Nielsen Announces The First Of Breakthrough Innovations For Saudi Arabia 2019

Riyadh, June 10, 2020: Nielsen BASES (Innovation Practice) announced the Top Breakthrough Innovations for Saudi Arabia 2019 to recognize and reward diverse innovation strategies for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). The recognition celebrates recent product innovations across various categories in the kingdom.

Nielsen BASES helps marketers achieve better innovation outcomes, faster and more efficiently. Over the past three years, Nielsen has studied new product launches across 60 different FMCG categories in Saudi Arabia, singling out those that truly break through the clutter – generating high consumer demand while sustaining growth over time. From these remarkable cases, it is evident that success is not the result of magic or randomness; it’s a science that begins with putting the consumers’ needs at the heart of the innovation.

Over the past decade, Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation project has identified and celebrated unique and enduring innovations in the U.S. and other markets globally — learning from and sharing their stories to answer: How can a product connect with consumers, differentiate and endure? This year, for the very first time, Nielsen has released the Top Breakthrough Innovations for Saudi Arabia, to recognize and reward diverse innovation strategies for FMCG.

“We are very excited to release the Breakthrough Innovation Report for Saudi Arabia – the first edition in the Middle East. It is important to recognize and celebrate innovators of our region as there is a tremendous effort and investment by manufacturers from ideation to launch to endurance,” said Zulfiqar Razvi, Executive Director, BASES Leader for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “Only 20% of innovations usually survive on retail shelves, hence the need to celebrate those that stick and offer distinct benefits to consumers. The ever-evolving Saudi FMCG landscape offers huge opportunities for manufacturers to innovate as well as excite and meet the challenge of continuously finding new ways to help improve consumers’ daily routines,” he added.


Nielsen reviewed 5000+ innovations launched in 60 different FMCG categories over a 3-year period across business objectives since 2016 like mass-market performance, targeted performance, brand incrementality, category distinction, and sales sustainability.

Winners in Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovations 2019 were classified into six distinct spaces using the validated Nielsen BASES Activation Profiles framework. This includes different Year 1 and Year 2 sales thresholds, with incrementality to the parent brand and category. Criteria for winning in the Superstar category, for the most differentiated and incremental launches include Year 1 sales of over $3.5 Million and Year 2’s sales that are at least 90% of Year 1’s demonstrating the product is more than a fad and has staying power.


In order for a brand to succeed, it must have an appealing concept or idea, a strong product that lives up to the concept description, a great marketing program in terms of activation that breaks through the clutter and gets noticed and meaningful spending levels that generate trial, awareness and repeat purchase. Out of the thousands of new launches in a year, only one in five products are able to even sustain or grow after the first year. But our winners set outstanding examples of good innovation ideas complemented by perfect execution.


L’usine Pasty Line, one of our Superstars, capitalized on a white space opportunity of the unpacked pasty market in Saudi Arabia allowing Almarai access to a market 4-times the size of the packaged pastry market. The new line of puffs launched by L’usine offered consistent taste, convenience and availability unlike the products available in different bakeries and coffee shops in Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, Snickers Crisper, a Brand Grower, expanded usage occasions from hunger fill to a light and crispy satisfaction, extending to a broader consumer base. With a strong execution strategy, this innovation proved to be highly incremental by premiumizing consumers moving from Snickers to Snickers Crisper.

Another winner, L’Oreal Magic Touch, a Targeted Play, communicated a relatable problem and offered a quick fix root cover-up solution at home, on the go! The innovation was able to tap into a new segment “touch up” & revolutionized it by more than doubling the sales in the launch year.

Kit Kat Mini Moments, an Emerging Play, offered stronger indulgence by bringing premium flavors and a unique dessert eating experience to chocolates. The initiative encouraged on-the-go consumption via smaller packs with not more than 90 calories in each bar.

These strategies for success can be replicated if one can understand the theme and the thought behind the innovation. This is where Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation report comes in, highlighting what it takes to be successful in the Saudi Arabian market, especially with changing times and unseen circumstances. It takes us through how Breakthrough winners managed to bypass common innovation hurdles by addressing a broad need, ensuring that the product experience meets expectations and tailoring the right marketing activation.


Ariel PlatinumP&G (Procter & Gamble)Superstar
L’usine Pastry LineAlmaraiSuperstar
Nada Greek YogurtAl Othman GroupSuperstar
Nutella B ReadyFerreroSuperstar
Baby Joy Healthy SkinUnicharmBrand Grower
Fine Fluffy SteriproFineBrand Grower
Snickers CrisperMars IncorporatedBrand Grower
Cadbury Dairy Milk OreoMondelēz InternationalCrowd Pleaser
Lux Creamy PerfectionUnileverCrowd Pleaser
Oreo Chocolate CoveredMondelēz InternationalCrowd Pleaser
Oreo ThinnerMondelēz InternationalCrowd Pleaser
Sensodyne Advanced Repair & ProtectGlaxoSmithKline PlcCrowd Pleaser
Downy UnstopablesP&G (Procter & Gamble)Emerging Play
Garnier Tissue MasksL’OrealEmerging Play
Kit Kat Mini MomentsNestléEmerging Play
McVities Digest CreamYildizEmerging Play
Crest 3D WhiteP&G (Procter & Gamble)Targeted Play
L’Oreal Magic TouchL’OrealTargeted Play

*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