What Makes a Breakthrough?

Nielsen unveils 2014 Breakthrough Innovation award-winning products

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. --Nielsen has determined the winners of its Breakthrough Innovation awards, an in-depth study of more than 17,000 new-product launches from 2008-2012. This year's winners include convenience store staples such as Angry Orchard Hard Cider from The Boston Beer Co., and Nature Valley Protein Bars from General Mills.

"Given the very competitive marketplace and high new-product failure rate, we celebrate the Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation winners' extraordinary achievement," said Rob Wengel, senior vice president of innovation at Nielsen. "These diverse new products carry the common thread of finding and filling unmet consumer needs while demonstrating that with significant effort, game-changing innovation is possible in any category and by all types of companies."

This is the third year that Nielsen has presented the award in the United States. All of this year's award-winning products were launched in 2012 and meet Nielsen's standards for distinctiveness, relevance and endurance. Nielsen studied more than 3,400 new consumer product introductions in the United States and combined that analysis with prior research on more than 17,000 new launches from 2008-2012.

"Successful innovation is never easy," said Taddy Hall, senior vice president of innovation at Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen. "Nor is it complicated. Breakthrough Winners don't rely on luck or genius. The hallmark of successful innovation is that they resolve struggles or fulfill aspirations; they perform jobs in consumers' lives."

This year's Breakthrough Innovation Winners

  • Angry Orchard Hard Cider, The Boston Beer Co.
  • Barcel Takis, Barcel USA
  • Bud Light Lime Ritas, Anheuser-Busch
  • Depend Silhouette Briefs for Women and Depend Real Fit Briefs for Men, Kimberly-Clark
  • Febreze Car Vent Clip, Procter & Gamble
  • Gevalia Kaffe Retail Coffee, Kraft Foods
  • International Delight Iced Coffee, The WhiteWave Foods Co.
  • Meow Mix Tender Centers, Big Heart Pet Brands
  • Mucinex Fast-Max, Reckitt Benckiser
  • Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Mondelez Global LLC
  • Nature Valley Protein Bars, General Mills
  • Sargento Ultra Thin Slices, Sargento Foods
  • Tide Pods, Procter & Gamble
  • ZzzQuil, Procter & Gamble