Leading UK food brands recognised for innovation

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Brand boasting green credentials are popular
Brand boasting green credentials are popular

Related tags Supply chain

The UK dominates the leader board, accounting for 60% of Europe’s top breakthrough innovations of the FMCG world, the NielsenIQ BASES annual report has revealed.

The report, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has unveiled the brands that reflect a wide range of products and approaches that succeeded in making meaningful connections with consumers. Among the winners were a number of food manufacturers including Cadbury, Birds Eye and Innocent. 

It said that transparency was recognised as an important factor for consumers across categories, with clean (64%), locally grown (52%) and ethically sourced (39%) ingredients the top claims that would most impact brand trust.

Similarly, the 2021 report saw a major focus on sustainability, with consumers willing to pay a premium for products that are kinder to the environment. 

This gave manufacturers an opportunity to drive ‘premiumisation’, with 67% of this year’s winners offering premium benefits – whether it was from the product itself or the packaging.

Green credentials 

The report said that products boasting green credentials, whether from an ethical or environmental standpoint, swept up a number of accolades,including Birds Eye Green Cuisine and This Isn’t’s meat-free. 

Meanwhile, products that tapped into the ‘better for you’ trend also saw success, with Innocent Plus offering functional health benefits, and other manufacturers catering to the demand for ‘healthy indulgence’, as well as treats at home, such as Magnum Vegan ice cream and Cadbury Darkmilk.

The trend towards health was alsomirrored in pet food as well with driven interest in ‘free-from’ products such as Butcher’s Tripe Loaf and indulgence in Whiskas Pure Delight.

Product launches

The report also highlighted some incredibly well-executed beverage product launches within the winners, such as Starbucks for Nespresso, as well as Costa Coffee’s RTD range. 

Celine Grena, European BASES leader, comments: “It is worth noting that when you go back to the first report launched 10 years ago, trends such as ‘shopping locally’, sustainability and convenience were the ‘ones to watch’. While these trends still exist, a number of these are gradually crystallising into the standout theme of mindful living. In fact, over half of the winners this year have at least one mindful living claim, versus only about one quarter in 2019.”

She added: “One of the key things we are seeing in this year’s report is that consumers today are more aware and informed than ever. As a result, they expect much more from their products - whether that’s health benefits, sustainability, locality or convenience – and consumers are willing to pay a premium to get it.”

UK Winners (listed in alphabetical order in no particular order)

  • J.J Whitley – Artisanal Russian Vodka
  • Innocent Plus (UK & France)
  • Costa Coffee Ready-to-Drink
  • Starbucks by Nespresso (UK, France, Switzerland, Netherlands and Spain)
  • This Isn’t
  • Magnum Vegan (UK & Germany)
  • Birds Eye Green Cuisine
  • Cadbury Darkmilk
  • Pringles Rice Fusion
  • Butcher’s Tripe Loaf
  • Whiskas Pure Delight
  • Rimmel Lasting Radiance
  • Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum
  • Febreze Bathroom Air Freshener
  • Finish Quantum Ultimate (UK & Germany)

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