"The logo has been an important factor in the 15% sales increase of the new range of toothpastes."
Colgate Toothpastes, Group Manager (France)
"Our supermarkets have 45,000 products. The average American shopper spends only 22 minutes in the supermarket. They are looking for symbols that can really give them a safety net, something that their peers have said: 'This is a good product.' It’s all about social networking. Product of the Year is something you can trust and products that you want to buy."
Phil Lempert , The Supermarket Guru® and Consumer Expert
“We value POTY award as a good online endorsement and that is the reason we keep supporting POTY every year.”
Jessica Wang, WE eCommerce, Proctor & Gamble
POY LATEST NEWS
IMAGINE, if you will, a world without The Great British Bake Off..
IMAGINE, if you will, a world without The Great British Bake Off (GBBO). I know, too bland and frankly inedible to contemplate. (Although plenty of fans of the hit BBC show are concerned that the move to Channel 4 could see the series going stale). But just imagine if Bake Off had never been dreamt up in the first place. Britain would feel a very different place. Apart from anything else there’d be a lot less cake in it. The TV show is one of the key reasons that four in ten Brits enjoy baking every week*. With the final slice set to be served up on the BBC this week, it’s the perfect time to remember just some of the ways that Bake Off has changed Britain. • We’ve gone gadget mad: A study from Mintel found sales of small kitchen appliances are up 41% in the past five years to a record breaking £897m in 2015, with the GBBO effect surely playing a part. Online searches for ice cream makers hit an all-time high on the day they were used in the Bake Off tent. • Innovation through imitation: While every viewer covets the gleaming Kenwood kMix used each week on the show, not all can afford the £299 price tag. And that’s precisely why we’re seeing items like the just-launched Premium Stand Mixer from Aldi, at just £149.99, on the shelves. Where the Bake Off goes, others imitate. • The drizzle-down effect: It’s not just high end items that have enjoyed a surge. The Bake Off effect has trickled right down the food chain affecting sales of everything from flour to cake frills, the latter up 3514% at Hobbycraft during series six. • Scaled down showstoppers: While we all love a three-tiered baked cheesecake (Series six, since you wonder), we can’t all make one. The bake off has made cakes achievable for pretty much everyone, with cake making kits, such as Dr Oetker Mug Cake, enjoying a boom in sales. • Healthy debate: Is a Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit? And should it ever be dunked? The nation would have never discussed these weighty topics with such fervour if the bakers hadn’t been called on to attempt the cake/biscuit at the beginning of series seven. • Baking lingo: ‘Crème pat’, ‘a good rise’, and of course ‘soggy bottom’, have all taken their well-deserved place in the English language in the last seven years. Oxford Dictionaries report an upsurge in the use of ‘soggy bottom’ in early autumn each year, with a year on year increase in use, showing that Mary Berry’s catchphrase is here to stay. • Making languages a piece of cake: Talking of language, no one knows more international names for bakes that GBBO fans. Delights such as the Austrian ‘windtorte’ and Cypriot ‘flaounes’ have rendered the humble pain au chocolat rather bland by comparison. • Salted caramel: We may not be able to place the salting of all caramel everywhere in the world at GBBO’s door, but it’s certainly sweetened sales. In the wake of Nadiya’s peanut salted caramel and chocolate tart last year, Waitrose reports that sales of its Homebaking Salted Caramel Flavouring soared by a third compared the a year earlier. And now it is time for Bake Off to tweak its recipe and hope for another show-stopping run on Channel 4. Viewers may be unsure about the move, but marketing teams must be licking their lips. With brands soon able to advertise alongside the show, expect sales and innovation to experience a very good rise. Will the Great British Bake Off continue to entertain, enthral and educate as much as it has for the past seven years? The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. *The Grocer poll, April 2015
Innovation is hotting up...
Just when we think innovation can’t get any HOTTER comes proof that the British appetite for spicy food is insatiable. One of the biggest food trends over at least two decades has been the inexorable rise of the humble chilli. From Thai green curry to Mexican burritos, Brits will adopt any international foods as their own, on one condition: that they’re hot, hot, hot! The proof can be found in the average fridge. Nestling alongside an essential bottle of ketchup, you’ll now find a range of fiery chilli sauces, harissa paste, spicy relish and tabasco. No wonder tomato sauce, brown sauce and mayonnaise are struggling to assert themselves among all those strong flavours. Although ketchup remains the UK’s favourite condiment, sales of tomato sauce were virtually static over the last year while those for brown sauce fell more than five per cent. Meanwhile spicy tabasco and chilli sauces flew of the shelves, scoring a 7.5 per cent rise, according to a survey by The Grocer. It’s further proof that Brits appetite for spicy foods appears to know no end. Give the consumer a hot product and they want more of them – with even more of a kick. Think back 30 or so years and the UK’s taste for curry started to make the mildest of statements. A decade later, tackling a Vindaloo was seen as a risky business for a brave few. Fast forward to 2016 and spicy food has got everyone’s heart racing. ‘Hot, hotter and hottest’ has arrived in almost every supermarket aisle, from fresh chillis to spicy crisps, curry scratch kits and hot sauce condiments. Tesco stocks the world’s hottest chilli, the Carolina Reaper, while Doritos Roulette crisps have even reputedly been banned from some schools because they’re so spicy. There are 335,000 heartburn-inducing clips of people eating hot sauce on YouTube. And there are currently few signs that the heat is coming out of the spicy foods market. Brands like Hellmann’s and Heinz have launched their own hot offerings to ensure they’re not out-spiced by the competition. Does this mean that spicing everything up is the secret to great innovation? Of course not. Fiery brands are certainly enjoying a boom, but innovating isn’t about simply following an established trend. It’s about anticipating need and meeting it in a whole range of different ways, from creating a great taste to using clever packaging and sending a brilliant message. By all means spice up your customer’s life, but you need to have the brilliant brand to match.
