The 2015 Breakthrough Innovation Report

The 2015 Breakthrough Innovation ReportNielson released its 2015 BREAKTHROUGH INNOVATION REPORT tthat features best practices from winning brands – with seven specific case studies from Pepsico, Kraft, MillerCoors, Kellogg’s, Nestle Purina, Atkins and L’Oreal Paris.

The report is based on a two year study examining over 3000 products launched in the US. It debunks conventional wisdom that new product success is random. Instead, it shows that success in new product innovation is repeatable and scalable when the science of innovation is applied.

Key findings:

  • American consumer sentiment toward new product innovation is relatively low in an environment that shows CPG innovation investment currently at an eight year high. With projections that show a real acceleration in the number of products that are being introduced into the marketplace in the next 12 – 24 months – (yet failure rate for new products stands at 85%)businesses need to primed for an uphill battle for consumer attention.
  • The efforts mapped out in this year’s case studies showcase proven methods to flip the odds from high failure to regular, repeatable and scalable success.
  • The application of a “Jobs Theory” yielded success for brands: from ultra-light kitty litter to hand held, healthy breakfast sandwiches…the innovative products named in this year’s Breakthrough Innovation Report highlights examples of innovation that not only help to re-define their category by also served a specific purpose or performed a “job” for consumers

The Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Project has examined over 20,000 new product launches over the past four years. To date, only 74 products have been named a “Breakthrough Innovation Award Winner.” Twelve brands were awarded this year, with seven highlighted in this year’s report. Winners had to meet the following strict criteria:

  • RELEVANT: Achieved a minimum Sales of $50 million in Year 1
  • ENDURING: Sustained enduring success for 2 years (achieving in year two at least 90% of year one sales)
  • DISTINCT: Delivered a new value proposition to the market

This year’s 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)

Download the report at

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Drew Boyd is co-author of “Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results.” Follow him at and at @DrewBoyd/drewboyd

Drew Boyd




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