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Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovation Awards, India 2019 Powered by BASES

Winners match pace with shifting consumer preferences

Mumbai, 19th November: 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

n.”,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.

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.

Nielsen’s Breakthrough Innovations Award Winners, India 2019

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Epigamia Greek Yoghurt


Dettol Squeezy Liquid Handwash




Bingo! No Rulz


Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk Heart Pop




NESCAFÉ Ready-To-Drink Cold Coffee


Harpic Bathroom Cleaner


BROOKSIDE Chocolates


Cadbury Fuse


KitKat Duo


Engage ON


RAW Pressery


Kellogg’s Chocos Fills


Good Knight Fabric Roll-On


  MAGGI Masalas of India


Godrej Aer Pocket


    Vicks BabyRub


    Pass Pass Pulse


          Surf Excel Matic Liquid


          Too Yumm!



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:


Unearthed the “Non-Consumption Occasions”

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

Decoded “Healthy 2.0” for today’s sophisticated consumer

  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.

Instead of focusing on current consumption patterns, they found occasions of non-consumption and created a product in that space.


Consumers were asked, “If RAW Pressery Juice was not available, what would you consume?” The answer was Raw Fruits, Energy bars/drinks or simply Water on 69% of the occasions, vs. packaged juices on only 23% of occasions

Source: Primary survey conducted by Nielsen


  1. 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.

 Decoded “Healthy 2.0” for today’s sophisticated consumer

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 Home made 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.


Too Yumm: Superstar

“Gap in the market was that we did not have healthy offerings on the go and the trend of health gaining traction led to the backdrop of the entire insight. Consumers snack for the taste but at the same time are guilty of binge eating as these snacks are fried and unhealthy. Thus baked and healthy product creation was a must.”

Anupam Bokey, VP Marketing (CMO), RPSG FMCG (Guiltfree Industries Ltd.)

The team was able to strike the right balance between health & taste for Indian consumers.

Too Yumm! is also an exemplary case of how different media vehicles were leveraged to achieve different goals. While the mainstream media was leveraged to generate stronger/quicker awareness, new age media was effectively used to build pre-launch excitement. The key task, apart from breaking through the cluttered snacking space, was to drive credibility for the brand as a “Healthy and Tasty” snacking option. To this effect, the team partnered with Virat Kohli, given his healthy image and popularity. Leveraging this partnership, the team adopted many innovative routes such as pre-launch activation to create anticipation, using IPL for various impactful campaigns and so on. One noteworthy campaign was the #SayNoToFriedSnacks campaign at Kumbh Mela, which created a Guinness World Record in itself.

“One of the key highlights for Too Yumm!’s success was the ambition and the resources aligned to that ambition.”

Anupam Bokey, VP Marketing (CMO) RPSG FMCG (Guiltfree Industries Ltd.)

Epigamia Greek Yogurt: Emerging Play

What started as a passion for Greek Yogurt went on to become a huge hit among today’s Indian consumers. Envisaged to be a lifestyle product and as a no-compromise blend of health and taste, Epigamia Greek Yogurt decided to be rooted in the one thing which is non-negotiable and non-debatable in the Indian context – which is “Fresh”.


While the pitch to retailers to stock Epigamia Greek Yogurt was convincing, the tougher task was to manage the extremely short shelf life of the product, since the existing chain of distributors were simply not equipped to handle a product with just 15 days of shelf life. This led to the inception of Epigamia’s very own cold chain distribution capabilities, which took up a major chunk of investments in the beginning and went on to win many accolades and awards later.


Given that investing in any traditional marketing approach was a huge challenge, Drums Food International leveraged the product itself and invested majorly in Sampling during inception. Seeing consumers enjoying Epigamia and wanting to try more was possibly the biggest ROI they got at the outset.

“I remember telling the marketing team that, as a start-up in terms of rupees, we are broke. We have nothing. But if you look at yogurt as a currency, we’re very rich. So go spend yogurt where you can, wherever you can see our target audience, go engage, get people to taste”

– Rohan Mirchandani, Co-Founder and CEO, Epigamia

Epigamia kept on evolving their marketing strategy, exploring new avenues such as content integration with Pocket Aces (digital media entertainment company) which entailed curating Greek Yogurt recipes for their food channel – Gobble and marketing through their web series and so on.


At Drums Food International, innovation entails everything from experimenting with new flavours to launching new products. But everything has to be fast – launching quickly, getting feedback from consumers and then retracting those quickly which don’t appeal.

“We’ve been able to demonstrate that yogurt is just a canvas. The plethora is very large and we intend to launch many more products. We have a crazy pipeline ahead. So innovation has not even started for us.”

 – Rohan Mirchandani, Co-Founder and CEO, Epigamia 

Kellogg’s Chocos Fills, Kellogg India : Brand Grower

Kellogg identified two megatrends:

  1. The ever-growing importance of the health and wellness space.
  2. Fragmented Eating leading to smaller portion sizes and multiple consumption occasions

“Foods that transcend more than one occasion are the ones which will really succeed”

–        Sumit Mathur, Director-Marketing, Kellogg South Asia

Leveraging these trends, Kellogg wanted to come up with a quasi-snacking product, which is positioned between a cereal and a snack. With its proposition of ‘multigrain snack with chocolaty filling’, Kellogg’s Chocos Fills offered the chocolaty taste while still maintaining the nutritional quotient, thus, acting as a bridge to snacking and transcending multiple consumption occasions.


It was crucial to bring the proposition alive and unlock the incremental opportunity in market. Importantly, Kellogg distributed in the right adjacent categories, helping unlock three to five times the returns on their investment.

“It was important for us to look at the cereal aisle where we start from and equally try and focus on the right adjacencies in the stores. Our presence with Kellogg’s Chocos Fill in aisles beyond breakfast cereals helped drive incrementality.”

–        Sumit Mathur, Director-Marketing, Kellogg India

To further the incremental potential, Kellogg’s Chocos Fills was deployed with different pack sizes and the right pack-price architecture was critical across traditional and modern retail formats.

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