Product of the Year
"It's a win all round for us and our customers. Being voted a winner by 60,000 consumers and then being able to put that message on the shelf gives us great credibility."
Neil Shah Brand Manager, SC Johnson Aircare (2010 US Winner)
“The fact that we think that we have great products and consumers have validated that for us, makes it that much more special.” The television ads, the print ads, the point of sale, the way we that we can take that and translate it into the things we do every day are very important parts of what we will do with this award.”
Director, Corporate Communications, Dr Pepper Snapple Group (2009 US Winner)
“There’s no better compliment than one that comes directly from consumers themselves. The American consumer has always been the number one factor driving our product innovations and this distinction reinforces that we are on the right track.”
Brand Manager, PUR Procter & Gamble (2009 US Winner)
POY LATEST NEWS
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!
... and something fishy is happening!
THERE’S no better time to see innovation in action than the annual round of ‘Christmas in July’ events where retailers showcase their wares to journalists and bloggers for the upcoming festive season. Sweating through fake snow before nibbling your way through turkey and all the trimmings has a distinctly antipodean air to it, but it’s also a lovely opportunity to actually appreciate all the hard work that has gone into that showstopper dessert or stunning starter – and see the pride on buyers’ faces as they present them to you. Supermarkets in particular love showing off their festive efforts at least four months before they go into store. These are the dishes they have been perfecting for much of the last year, taking in the trends and forecasting how they will evolve for their customers by the time we reach Christmas. All the stores are looking to be the one that people talk about, for all the right reasons. It’s a case of ‘just right’ innovation. Too much and they’ll be accused of sacrificing substance for style. Too little and their shoppers will look elsewhere for excitement. So which innovations are the winners for 2017? Here’s Product of the Year’s round-up of the top 10 trends: Hidden centres: From Pinata-style cakes to pretty slices of pie, wherever you stick your knife this Christmas, you won’t be disappointed. Gin’s the tonic: Gin has been HUGE this year and that trend is set to build to a Christmas crescendo, from gin-based cocktail kits to spirit-cured salmon. V for Vegan: Non meat-eaters are the winners this Christmas. With an ever growing spread of vegan or vegetarian ready-made dishes, the nut roast’s days are numbered. Night and day nibbles: You don’t need to don a party dress to stuff your face with canapés, you can stay in your pyjamas (elasticated waistband permitting!) Many of the Christmas showcases feature finger food that will see you from breakfast all the way to bed. Mother’s (or anyone’s) little helpers: Not gin, this time! All the stores have come up with clever mini-kits to make Christmas that little bit easier. Marinade mixes, sachets of sauce, and even an entire prawn cocktail kit mean you can claim maker’s rights, but without the mess. Bling’s the thing: Christmas has never been under-stated but this year bling is back in a big way, from bold bronze cocktail shakers to turkey gleaming with gold shimmer. This is low-cost luxe. Know your craft: It’s no secret that big brands can struggle to offer the same ‘story’ as the army of craft brewers, distillers, cheese-makers and bakers who have worked hard for their success. This Christmas you’ll see the stores’ answering back as they sign up more small producers and set their stall by some of their own artisan-style groceries. Free from free for all: It’s a win for people with food intolerances this festive season. The gluten-free offerings are bigger, better and frankly a million times more exciting than just a few years ago. Consigning Prosecco to the past: We’ve written before about the other bubbles waiting to succeed Prosecco as king of the fizz. Well this Christmas will surely see the handing over of the crown, with new bottles of note from France, Spain and England all being pushed to the fore. Something fishy: Fish, and especially salmon, were one of the big festive sellers of 2016, so the stores have gone even bigger for 2017. Lobster and crab play a big part in the Christmas catch this year. Happy Christmas one and all. Now pass us an ice cream…
Product of the Year is enjoying the sun...
