Product of the Year
"Being a Product of the Year winner in our category is very important because it helps the shopper make a quick decision. When they see our shelf talker among 100 products in the pet food aisle they can quickly identify that only one was named 'Product of the Year' "
Mike San Clemente Associate Brand Manager, MARS Petcare (2010 US Winner)
“An accolade from real consumers and I think its like the ultimate test for your innovation. Nivea will be using it online, digital activity, and social activation,and also through PR as well”
Sophie Rock, Brand Manager, Beiersdorf
“GSK are hugely proud that consumers have voted us winners of this fantastic award.”
Alastair Strang, GSK
POY LATEST NEWS
What we'll all be eating in 2018...
THE ARRIVAL of a shiny, new year also means that just a few weeks remain until the Product of the Year Awards 2018. The winners will of course stay a closely guarded secret until the event on January 25, but you can bet that many of the prize-winning products will prove that some of the edgiest food trends of recent years are taking a turn into the mainstream. So what will we be buying in the next 12 months? Here’s some of the things that will be rattling around in every on-trend trolley … Finding a sweet spot When it comes to the edible hall of shame, sugar is surely centre-stage. It’s no wonder that alternative sweeteners are coming into their own. Swapping out the sweet stuff has becoming top priority for food innovators with honey, agave nectar, fruit juice and stevia all being used instead. It’s been big news for the last couple of years, but in 2018 expect non-sugar sweeteners to move into the mainstream as some of our best-loved brands find a new sweet spot. Booze-free beverages If you’ve heard of Seedlip, the high-end tippled billed as the non-alcoholic alternative to gin, you’ll know that booze-free beverages are about to have a moment. Health-conscious millennials are leading this storm of sobriety, so expect things to get a whole lot more interesting in the soft drinks aisle. Home-made with help Thanks to recipe-kits, you can now make everything from cakes and puddings to stir-fries and stews at home but have all the hard work already done for you. What would once have been seen as cheating has now been spun into time-saving savviness. Not so much a trend as a shift in the way we eat – even if only once or twice a week. In 2018, you’ll find some kind of kit in every cupboard or fridge. Packing a pouch Ready-made pouches of pulses have crept onto supermarket shelves in recent years and expect that trend to continue, with sales of lentils, chick peas, beans and quinoa set to explode of the year ahead. Running alongside the trend for vegan food, it’s all power to the pulse in 2018. Storm in a teacup When everyone went bonkers for the coffee bean, tea sort of got left behind. That’s set to change over the next 12 months, with tea bars taking a (harvested) leaf from the coffee shop trend. Alongside the traditional cuppa, expect your cup to overflow with all kinds of new flavours and a mind-boggling array of tea bags to jostle for space on the hot drinks shelves. No leftovers Throwing away food is so 2015. This year it is all about transforming your leftovers into new, more inventive meals. Open a 2018 freezer and you should find, frozen leftover bananas, diced veg and blitzed breadcrumbs. If your freezer is still full of fish-fingers and ice cream, you’re falling behind. Fantastic no-plastic We still use loads of plastic, and there’s no point pretending otherwise. But after the BBC’s recent Blue Planet II series there was a huge public awakening about what plastic is doing to our oceans. Expect people to be looking for ways to move away from plastic in 2018, and they’ll be looking to the companies they trust to lead the way. The products that find a way to replace plastic packaging will be the winners in the years ahead.
CHRISTMAS may be all about tradition, but there’s always room for some innovation at this time of year...
