Product of the Year
"Being voted Product of the Year helped us tremendously in getting unprecedented attention and coverage from media in the beauty industry."
Natalie Banks Marketing Director, Wella (2009 US Winner)
“It is really helpful for consumers particularly in today’s economy and environment to have help in navigating so many of the different products that are out there.”
Group Product Director, Zyrtec (2009 US Winner)
“At Asda, we are immensely proud to have won our first ever Product of the Year Award for our Butchers Selection Pulled Pork, being recognised by over 12,000 consumers for both innovation and quality of our own brand products. The win has had an incredible impact on sales which is evident in a 50% uplift following the win whilst also having a halo effect on the rest of the Butchers Selection range. There’s no doubt that the Product of the Year stamp gives shoppers the confidence to try a product for the first time, therefore benefiting both the customer and retailer alike!”
Jim Viggars, Head of Meat Quality, ASDA
POY LATEST NEWS
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!
... 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…