New Nielsen Awards Program Recognizes Innovative Products

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New Nielsen Awards Program Recognizes Innovative Products


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Despite a challenging retail environment, new products keep coming down the pike and Nielsen is recognizing the best efforts with its new Breakthrough Innovation Award program.

In contrast to innovation awards focused on "one-year wonders," the Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Award honors new products that succeed on multiple dimensions over a three-year period. This is the first year that Nielsen has presented this awards program.

"To successfully launch a new product in any economy is beating the odds, but to launch and sustain success during a recession is remarkable," said Vicki Gardner, senior vice president, product innovation, for Nielsen. "Breakthrough Innovation Award winners have unique bragging rights among CPG [consumer packaged goods] innovators."

Nielsen analyzed more than 11,000 new products in the United States between 2008 and 2010. Of the products evaluated, only 34 met the award criteria. These products compose less than 0.5 percent of all new product introductions during that timeframe.

The winners, which were announced at Nielsen's Consumer 360 event in Hollywood, Fla., were broken out into three categories: platinum, gold and silver.

The 2012 Breakthrough Innovation platinum winners are:

  • For 2008: Zyrtec, Bud Light Lime and Arnold Select Sandwich Thins;
  • For 2009: Chobani and Prevacid24HR; and
  • For 2010: Glaceau vitaminwater zero.

Gold winners are Nature Sweet Cherubs, Powerade ION4 Zero, Wonderful Pistachios and Tide Total Care for 2008; SoBe 0 Calorie Lifewater, Trop 50, Trident Layers, Plan B One-Step, Budweiser Select 55, Next Choice and Dove Men+Care for 2009; and Silk PureAlmond Milk, Thomas' Bagel Thins, U by Kotex, PF Chang's Home Menu and Schick Hydro for 2010.

Silver winners are Keebler Town House Flipsides, Miller Genuine Draft 64, Always Infinity and K-Y Yours+Mine for 2008; Nature Pride Variety Bread, Olay Professional Pro-X, Align Probiotic, Tide Stain Release and Fancy Feast Appetizers for 2009; and Special K Fruit Crisps, Oscar Mayer Selects and Lean Cuisine Market Collection for 2010.

Although the Breakthrough Innovation Award focuses on the product level, there were companies whose successes underscored an organization-wide commitment to ongoing product innovation, according to Nielsen. Procter & Gamble led the way with five initiatives making the winners list. Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever each had two initiatives earn the award.