Brand Extensions Dominate FMCG Innovation in Europe According to NielsenIQ BASES Annual Breakthrough Innovations Report

Europe, United Kingdom

11/11/2021 — LONDON — (BUSINESS WIRE)

NielsenIQ BASES is delighted to announce today the launch of its 2021 annual Breakthrough Innovation Report which awards the most successful consumer packaged goods product launches.

The report, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has unveiled the leading innovations of the FMCG world that have made the biggest impact. The brands that made the list reflect a wide range of products and approaches that succeeded in making meaningful connections with consumers, an impressive feat within an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Of the 98 European winners named in the report over the last decade, over 90% percent are still in the market today. When you compare this figure to the regularly used statistic of 90% of new launches failing to survive beyond two years, this demonstrates that NielsenIQ BASES has got its finger on the pulse when it comes to identifying the winning formula for new product launches.

This year’s 25 European cross-category winners include representation across multiple markets including UK, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. This year, these products were overwhelmingly dominated by line extensions, with nearly all of the winners (96%) coming from existing brands. Among the factors defining their success, the winners saw an 86% average value sales increase from Year 1 to Year 2. This is all the more impressive when you consider typically more than half of new products decline in their second year in market.

Celine Grena, European BASES leader, comments: “It is worth noting that when you go back to the first report launched 10 years ago, trends such as ‘shopping locally’, sustainability and convenience were the ‘ones to watch’. While these trends still exist, a number of these are gradually crystallising into the standout theme of mindful living. In fact, over half of the winners this year have at least one mindful living claim, versus only about one quarter in 2019.”

Findings also show that demand for environmentally conscious products is growing and able to drive premiumisation. Consumers are looking for products that use natural ingredients and more sustainable formulations. And whilst it does not have to be the core of the proposition for some brands, waste reduction or a more sustainable production cycle are key trends within the winners.

Alcoholic beverages find success through attracting category buyers to their brand for the first time or opening up new consumption occasions for the brand. In other beverages and food, the focus is on ingredients with added health benefits to support the mind and body. This trend is leading to consumers actively look for low-sugar, -salt, -carb, – calorie and -fat when buying products. This trend is not confined to humans, our beloved pets are also getting products that tap into this demand with ‘free-from’ credentials.

Transparency is another important factor across categories, with clean (64%), locally grown (52%) and ethically sourced (39%) ingredients the top claims that would most impact brand trust. Consumers want to know what they are consuming, where it is coming from and how it impacts their health, so brands will need to put more emphasis on transparency to achieve sales success in the future.

Grena, continues: “Through this year’s winners, we can see that while health and wellness remains an important area of focus, sustainability is increasing in importance within the European market amid growing concerns about climate change. As this trend gathers pace manufacturers will need to respond to this rising social issue through innovative packaging design, and raising awareness of environmentally conscious credentials, to drive impact for new product launches. Premiumisation is another key area we’re seeing develop, both from a packaging and product performance perspectives, with many consumers willing to pay more for these benefits.”

European Winners (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Aspi Gola (Italy)
  • Birds Eye Green Cuisine (UK)
  • Birra Messina Cristalli Di Sale (Italy)
  • Butcher’s Tripe Loaf (UK)
  • Cadbury Darkmilk (UK)
  • Costa Coffee Ready-to-Drink (UK)
  • Febreze Bathroom Air Freshener (UK)
  • Finish Quantum Ultimate (UK & Germany)
  • Hansa Mango IPA (Norway)
  • Hanuta Riegel (Germany)
  • Innocent Plus (UK & France)
  • J.J Whitley – Artisanal Russian Vodka (UK)
  • Leffe d’Été (France)
  • Magnum Vegan (UK & Germany)
  • Martini Fiero (Russia)
  • Pampers Harmonie (France)
  • Persil 4-in-1 discs (Germany)
  • Pringles Rice Fusion (UK)
  • Rimmel Lasting Radiance (UK)
  • Scholl Dry Skin Foot Mask (Germany)
  • Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum (UK)
  • Somersby Mango i Limonka (Poland)
  • Starbucks for Nespresso (UK, France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Spain)
  • This Isn’t (UK)
  • Whiskas Pure Delight (UK)


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About NielsenIQ BASES Breakthrough Innovation

This year’s Breakthrough Innovation process reviewed over 50,000 product launches. The brands that made the 2021 list reflect a wide range of products and approaches that succeeded in making meaningful connections with consumers, an impressive feat within an increasingly crowded marketplace. Beyond BASES requirements for products that reflect strong, distinct qualities such as mass potential, longevity, brand incrementality, category distinction or appeal toward a specific consumer target, this year’s list brings the continued evolution of the success criteria, which includes all six of NielsenIQ BASES’ activation profiles.

About NielsenIQ

NielsenIQ is the leader in providing the most complete, unbiased view of consumer behavior, globally. Powered by a groundbreaking consumer data platform and fueled by rich analytic capabilities, NielsenIQ enables bold, confident decision-making for the world’s leading consumer goods companies and retailers.

Using comprehensive data sets and measuring all transactions equally, NielsenIQ gives clients a forward-looking view into consumer behavior in order to optimize performance across all retail platforms. Our open philosophy on data integration enables the most influential consumer data sets on the planet. NielsenIQ delivers the complete truth.

NielsenIQ, an Advent International portfolio company, has operations in nearly 100 markets, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Gillian Mosher