Excellence in Product Development Shapes Beverage Innovations in Europe, According to NielsenIQ BASES Annual Breakthrough Innovations Report

LONDON--()--As beverage innovations sweep up the most accolades across Europe in NielsenIQ BASES Breakthrough Innovation Report, released today, the findings highlight a number of leading trends that drinks manufacturers should be prepared to tap into in 2022 and beyond.

The report, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has unveiled the leading innovations of the FMCG world that have made the biggest impact. The brands that made the 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. With beverage launches accounting for over a third of Europe’s leading FMCG innovations, the winners highlight a further shift towards premiumisation in the drinks industry.

Leffe d'Été in France and Hansa Mango IPA in Norway achieved sales success by attracting new consumers into the brand and category, overcoming taste barriers associated with lager and IPA respectively.

Hansa Mango IPA, has been hugely successful in Norway after focusing on creating a beverage that is easy to drink by toning down on the natural bitter beer taste, particularly pertinent for IPA. Following extensive consumer testing, the team found that mango paired well with hopped IPA/beer and even improved the texture. Hansa Mango IPA also leveraged its retailer connections to secure strong listings with good visibility for the launch - critical in a country and category where advertising is banned. Initially intended as a limited summer edition, it is now a permanent product.

The launch of Martini Fiero offered consumers a new flavour profile and an easy to execute perfect serve to drive growth in the declining vermouth category, which was losing relevancy in Russia as consumers moved into modern aperitivo occasion. Bacardi identified an opportunity for Martini Fiero, a drink that is 100% natural in flavour and colour with a bittersweet, orange taste, to bring the vermouth category into this new occasion.

Shifting focus to the growing coffee market, Costa Coffee UK saw an opportunity to bring their out of home brand into consumers’ homes through entering the Ready-to-Drink category. The category was small but growing fast; Costa identified an opportunity to combine its coffee credentials and expertise to create a winning cold coffee proposition. The result was an RTD with authentic coffee flavour and less sugar than other products in the category.

Celine Grena, European BASES leader, comments: “Looking at this year’s winners, we can see a huge number of beverages leading the way for FMCG innovations. Taste remains one of the most important factors within the drinks category, with focus on the product development process playing a key role for the winners. It’s also worth noting that this strategy allows manufacturers to justify a premium, with nearly two-thirds of beverage winners premium to the category.”

Beverage Winners (listed in alphabetical order)

  • Birra Messina Cristalli Di Sale (Italy)
  • Costa Coffee Ready-to-Drink (UK)
  • Hansa Mango IPA (Norway)
  • Innocent Plus (UK & France)
  • J.J Whitley – Artisanal Russian Vodka (UK)
  • Leffe d'Été (France)
  • Martini Fiero (Russia)
  • Somersby Mango i Limonka (Poland)
  • Starbucks for Nespresso (UK, France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Spain)

About NielsenIQ BASES Breakthrough Innovation

This year’s Breakthrough Innovation process reviewed over 50,000 product launches. The brands that made the 2021 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 NielsenIQ BASES’ activation profiles.

About NielsenIQ

NielsenIQ is the leader in providing the most complete, unbiased view of consumer behavior, globally. Powered by a groundbreaking consumer data platform and fueled by rich analytic capabilities, NielsenIQ enables bold, confident decision-making for the world’s leading consumer goods companies and retailers.

Using comprehensive data sets and measuring all transactions equally, NielsenIQ gives clients a forward-looking view into consumer behavior in order to optimize performance across all retail platforms. Our open philosophy on data integration enables the most influential consumer data sets on the planet. NielsenIQ delivers the complete truth.

NielsenIQ, an Advent International portfolio company, has operations in nearly 100 markets, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit NielsenIQ.com.


Gillian Mosher


Gillian Mosher