Nielsen announces Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations list celebrating product innovations across FMCG sector in Europe

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Mondelēz International, Jacob Douwe Egberts and General Mills are top FMCG product innovators in the UK, according to a new list released today by Nielsen.

The Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations list celebrates recent product innovations across various FMCG categories in Europe.

The leading product innovators in the UK included Mondelēz International, which owns British chocolate company Cadbury, for its milk chocolate wafer snack, Cadbury Roundie, Dutch coffee makers Jacob Douwe Egberts B.V. for the luxury coffee brand L’OR Classique, and General Mills for granola snack Nature Valley Bars.

Other brands which made the list for their product innovations across Europe include Italian food brand Barilla for its new biscuit for Italian consumers, Buongrano Mulino Bianco, and Heineken for its Heineken 0.0 alcohol-free beer, which entered the French market. Aside from food and drinks brands, L’Oréal also made it into the list for its Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink lipstick in the Spanish market. Procter & Gamble showed innovation in Germany for its detergent brand Lenor’s 3-in-1 Pods.

Some of the common factors driving innovation success across this year’s winners came from brands that showcased exceptional abilities not just to win market share and deliver growth, but in deploying specific strategies for their product category. This was done by listening to consumer needs and optimising package and product design, such as offering new formats of currently existing popular products.

Some of the most successful innovative products ranged from ‘special-treats’ to products that tap into the increasing consumer trend towards healthier and free-from options.  Others aimed at growing an existing core brand, or appealing to different kinds of consumers such as premium shoppers.

Smruti Kulkarni, Europe Leader, Machine Learning & Design Solutions at Nielsen commented: “In today’s FMCG marketplace, the pressure on marketers to innovate and provide a unique and differentiated offering is high.”

Kulkarni expanded: “Over time, consumer needs and attitudes have evolved, with the emergence of e-commerce, private labels and exposure to digital platforms providing personalised messaging from brands. This fierce competition for consumer’s attention has made product innovation a challenging feat for FMCG companies.”

The qualifications for the list of Nielsen’s Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations covered requirements for distinctiveness, relevance, endurance, and the broaders strategies employed by brands to make them successful.

“Successful innovation can come in many different forms — some could be disruptive game changers, while others could be launched to fend off competitive pressure, or with the idea of tapping into an emerging consumer trend. Some of these brands have challenged the traditional notion of success. Across Europe we can see some remarkable innovation stories where different approaches have been taken to solve a business problem,” concluded Kulkarni.

The following list of products are recognised for the innovation and growth they brought to their respective categories.  

NIELSEN’S TOP 25 BREAKTHROUGH INNOVATIONS IN EUROPE, POWERED BY BASES (in alphabetical order)

ProductCompanyCountry
Bon Pari KoshmarikiNestléRussia
Buitoni La Sfoglia Rotonda Senza GlutineNestléItaly
Buongrano Mulino BiancoBarillaItaly
Cadbury RoundieMondelēz InternationalUK
Couches Lotus BabyEssityFrance
Danissimo Shake & GoDanoneRussia
Diet Pepsi Wild CherryPepsiCoRussia
Diplomatico MantuanoDestilerías Unidas S. A. (DUSA)France
Epica Protein YogurtEhrmannRussia
Felix Doubly Delicious Dry Cat FoodNestlé PurinaRussia
Heineken 0.0HeinekenFrance
Herta Le Bon Paris Conservation Sans NitriteNestléFrance
Ichnusa Non FiltrataHeineken Italia S.p.A.Italy
Judith Williams CosmeticsJudith WilliamsGermany
Knoppers NussRiegelStorckGermany
L’OR ClassiqueJacobs Douwe Egberts B.V.UK
Ladron de Manzanas CiderHeinekenSpain
Lenor 3in1 PodsProcter & GambleGermany
Lenor Inspiré par la NatureProcter & GambleFrance
M&M BâtonnetsMars Wrigley ConfectioneryFrance
Magnat Champagne & StrawberryUnileverRussia
Maybelline Superstay Matte InkL’OréalSpain
Nature Valley BarsGeneral MillsUK
Oral-B Répare Gencives et ÉmailProcter & GambleFrance
Perwoll Care & RefreshHenkelGermany
Purina Gourmet Gold TortiniNestlé PurinaItaly