Story of Wunda: why you need to minimise the failure rate of innovations
04 maart 2024 

Story of Wunda: why you need to minimise the failure rate of innovations

Nestlé CEO Nikki Adamo said in an interview a few weeks ago that her ambition is for Nestlé to become a top 3 player in the Netherlands. Innovation plays a crucial role in the long-term growth of brands, so too for Nestlé. But since statistically 80% of all food innovations fail, Nestlé too has to deal with disappointing introductions. A lot of money, time, but above all potential growth is lost when an innovation fails. Therefore, as a manufacturer, it is crucial that you minimise the failure rate of innovations. How do you do that? You can find out in the article below...

The story of Wunda

Before its introduction, expectations were high for Wunda, a pea-based milk substitute. The results of consumer taste tests were great and retailers were also enthusiastic about the concept. Literally all signs were positive. So Nestlé had every chance of making this innovation a huge success. But unfortunately, Wunda did not become a success... Despite all the positive signs, it turned out that consumers still did not feel the need for the concept. A lot of time, money and energy had been invested in Wunda, but unfortunately the outcome turned out to be different than hoped for.

Now, several years after its introduction, the products have now been taken off the shelves. All the money, time and energy invested in Wunda has unfortunately gone to waste. But what is perhaps worse is that Wunda has not been able to contribute to Nestlé's growth. How could this have happened? And more importantly, how can manufacturers prevent more innovations from failing in the future?

Reducing the failure rate of innovations by 100%

Every time an food innovation fails, it comes at the cost of potential growth. But as mentioned, all signs were positive before the introduction. Yet the rotation figures after the introduction did not show this. How can this happen? It is because if consumers like a product or say they would buy the product, that does not automatically mean they put the product in their shopping basket when they are in front of the shelf. This may sound logical, yet few manufacturers seem to consider this while developing new products. The only way to be 100% sure whether your innovation will be a success is to test it extensively in the supermarket with real consumers. Place your product in different supermarkets during the innovation process and this way you can see what the sales figures are. This way, you will know for sure what the potential of your innovation is, even before its launch. Moreover, you get valuable feedback from actual consumer behaviour that helps you further optimise your concept.

If Nestlé had tested Wunda's products in a number of supermarkets, they would have found out what consumers actually thought of the concept. Among other things, they would have seen that rotation rates would be disappointing and could have improved their concept in time. If manufacturers decided to test their innovations on the shopping floor during the innovation process, they would have been able to do so. In this way, every introduction could be a great success and contribute to a brand's growth ambitions

Ready to make every introduction a success?

Manufacturers that innovate most successfully will gain the biggest market share in the long run. This is why, in our opinion, in-store 'test & learn' research is the opportunity for brands to grow. With our network of 400+ supermarkets across Europe, we can help food brands test innovations in supermarkets in every possible way.

Do you work at an A-brand manufacturer and currently have an innovation issue you would like to test in the supermarket? Then feel free to contact me at We'd like to help.

About the author
Founder & Managing Director Bamboo Brands B.V.
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