Product of the Year Management is having a great time enjoying the sun and blue skies at this year’s Cannes Lions – and working hard, too, of course! Being in the middle of so much creativity, innovation and invention is incredibly inspiring – and as a global company, it’s the best way to keep up with the top lightbulb moments on both sides of the pond. Give us a shout if you’re there, too! Very excited to be joining our media partner Campaign at their party tonight! Watch this space…
‘Mother’s ruin’ is having a moment...
‘Mother’s ruin’ is having a moment, with soaring gin sales, especially from small producers, suggesting that the British public really does favour quality over quantity – at least some of the time – when it comes to pouring a drink. It’s the latest stampede in the drinks’ market. These crazes, which sweep through the wine, beers and spirits aisle now and again, are rarely seen with such force in other sectors. Just like the craze for craft beer, small gin producers are pepping up this particular sector, while the more established names associated with gin are also enjoying decent sales. In fact the old ‘mother’s ruin’ reputation couldn’t be more wrong. Resolutely ‘on trend’, there is much to celebrate on World Gin Day this Saturday (worldginday.com). UK sales topped £1billion for the first time last year, amounting to 40 million bottles, with 49 distilleries opening in the UK alone. There are now twice as many gin makers as there were in 2010. Gin makers are copying craft breweries – and why not when real ale has proved to be the daddy of all drink turnarounds? While 45 years ago there were just 300 beer brands, today that number has soared to around 11,000. Championed by (mostly bearded) enthusiasts, then adopted by (mostly bearded) hipsters, beer showed that it’s possible to crack the crucial millennial market. Gin has also shed its fusty old image. No longer just enjoyed by the middle-aged and middle-class, gin is proving a winner in the most fashionable bars in the capital and beyond. With many young, interesting producers, with back-stories as pleasing as their products, gin fizzes with quality – perfect fodder for the Instagram generation. And while ice and a slice still tastes good to us, new gin flavours from Gordon's to Pinksters, gin cocktails and mouth-watering mixers are also part of the trend. Fever Tree more than doubled its profits last year, with the company’s coffers boosted by the stunning gin renaissance. Gin is indeed the thing. For now. Maybe it’s time to start taking bets on which tipple will be the next big thing? We’ll drink to that.
On the off-chance that that sentence hasn't already...
On the off-chance that sentence hasn’t already made you drop us an email, here’s 10 reasons that might: 1. Long meetings, late nights and serious elbow grease went into making your product great. Now, with a quick message to Product of the Year HQ, you can get your team the recognition it deserves. 2. Winners see sales go through the roof with an average sales increase of between 10 and 15%. Your ‘baby’ could be the next Herbal Essences – the P&G brand saw sales soar by 135% after its Product of the Year win. 3. Getting unbiased feedback from the general public is time-consuming and costly. Every Product of the Year finalist gets a research report worth £12,000 as part of their package. 4. Our awards party in the first month of 2018 is the perfect pick me up. Oh, unless – or perhaps especially – if you’re struggling though dry January. 5. It’s not enough for your boss to know you did a great job. Customers need to be in on the secret too. That’s where our distinctive red and white logo comes in, making your winning product stand out on the crowded supermarket shelves. 6. You want press coverage? We’ll give it to you in spades. Full lists of past award winners have featured in The Sun, on Netmums and in Women’s Own, reaching millions of potential customers. 7. We’re all over social media. For the past two years, #ProductOfTheYear has trended on twitter during our awards party, reaching over three million people, and our digital arm will continue to spread the good news throughout the year of your win. 8. Millennials love us: More than half of them recognise our logo, which winners get to use for an entire year. Product of the Year will help you reach that key audience. 9. Finding out what the public thinks of your brand and your new product is priceless. The 11,500 + members of the public who vote for their Products of the Year will tell you what you need to know, and our market research company TNS will crunch the numbers so you don’t have to. 10. Nearly nine of ten shoppers are more likely to put a product that has won a Product of the Year award in their trolley. Make sure yours is one of them. You can enter today - just click here!