The Evolution of Health, Wellness and Sustainability in Product Innovations

The 2020 Top Breakthrough Innovation winners released by Nielsen BASES in Australia

Sydney, Australia — Nov. 17, 2020 — BASES released its highly anticipated Top Breakthrough Innovation winners for 2020. The report unveils successful innovations by brands tested by BASES across Australia, showcasing winners’ effective strategies and how they brought their plans to life.

There has been significant innovation momentum in the retail sector prior to 2020 in Australia, with approximately 30,000 new products launched during 2019. As such, in spite of the profound changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, innovation remains a priority as consumers continue to change their consumption patterns. With the exception of the month of March – when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the WHO – there has been a large number of food and beverage items launching in the market this year.

Innovations with products in the health and wellness space have grown with COVID-19 acting as a catalyst. According to a Nielsen survey conducted in April in 2020, over half of the Australian consumers (53%) are willing to pay a price premium for products that improve their health and wellness. “the pandemic has forced manufacturers to make more meaningful connections with consumers and provide them with new options for focusing on their health and wellness, as shoppers continue to look closer at their budgets,” says Thais Fernanda Gill, Nielsen BASES Leader for Australia.

Health and wellness benefits are fueling the growing interest in natural and plant-based products. A recent BASES Research & Development study reveals there is a notable desire for more natural/plant-based options, particularly in food (68%/46%), beauty (53%/42%), personal care (53%/40%) and home care (49%/40%). “Manufacturers should not only focus on delivering natural and plant-based products for new innovations, but also think critically about reviewing their current in-market products to defend against possible new entrants or competitive relaunches with these claims”, says Gill.

Additionally, ‘sustainability’ plays a vital role as Australian consumers look beyond themselves at the environment around them. According to a recent BASES survey, a substantial proportion of consumers (64%) expressed that they would change their purchasing or consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment. Only 12% of consumers mentioned they are not willing to forgo anything to buy environmentally friendly products/brands. On the contrary, more respondents are willing to overlook product packaging (53%), look/design (51%) and even brand (45%) in favour of more environmentally sustainable products.

As natural, plant-based and sustainable products continue to evolve, 52% of the concepts BASES tested over the past two years were able to tap into this potential, containing at least one of the health and wellness claims – Natural; Healthy; Plant-based; Sustainable; Vegan/Vegetarian; Organic; Recyclable.

This year’s BASES Top Breakthrough Innovations were selected as they won consumer’s hearts and minds through ingenuity, marketing savviness, and expert-level decision-making. Some of them managed to successfully grow their brand by expanding when and how the product can be consumed amid the health and wellness trend. “The key for innovations to achieve critical success is to discover new opportunities for your brand to break through, figure out innovative ways to launch the products and execute the marketing campaigns intentionally with the right timelines ”, concludes Gill.


AustraliaTwinings® In’Fuse
AustraliaYoPRO High Protein Yoghurt
AustraliaAir Wick V.I.Poo
AustraliaBref Blue Active Toilet Cleaner
AustraliaOREO® CADBURY® Coated Cookies
AustraliaRed Rock Deli® Roasted Peanuts
AustraliaPurina® Dentalife® Daily Oral Care Dog Treats
AustraliaGarnier Hydra Bomb Tissue Masks
AustraliaRemedy Kombucha
AustraliaAbbott’s Village Bakery® Gluten Free Bread
AustraliaKITKAT® Gold


  • 1 Nielsen xAOC + Convenience Data | Homescan new barcodes – including new and relaunched products, line extensions, pack changes or barcode changes without sales in year prior
  • 2 Nielsen Connected Innovation Measurement; New Food & Beverage Items >1% ACV, 2019-2020.
  • 3 Nielsen Survey “Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behavior” conducted in April 2020
  • 4 Nielsen Archive of concepts tested in Australia and New Zealand in 2019-2020


This year’s Breakthrough Innovation process reviewed a wide range of product launches across multiple categories, introduced to the Australian market in the past three years. The brands that made the 2020 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 Nielsen BASES’ activation profiles.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.

Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

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Tiffany Tsang