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Nielsen Announces the Breakthrough Innovation Awards Powered by BASES for India 2019

Winners match pace with shifting consumer preferences

Mumbai- Nov. 19, 2019: Nielsen BASES (Innovation Practice) announced the Top Breakthrough Innovations Awards for India, 2019 to recognize and reward diverse innovation strategies for FMCG. The awards celebrate recent product innovations across various categories in the fast-moving consumer goods space in India.

Nielsen BASES, with over 35 years of heritage, helps marketers achieve better innovation outcomes, faster and more efficiently. With an extensive database of 250,000 innovations globally and over 5,000 in India, BASES accurately forecasts sales for new products, recognized for its predictive and validated models. In recent years, BASES has led the industry in leveraging cloud-based platforms and tools for collaboration and optimization.

“We are very excited to announce Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation Awards for India. 64% of Indians love trying new products, which is almost twice that of developed markets. This year we celebrate innovations that took different and unique paths to success in a market that is experiencing both consumer, market, and retail disruption” said Nidhi Srivastava, BASES Lead, Nielsen South Asia. ”It is increasingly important to recognize that good innovations go beyond mass-market appeal and can achieve success through incrementality, category distinction and connecting to a scaled target.” she added.


Nielsen reviewed 5000+ innovations launched in FMCG over a 3 year period since Q1 2015 across business objectives like mass-market performance, targeted performance, brand incrementality, category distinction, and sales sustainability.

Winners were classified into 6 highly discriminating spaces using the validated Nielsen BASES Activation Profiles framework.


  1. Superstar: Succeeds across all criteria – a big win for consumers, brand, and retailers.
  2. Brand Grower: Demonstrates brand incrementality.
  3. Crowd Pleaser: Offer mass appeal with consumers helping brands to defend competitive pressure.
  4. Emerging Play: Seeks to transform the category by offering niche benefits before they are mainstream.
  5. Short Term Play: “Quick hits” that offers limited-time excitement for consumers and drives new news for the brand.
  6. Targeted Play: Small, strategic wins that succeed by reaching a highly engaged core target.


Consumer needs have evolved over time. Winners adapted to this pace of evolution through their differentiated offering, executed with well-strategized activation. In this context, we found some interesting common themes running across winners. Few of these innovative themes that winners exhibited are:

1.Unearthed the “Non-Consumption Occasions”

The winners also transcended the boundaries of consumption occasions. One of the winners – Kellogg’s Chocos Fills was a food which was brought under the aegis of the brand Chocos but it was not just a cereal but more – it was also a snack. And therefore it transcended into multiple new occasions and that’s why cannibalisation was minimum. For teenagers, snacking is very important and therefore the occasion of snacking became an incremental occasion for the brand.

2. Evolved from “Mass Marketing” to “Personalization at Scale”

Most of them targeted individualistic consumption and hence focused on curating the proposition as well as crafting the activation for the individuals in the target group.

Cadbury Fuse, one of the winners, is largely designed for self-consumption. There are moments in the day – especially earlier in the day – either during commute, at work, in class, in college, when one wants to take a break, or wants to reset the day.

Those are the moments or occasions when a bar is helpful as against a tablet or a pure chocolate.

Mondelez also activated personalization at scale on Fuse. In the most recent campaign, 96,000 creatives were created on Fuse which were then deployed based on demographics, cohort, genre, time of the day, platform, etc.

3. Decoded “Healthy 2.0” for today’s sophisticated consume

With consumers across the globe trying to take charge of their health, the health and wellness space has assumed paramount importance since quite some time. However, the definition of “healthy” has evolved over time and also varies by different consumers. Those manufacturers who responded to these evolving definitions found success. There are some inspiring stories of RAW Pressery, Too Yumm!, Pass Pass Pulse, Epigamia Greek Yogurt, Kellogg’s Chocos Fills who decoded Healthy 2.0 trend in terms of Homemade Fresh, Made with Real Fruits, Cold-pressed, Baked not Fried, Goodness of Indigenous ingredients and Grains and so on. The “real goodness” is invincible and these brands rightly stand by their promise of purity and accessibility to safe and healthy food.

One of our winners – Epigamia Greek Yogurt was built on the belief that out of all the subjectivity around “What is Healthy?”, one thing that is non-negotiable; non-debatable when it comes to health in the Indian context is Fresh, which is also is very rooted in our core beliefs of ghar ka khana / fresh khana / fresh food.

This year sees a mixed bag of innovations; from MNCs as well as local players, those that addressed a large consumer need or those that identified a niche requirement, those who focused on traditional trade to reach out to the masses and those that explored a targeted approach.  But in all, a rich and diverse set of winners that also have some common themes running through them.


*Winners in Alphabetical order as per the BASES Activation Profile

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, the arbiter of truth for media markets, 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.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Nielsen India

Tarini Mathur Kaul