Nielsen’s annual FMCG innovation honours

Nielsen Global Connect has released its always-anticipated Top 25 Breakthrough Innovation winners – and more than half of those on the 2019 list are food-bev brands.

For close to a decade, this list has been the gold standard in recognising innovation and global success within the US consumer packaged goods (CPG or FMCG) space.

The steady growth and diversification of Nielsen’s Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations mirrors the shifting tides of today’s consumer landscape. Powered by BASES, the product innovation discipline within Nielsen, this year’s analysis reinforces the anthem that today, success comes in many different forms and strategies. 

Nielsen innovation data shows that in 2019, a new product was launched to the US 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 US — a clear indicator that some innovations aren’t earning their keep.  

This year’s Breakthrough Innovation process reviewed close to 45,000 product launches, introduced to the market in 2017. The brands that made the 2019 list reflect a wide range of products and approaches that succeeded in making meaningful connections with consumers, an impressive feat within an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Beyond Nielsen’s requirements for products that reflect strong, distinct qualities such as mass potential, longevity, brand incrementality, category distinction and appeal toward a specific consumer target, this year’s list brings the continued evolution of the success criteria, which includes all six of Nielsen BASES’ activation profiles.

Nielsen’s outlines how some of the most innovative and successful food and beverage companies are leveraging trends within plant-based, packaging and beverages.


  • bubly Sparkling Water, Pepsico
  • CAULIPOWER, Caulipower
  • Dave’s Killer Bread, Bagels, Flower Foods
  • DEVOUR, The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Bottled Iced Coffee, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Just Crack an Egg, The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Kinder Joy, Ferrero
  • Lamb Weston Grown In Idaho
  • Lay’s Poppables, Frito-Lay North America
  • Mtn Dew DEW-S-A, Pepsico
  • Oui by Yoplait, General Mills
  • The Red Bull Summer Edition, Red Bull North America
  • RITZ Crisp & Thins, Mondelēz International
  • White Claw Hard Seltzer, Mark Anthony Brands

“Consumers encounter more than 30,000 new products every year, creating a fierce competition to capture the hearts and wallets of consumers,” said Jenny Frazier, SVP of Nielsen BASES.

“With this much new news in the marketplace, there’s never been a more important time for manufacturers to find breakthrough success. The Nielsen BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovation list celebrates the absolute best of what brand innovators do to drive growth, and show us all what is possible when we pair a great idea with a great product and great activation.”

Source: Nielsen