Nielsen predicts what the next decade of brand innovation will bring

Lawrence Aylward
Editor In Chief
Lawrence Aylward profile picture
Companies will continue to innovate in the plant-based space, expanding to new categories across the store, according to Nielsen.

Keep on innovating. And boldly.

That’s one of the messages for the store brand industry from market researcher Nielsen’s “Predictions on what the next decade of brand innovation will bring.”

According to Nielsen, consumers today are both bombarded and empowered by choice — and more disloyal than ever before. Nielsen’s research reveals that one-third of U.S. consumers claim to be less loyal to products today than they were five years ago, and nearly half indicate they are actively looking for new products.

“This presents a new challenge for legacy brands and products, but it’s one that bold innovation can resolve,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen also said that conventional product innovation will no longer be about being first to market.

“Instead, innovation extends to identifying a brand’s larger purpose, for connecting with more discerning and fickle consumers,” according to Nielsen. “Successful innovation can come in many different forms — some could be disruptive game changers, while others could be launched to fend off competitive pressure or with the idea of tapping into an emerging consumer trend.”

Product packaging will also see its share of innovation in the next decade, Nielsen said.

Whether it’s refillable, dissolvable, plantable, or even food waste-based, product packaging will be reimagined by 2030,” according to Nielsen. “As consumers continue to prioritize sustainability, companies will not only remake the materials used to create their packaging, they will also leverage packaging as a vehicle to reinforce authenticity. For some, product packaging will stand as a brand’s badge of commitment toward a more sustainable way of living.”

Nielsen also predicts that products will continue to test the boundaries of "staple substitutions."

"Innovation in plant-based proteins has upended the protein space. As consumers continue to show interest in sustainable substitutes, companies will continue to innovate in this space, expanding to new categories across the store," Nielsen said.

Jenny Frazier, senior vice president of Nielsen BASES, a service Nielsen provides to help its clients grow through successful innovation on their brands, said marketers are being forced to think differently in order to compete.

“Over the next decade, expect to see remarkable shifts in innovation strategies to accommodate a new age of conscious, connected and unconventional consumption,” she added.