The judging process for Product of the Year 2017 began in style.
The deliberations have begun… the judging process for Product of the Year 2017 began in style. In the plush surroundings of the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall, scores of the latest products were put through their paces. A panel made up of industry experts and savvy consumers sniffed, squirted, sipped and savoured their way through the assembled items. As they made their way from one product to another, the testers ticked and marked their score sheets, 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 gathered in one room, some distinct trends emerged. The move towards multi-tasking products continued with brands keen to pack as much value into their star items as possible. Also noticeable for Product of the Year 2017 is the trend for traditionally luxe products to move more into the mainstream. Updating packaging was another visible theme, with brands showing that changing the way you apply or consume a product can be just as innovative as transforming what’s inside it. With more than a few ‘Why haven’t they thought of this before?’ moments, the standard of entrants was impressive, with those ever-evolving brands brilliantly anticipating what customers want. Now the jury has selected its favourites, it’s time for the next exciting stage of judging to get underway. In the largest consumer survey of its kind in the UK, more than 12,000 members of the British public will now vote on their favourites, conducted my market research leaders TNS, subjecting each of the products in the final to even more scrutiny. Once they’ve had their say, we’ll have our winners. All will be revealed on Thursday 19th January 2017.
Top tips from one of our jurors...
PREPARE those products for a good poking: Wednesday is Product of the Year Jury Day. This is a huge date in the Product of the Year calendar when all the entered products are put through their paces by consumer experts. This team of testers taste, touch and squeeze their way around a vast room, scoring each item to a strict set of criteria. But beyond that what really happens? We asked one long-standing ‘juror’ to spill the beans and give her inside eye on the day itself. Here’s what she found out: “Skip breakfast: With dozens of foods to crunch, lick or sip, you soon feel more Augustus Gloop than Charlie Bucket. Innovation is all about the little things: Just occasionally there’ll be a product which totally breaks the mould, but most of the time though the cleverest products are the ones that have been brilliantly tweaked in a tiny way (often meeting a need you never even knew you had!) Jurors take their duties very seriously: Products are poked, shaken, tasted, sniffed, dunked, pulled…however it can be tested, it will be. But we draw the line at tucking into the pet food. Eating curry at 11am isn’t as odd as it sounds: Curry, roast chicken, pasta and sauce, noodles, pizza all pass our lips – and two minutes later we might be tucking into a bowl of cereal or a large swig of mouthwash! Sounds disgusting, but it works! Marmite moments abound: Like any democratic process, opinions will differ. Smell, for example, can cause a particular stink - a gorgeous ‘bouquet’ for one person will be a foul fragrance for another. We all love a ‘Wow!’ product: The items which end up changing their way we live often come of age after Product of the Year, and jurors can spot them a mile off. Remember top down Heinz Tomato Ketchup…! Keeping it real: Product of the Year is not about spotting exclusive products which will be enjoyed by a few. Jurors are on the lookout for small innovations that have the potential to benefit millions of ordinary families. They’re the things that get us excited.” Product of the Year Jury Day is on Wednesday 14 September. Then it’s up to 12,000 members of the public to decide. Watch this space…
When was the last time you played with a puppy at work? Like the rest of us, it’s probably been a while. But this is one of the cute, fluffy (and more unusual) ways that positive psychologists reckon employers could be rewarding their hard-working staff. If you’re not a puppy person, a ‘thank you’ from the bosses is probably just as valuable. Just those two words are likely to give you an immediate rush of endorphins, a feel-good feeling that lasts all day, a spring in your step that may take you through the week, and a sense of appreciation that might just make you go the extra mile. This wave of ‘gratitude’ is supposedly sweeping the nation, with all of us being urged to seek out and celebrate all the good things in our lives while ignoring the bad. The idea being that gratitude and its good friend ‘appreciation’ create a positive attitude, bring back warm memories, boost self-esteem, and breed optimism. These are emotions that are good to have buzzing about the workplace, making for stronger teamwork, reduced absenteeism, less stress and a feeling of wanting to give back. What company wouldn’t want more of that? Strangely, though, British business is still struggling on the praise and appreciation front. In a survey done last year by Monster.co.uk nearly six in 10 employees don’t feel they are thanked enough at work. What’s more, four in 10 bosses admit there is not enough thanks in their office. So while forty per cent of British employees seem to be lucky enough to work in an enlightened and grateful environment, the rest are likely to be busy planning their next sickie and wondering what on earth it’s all for. We know the importance of saying ‘thanks’ to teams and individuals because we see it every January at the Product of the Year awards. We see that rush of endorphins as employees come up to accept their awards, and we witness how much it matters to the whole team that their efforts have been recognised. Yes, it’s Product of the Year who gives out the awards, but it is businesses who put their brands – and their teams – forward. It’s a special feeling knowing that all those hours spent grafting have been recognised by the industry, peers and also employers. There’s lots of reasons why Product of the Year makes sense for brands. Rewarding the team probably isn’t top of the list, but maybe it should be. In such a competitive market, everyone is looking for the edge. Appreciating - and motivating – you people just might make that important difference. And while we’re at it, let us say ‘thank you’ for all your support. And now we’re off to find some puppies to cuddle!