CHRISTMAS may be all about tradition, but there’s always room for some innovation at this time of year too. After all, if things stayed the same, we’d still be giving kids a lump of coal in their stockings, and expecting them to be grateful for it too. We bet even Santa’s moved into the 21st Century and pimped his sleigh with some sat-nav and parking sensors (well, roofs can be tricky to negotiate at the best of times). Things have moved on in the kitchen too. Even though we still largely stick to the tradition of turkey, which became a Christmas ‘must’ in the 1950s, few cooks these days want to slave over a hot stove for the days and weeks leading up to December 25. Which is of course where innovation comes in, saving us vital time and precious energy in the run up to Christmas Day. But which of these products should the shopper splash out on? Simple. The ones bearing the red and white Product of the Year logo of course. From our 2017 winners, there are products which deserve their place in every Christmas trolley. From Hovis soft white – perfect for turkey sandwiches and essential for bread sauce, to Bisto Best Ready to Use Gravy – less stirring time = more sherry time, this is a great time to push the potential of the rather festive-looking logo. After all, shoppers are in a spin. They don’t know which products to pick from shelves that are even more overcrowded than usual. Those with our stamp of approval will be the ones that stand out from their competitors. Product of the Year winners are to be found in almost every supermarket aisle. From Nivea Daily Essentials Micellar Wipes in the beauty aisle to Energizer Recharge Extreme Batteries in electrics, our jolly logo is a guiding light at this busy time of year. We look forward to hearing of booming sales of other winning products over the festive season, expecting Asda Wonky Veg Boxes to be flying off the shelves faster than a rocket-propelled Rudolph, and hoping that shoppers are fizzing with excitement over the Sodastream Power Sparkling Water Maker. All in all, when it comes to Christmas essentials, Product of the Year winners have it all wrapped up, down to the very last piece of Andrex Classic Clean loo roll! Happy Christmas to all our 2017 winners, some of whom we have plugged here without shame. We wish all the finalists for the 2018 awards, to be held on January 25, a similarly prosperous year ahead.
We're already a week on from Jury Day, and the judges are considering their verdict...
“Surprisingly delicious!” was one expert’s verdict on a tasty entry for our Product of the Year awards 2018. “Kids would love it,” said another panel member gathered for our Jury Day. “Can I have more?” begged a third holding her fork aloft. It’s pretty safe to say that the product – which has to stay under wraps for now – will be one of the high scorers from the Jury Day, and will go through to the next stage of rigorous judging. It was one of the many edible entries, all of which were sipped and savoured by our jury made up of more than 30 consumer experts. Their job was to vet the entered products before they go to the next stage of judging, making sure that only those who truly brought something new to the market made it through. Armed with a pen and clipboard, each member of our jury put more than 20 products through its paces, marking their scoresheets as they touched, tasted, smelled and studied each item, giving the highest points to the products which bring something new and exciting to the supermarket shelves – and ultimately to consumers’ lives. As always, with all the entries laid out for judgement some distinct trends emerged. The ever-innovative household sector proved a strong category, with pet care also well represented. When it came to edible offerings, there was nearly as much buzz about how we consume things as there was about what we eat or drink. There was certainly no lack of new and exciting developments, showing that brands are forever evolving to meet the public’s changing needs, and aren’t afraid of surprising us too. It was great to see some of our past winners putting forward their latest innovations, as well as welcoming some fresh brands to Product of the Year. Now the jury has selected its favourites, it’s time for the next exciting step on the judging journey. At that stage, more than 12,000 members of the public will give their verdict on all the shortlisted products, answering a series of detailed questions what they think each innovative item brings to the market. Their top scorers in each category will go on to win one of our coveted awards. Once the Great British public has had its say, we’ll have our winners. All will be revealed at our 25th January 2018. We can’t wait!
The Great British Bake Off is back, with its ever-glowing (and ever-growing) halo.
