News Center

Nielsen Announces 2015 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation Award Winners


Creating game-changing innovation is challenging, and turning innovation into sales is that much harder in a compressed marketplace. The Breakthrough Innovation Project and Awards celebrate this exceptional triumph by companies that are changing category dynamics, not just conforming to them.

To determine which products truly stand out in their categories, Nielsen studied 3,522 consumer products launched in 2013. As of this year, only 12 met the Nielsen requirements for distinctiveness, relevance and endurance to earn a top spot.

The 2015 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation winners are:

  • Advanced Haircare, L’Oreal Paris
  • Atkins Frozen Meals, Atkins Nutritionals
  • Duracell Quantum, Procter & Gamble
  • Lunchables Uploaded, Kraft Foods
  • Monster Energy Ultra, Monster Energy Company
  • Mountain Dew Kickstart, PepsiCo
  • Müller Yogurt, Muller Quaker Dairy
  • Redd’s Apple Ale, MillerCoors
  • Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich, Kellogg’s
  • The Red Bull Editions, Red Bull
  • Tidy Cats LightWeight, Nestlé Purina
  • TOSTITOS Cantina Tortilla Chips and Salsa, Frito-Lay (PepsiCo)

“Breakthrough Innovation winners resolve circumstances of struggle in consumers’ lives and fulfill unmet desires,” according to Rob Wengel, senior vice president, Innovation, Nielsen. “Today, consistently successful innovation outcomes are not a pipedream but a choice available to innovation leaders. We don’t know who will win these awards in the future, but we know what they need to do in order to win in a compressed and competitive economy.”

The U.S. Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Project is a long-term, in-depth analysis of more than 20,000 product launches over six years. The project has celebrated 74 top products, representing less than 0.5% of new product launches, since its inception in 2008.

Champions in the report must satisfy three requirements in order to qualify for the award. Each product is required to be distinctive and deliver a new value proposition to the market. Succeeding products must have significant relevance and generate a minimum of $50 million in year one U.S. sales. The ability to endure the market and achieve at least 90% of year-one sales in year two is the final condition for all companies vying for a winning place.

See Rob Wengel, senior vice president of Innovation at Nielsen, discussing the awards with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel.

The comprehensive Breakthrough Innovation Report with winner spotlights detailing how each winner applied the science of innovation to their process to win will be launched June 22-24, 2015, at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 event in Washington, D.C.