image credit: flywheel

While we often hear about innovations in technology, we hear less about innovations in the consumer industry. Why? It comprises more than 20 percent of the U.S. economy, and touches nearly every aspect of our lives, influencing what we eat, wear, and increasingly, reflecting what we believe. (I believe in sustainability, therefore I buy from sustainable brands.)

Good companies create products. Great companies create identities. We work with consumer companies day in and day out at CircleUp -- we've reviewed more than 4,500 in the past two years alone -- and we're excited to share some of the amazing things they're doing, from pioneering new categories to re-imagining new industries. 

After receiving more than 200 expert nominations we got to work selecting the winners -- 25 of the most innovative consumer product and retail companies in the world. We included both small companies and large -- because neither has a monopoly on innovation.

image credit: Shake Shack

1. Shake Shack
Why? For dispelling the belief that fast food has to be pre-cooked.  

2. Blue Buffalo
Why? For setting a new standard in healthy dog and cat food.

3.Corsair Distillery
Why? For defining a new standard of quality and taste with its small batch, ultra-premium whiskey.

4. Everlane
Why? For promoting radical transparency in its manufacturing standards and helping cement social good as a value for startup clothing companies.

image credit: Poler

5. Poler
Why? For supplying and clothing the explorer in all of us.  

6. Patagonia
Why? For innovation that results in extraordinary brand loyalty.

7. Tory Burch
Why? For weaving sensibility into style, and never letting growth compromise authenticity.

image credit: blue bottle coffee

8. Blue Bottle Coffee
Why? For attempting to upend Starbucks’ market domination by choosing quality over quantity, with no compromises.

9. Pressed Juicery
Why? For cutting through the confusion and condescension of health trends.  

10. FitBit
Why? For leading the small but growing wearables market, and getting office workers everywhere to ask, “What’s your number?”
11. TRX
Why? For re-imagining how, where and why we workout.
12. Flywheel
Why? For making indoor cycling epic.

image credit: NatureBox
13. NatureBox
Why? For marrying food with tech to make healthy eating easy, affordable and delicious.
14. ThinkThin
Why? For fueling a healthy, energetic lifestyle, and making it taste darn good too!
15. Hampton Creek
Why? For asking, “Why not?”, and innovating a fundamentally new way of food production that’s better for humans and animals alike
16. Justin's
Why? For never compromising on quality, and mixing community and sustainability into every product it makes.
17. Aden + Anais
Why? For simplifying the lives of parents and caregivers, and making beautiful products that keep babies safer and more comfortable.  

image credit: GoldieBlox
18. GoldieBlox
Why? For re-imagining toys, and inspiring a new generation of female engineers.        
19. DreamDry
Why? For creating the premiere destination for blowouts in NYC, helping women make every day glamorous.
20. Too Faced Cosmetics
Why? For developing a chic line of fashion-forward cosmetics.

21. Sweetgreen
Why? For providing a fusion of tasty food and sustainable design to those living a healthy lifestyle.

22. Asian Box
Why? For bridging the gap between fast casual and your favorite neighborhood joint -- all while using ultra-fresh and sustainable ingredients.
23. Serena & Lily
Why? For transforming the home-decor industry, starting with the nursery.

image credit: Paper Source

24. Paper Source
Why? For inspiring us to “Do Something Creative Every Day,” and bringing out the artist in all of us.

25. Ancient Harvest
Why? For introducing the U.S. consumer to quinoa and other innovative ancient grains, way back in 1983.

Read full article via Entrepreneur