Majority of Most Innovative Products for 2019 Were from Food Companies

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Jan 8, 2020 2:04:09 PM

Tablet with Nielsen home page displayed.

CPG branding is a full-time job, and in 2019, the market exploded with innovations in green packaging, new designs, and renewal of established brands in the marketplace. Nielsen just released its Breakthrough Innovation winners or 25-of the most think-outside-the-box products. More than half were from food companies. Here are the winners and products that made a big splash for CPG branding last year.

Who Made the Innovation List?

Nielsen Holdings, a global data firm, released its 2019 annual listings of the most innovative products launched in the consumer Packaged goods (CPG) channel. Of the top 25 Breakthrough Innovation winners last year, more than half were food companies. 

The Nielsen press release pointed out that, every 60 seconds in the U.S., a new product is launched. That means each of these brands likely had enormous competition; just making the list was a win for the products and their CPG branding efforts. 

The Nielsen list is the gold standard for CPG products—and it has been for two decades. The organization has seen its share of product rockets, which are those CPG brands that skyrocketed in sales. It’s also seen a fair number of products that did not earn their keep. 

In 2019, Nielsen reviewed nearly 45,000 product launches and the CPG branding that differentiated them—or tried to. Nielsen’s press release said the firm looked at products to gauge their longevity, category distinction, and consumer appeal. While CPG unit volume sales have stayed consistent at about a 1% annual growth rate, these products stood out for their ability to sustain themselves even in the face of competition, such as private labels and ever-changing consumer trends.

Some of the stand out brands included:

  • Caulipower, the new gluten-free pizza alternative that is branching out by replacing meat with cauliflower. The product is seeking to capitalize on the new studies showing 60% of consumers are reducing meat consumption.
  • Dave’s Killer Bread is another CPG branding story focused on good health. Their bread is organic and non-GMO and isn’t filled with artificial ingredients or sugars.
  • Oui by Yoplait is a completely different take on today’s mass-produced yogurts. This is yogurt made naturally with non-GMO ingredients, real milk, and fruit, then placed in individual glass cups, which are both reusable and recyclable. 
  • LambWeston Grown in Idaho are French fries, certainly, but their CPG branding has a local farming focus opposite of many of the standard supermarket mass-produced offerings. 
  • On the other end of the health spectrum, DEW-S-A is a new product by Mountain Dew. It's a limited-edition flavor in new bold packaging that caught the eye of Nielsen to land in their top 25 innovations list.
  • Somewhere in the healthy middle lies the Kraft Heinz Just Crack an Egg brand of hot breakfast on-the-go scrambles. Consumers just crack an egg into the cup and mix the packaged ingredients, microwave it for less than two minutes, and enjoy breakfast on the go.Various food icons.

While these are just a few of the brands listed as Nielsen’s innovation winners, every product has real potential to make a market impact this year.

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