to make a real impact on shelf.

“However, when they do go to the shops, they make those less frequent trips count, where they are shopping more categories and buying as much as 17% more units per trip than they used to. Because of that, innovations need to work even harder to grab attention and make an impact in those less frequent trips consumers take.

“The BASES Top Breakthrough Innovation Awards prove that new product developments remain a viable growth strategy for manufacturers, particularly as consumers still show a strong appetite for relevant innovations.”

Recipe for successful innovation has not changed, but agility is key

NIelsenIQ’s latest data show that only a fraction – 6% – of global shoppers are averse to new products right now, with 94% of FMCG consumers today open to trying new things.

“This is a trend from which not only big players could benefit from but also small and medium-sized brands, having in mind the role of new products activation,” Zaki adds..

“Social media continues to play a very important role for innovation activations, and packaging as well – 71% of shoppers claim to purchase new products based on the pack.”,

“The experience of pandemic years in general terms did not change the recipe for success. You still need a good idea, a good product and a good activation strategy in order to succeed.

“However, the way of stirring the ingredients together has evolved. To create a good innovation, brands need to be relevant to their consumers making it easy for them to understand what the product is about and why they need it. They have to ensure their innovation is being perceived as genuine and authentic.

“Lastly, they should be creative in their marketing strategy and bold in experimenting,” she concludes.

BASES monitors all new product launches across more than 30 markets globally. Each innovation is reviewed to understand its in-market impact, spanning its benefits offered, sales, longevity, and growth. Those with the greatest impact are recognized as BASES Top Breakthrough Innovations for the year.