The Great British Bake Off is back, with its ever-glowing (and ever-growing) halo. The halo happens when the powerful pull of one ‘thing’ leads us to purchase another, and certainly no other TV show has lit up so many other brands for so long. From fridges to flour, mixers to marzipan, everything home-baking basks in the GBBO glow. With its move to Channel 4, advertisers will be banking on picking up more crumbs from under the Bake Off table than ever before. They’re certainly paying a pretty price for the opportunity. There’s no question that the halo effect is a marketing dream, and here at Product of the Year we’re pretty proud of our own enviable aura. Inevitably, the innovations which earn our eye-catching stamp of approval give off a winning glow which others bask in. Almost nine in 10 shoppers is more likely to buy a product that has won Product of the Year and being crowned one of our winners translates to an average sales bump of 10-15%. The right to use our logo for a full year after a win, on packaging, advertising and all marketing material, allows new innovations to shine out from the shelves. Clustering other products from the same range around the winner makes simple display – and sales – sense. Asda saw a 50% increase in sales following a win for its Butchers Selection Pulled Pork, with an uplift of around 15% for the rest of the BBQ range. Pantene Repair & Protect, which saw a huge 125% boost to sales after its win, also had a noticeable impact on the rest of the Pantene range. Like all the best angels, we work hard for our halo, with winners benefiting from our powerful marketing campaigns, as well as their own. Not only do we work with our media partners at The Sun, Netmums and Woman’s Own, reaching millions of potential customers, for the past two years #productoftheyear has also trended on Twitter during our awards party and our social media team continues to spread the good news throughout the year. Those most aware of the Product of the Year halo are of course our previous winners. No wonder then that nine in 10 say they will definitely enter again. If you want to feel our aura, it’s now your last chance to enter the 2018 awards. If you think you may have a great innovation, why not give it a glow? • If you haven’t entered yet, please contact Product of the Year’s Managing Director, Helga Slater, at email@example.com. With our Jury Day on September 13, don’t delay.
Do you drink in the world with rose tinted glasses? Judging by the bottles festooning the picnic tables of Brits this year, it’s fair to say the beverage industry is having a pink moment. This trend was sparked just under two years ago when colour forecaster Pantone nominated Rose Quartz as its colour of the year 2016 (alongside Serenity Blue). Since then we’ve seen not only seen the colour inspire interiors, phones and beauty; but a plethora of rose, pink grapefruit, raspberry, and strawberry concoctions have hit the market too. In fact the colour has become known as ‘millennial pink’ - due to its irresistible appeal for the younger generation. Here we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite ways to ‘drink pink’. ‘Yes, way rosé’. Wine naturally offers a whole world of pink inspired flavours, with numerous styles to explore such as Pinot Grigio Blush, White Zinfandels now available at your local supermarket. Thanks to our regular Pinterest sessions, we’ve also discovered a new tipple – frozen rosé AKA frozé – which offers a slushy-like and highly Instagrammable experience. Word on the street is that rosé apple cider, made from red-fleshed applecrabs, is emerging as a popular choice too. Pink gin While we’ve chatted about gin before on the Product of the Year blog, it’s becoming apparent that mother’s ruin is having a blush moment too. Gordon's have launched a modern update of their timeless spirits, with a 'premium pink distilled gin' exclusively in Tesco this summer. Newcomers and London locals, Edgerton, offer a twist on the classic London dry gin with a striking pomegranate infused botanical. Refreshing flavours The nondrinkers amongst us aren’t missing out on this trend either. Perennial favourite Shloer offers a White Bubbly & Pink Fizz Sparkling Juice Drink – perfect for any celebration from baby showers to birthdays. When it comes to mixers, Fever Tree’s Aromatic Tonic can be enjoyed as a sophisticated soft drink on its own, while Fentimans offer both a crisp Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water and a fragrant Rose Lemonade (both of which would go oh-so-well with the aforementioned gins). For those on the go, there’s a boost of energy up for grabs with Lucozade Energy Zero Pink Lemonade – and guilt free sipping for the whole family with Robinson's Pink Grapefruit Fruit & Barley No Added Sugar. Of course, these are just some of the British products available, with many more pink innovations yet to hit our shores. Check out the Product of the Year ‘Drink Pink’ Pinterest board to see our discoveries from further afar – and of course save the frozé recipe for your next BBQ!