Innovation is a must for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. They continually face brutal competition from disruptive brands and a massive effort from retailers growing their private branded businesses. Nielsen reviewed about 45,000 CPG product launches in 2017 and followed the success through 2019.
Nielsen selected 25 winning brands as breakthrough innovators based on how the products measured up in quality, category distinction, mass potential, longevity and targeted consumer appeal.
“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, senior vice president of Nielsen BASES business. “With this much new news in the marketplace, there’s never been a more important time for manufacturers to find breakthrough success.”
Nielsen said the list on brands is actively driving growth through product innovations that fill niche markets or improve on the status quo. Among the group is the disruptive startup Caulipower, founded by Gail Becker in 2017 out of need. Becker left her corporate job to create tasty food her two young sons with Celiac Disease could enjoy eating. Becker, who worked with Walmart as a startup, got her product in Walmart stores in September 2018.
Becker said a void in the market, led her to start Caulipower geared toward those with severe gluten allergies. She said the brand has now become one of the top-selling better-for-you pizzas in the world.
Many of the winners are large CPG companies, some which have made substantial investments in acquiring niche brands to reach a broader audience. Kellogg acquired the Rxbar in 2017 for $600 million. The brand operates independent inside of Kellogg.
Edgewell Personal Care, parent of Schick razor, acquired Harry’s Inc. for $1.37 billion in 2019. Other winners are CPG giants who sought out additional market share with new product innovations such as Unilever’s Baby Dove brand and Bubly Sparkling Water, a product from PepsiCo.
The 2019 winners are:
- Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Slide
- Baby Dove, Unilever
- Bubly Sparkling Water, PepsiCo
- Caulipower, Caulipower LLC
- Dave’s Killer Bread, Bagels, Flower Foods
- Devour, The Kraft Heinz Co.
- Dunkin’ Donuts Bottled Iced Coffee, The Coca-Cola Co.
- Flonase Sensimist Allergy Relief, GSK Consumer Healthcare
- Harry’s, Harry’s Inc.
- Herbal Essences, bio renew, Procter & Gamble
- Just Crack an Egg, The Kraft Heinz Co.
- Just for Men Control GX, Combe Inc.
- Kinder Joy, Ferrero
- Lamb Weston Grown in Idaho
- L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise, L’Oreal Paris
- Lay’s Poppables, Frito-Lay North America
- Maui Moisture, Johnson & Johnson
- Mtn Dew Dew-S-A, PepsiCo
- Oui by Yoplait, General Mills
- Parodontax, GSK Consumer Healthcare
- Red Bull Summer Edition, Red Bull North America
- Rtiz Crisp & Thins, Mondelez International
- RXbar, RXbar
- White Claw Hard Seltzer, Mark Anthony Brands Inc.
- Xyzal, Sanofi