FAQs

What is Product of the Year?

Product of the Year (POY) is the only consumer product award that rewards innovation and is voted on by consumers. POY was created to champion innovative products in the FMCG sector and give shoppers a shortcut to the very best new products on the market. It’s not only a prestigious award but a proven ROI tool. Over the past 29 years, our winners have enjoyed an average sales increase of 10-15%.

How is Product of the Year different from other awards?


There are eight things that make POY completely unique:

Focus on Innovation. POY exists to help guide shoppers to the best new innovative products as determined by consumers just like them. For winning products, this is not only an acknowledgment of innovation in the eyes of the industry, but a proven ROI tool.

100% Consumer-Voted. There are no experts or lab coats involved. Products are voted on entirely by a nationally representative sample of UK consumers.

100% Independent. The competing products have no other interest in being included other than to put their product to the test of consumers. There are no advertising discounts or packaged deals that often come with magazine awards.

100% Transparent. Brands can participate only if they enter and once a brand wins, the award is theirs to use. We don’t “nominate” brands or ask for a percentage of their sales if they win.

Nationally Representative. The 12,000 consumers who vote are independently recruited by TNS to represent the national grocery shopping population. These people are not affiliated with magazine subscriptions and are 100% bias-free.

29 Years of History. Founded 29 years ago (in 1987) in France, Product of the Year has long been the standard of consumer confidence around the world.

Over 40 Countries. POY is a powerful concept that works in every market. Over the past 29 years, we’ve grown to over 40 countries and are still growing. Since 2008 we have made our debut in the U.S., India, South Africa, Canada and Australia.

Nation’s Largest Study. With 12,000 shoppers voting on products, POY conducts the UK’s largest consumer survey on innovation. Our research partner TNS conducts this study with a representative sample of the population – therefore reflecting the opinions of the nation rather than a group of subscribers to one magazine or volunteers.


What products qualify?

We are currently accepting entries for products that were launched since January 2015. Products must demonstrate an innovation in one of the following (but not limited to): function, design, packaging.

If you have a great product, it doesn’t matter if it’s been out almost the full year or is just about to launch.

If you’re not sure, give us a call and we can help figure out if you should be entering.


How do you define innovation?


We accept entries from products that demonstrate innovation in their function, design or packaging. This could be a completely new type of product or a useful innovation to an older product or brand, such as a new ingredient, redesigned shape or size, new formula (eg. less sugar) or new packaging (eg. user-friendly or “green”). Remember, it does not have to be revolutionary as long as it makes consumers’ lives better/easier. Please contact us directly if you have questions about your product.

How are the winners determined?

We partner with the leading global research company TNS, to survey a nationally representative sample of 12,000 UK shoppers. The survey is designed to assess consumer opinions on innovation, use, satisfaction and purchase intent of the competing products, with innovation being the strongest factor.

Can I enter more than one product?

Yes. There is no limit on how many products from one brand can be entered, as long as they meet the criteria above.

When can I enter?

Product of the Year will open for 2017 entries in April, 2016.

What are the categories?

The general broad categories of product entries we accept include Food and Beverage, Health and Beauty, Personal Care, Household Products, Pet Supplies, Pharmaceuticals, Small Appliances and Electronics, etc. The exact category names are determined by TNS after all entries are received. Because this is an award for innovation, the categories are often driven by innovation trends of the preceding year. (For example, products like clinical-strength deodorants and bronzing lotions did not exist several years ago but now represent some of the best innovations).

We work with TNS Research to make sure only comparable products compete with each other and there are never less than 2 or more than 6 products in a category.


How much does it cost?

Entry to Product of the Year is free. If your product makes it through the Jury Selection , there is a finalist fee of £3,750. This fee pays for itself in the form of a research report prepared by TNS based on the results in each category. Win or lose, you receive this report in exchange for participation. If your product is voted Product of the Year, there is a one-time winner fee of £16,000 that allows promoting the win and using our logo in any type of media for a full year. It also covers inclusion in our own PR campaign to support all winners. NB Once you enter you are committed to the whole process and fees.

What are the benefits of winning?

Winners have found numerous ways to benefit from POY over the past 28 years, but here are a few of the key benefits we’ve observed:

At the very least all winners are guaranteed the following:

  • Use of the award seal on any communications for one full year and inclusion into POY press release
  • All finalists receive TNS research report regardless of outcome – a study worth £12,000 alone

On top of that, being able to use the seal allows you to:

  • Use it in consumer-facing marketing campaigns to drive trial
  • Use it in PR outreach as “new” news to secure media coverage
  • Use it with salesforce and retail partners to increase visibility and distribution
  • Use it in industry relations to support your company’s reputation for innovation
  • Use it internally to boost morale and set example

And this is why we know it works:

  • 29 year track history across the globe
  • 10-15% average sales increase reported by winner
  • 135% over-year sales increase reported by 2005 Hair care winner Pantene
  • 120% year-over-year sales increase reported by 2006 Hair Care winner Herbal Essences
  • 15% sales increase reported by 2005 Facial care winner Neutrogena
  • 106.4% sales increase reported by 2007 Spain Dishwashing winner Calgon


Who are the Jury members and what is their role?

The role of the Jury is to evaluate all product entries and make sure only the truly innovative products go on to the consumer research phase. Jurors do not vote on the products in the final public research, but help ensure that they meet the innovation and new to market criteria. Globally, our Juries are comprised of distinguished industry experts representing retailers, media, innovation and packaging associations.

When was Product of the Year founded?

Product of the Year was founded in 1987 in France by former L’OREAL executive, Christian LeBret.

Does Product of the Year exist in other countries?

Product of the Year currently exists in over 40 countries, making its most recent debut in USA, Canada, India, South Africa and Australia.
Winning a Product of the Year award in the UK, means that you are only able to use/leverage the win in the UK and ROI.  Other countries run their own awards and for example an American or French consumer may not vote the UK winner Product of the Year in America.

Who can I contact for additional information?

You may contact us with any questions at +44 (0) 207 580 8197.

With questions about sponsorships, joint ventures or media inquiries, you can contact Helga at helga@productoftheyear.co.uk.

With general inquiries and information on how to enter, contact Toni at antonia@productoftheyear.co.uk.

Who are the people behind Product of the Year?

Mike Nolan – CEO
Having graduated Bristol and then Oxford University’s Mike then worked in advertising for the next 8 years. First at DMB&B, then Maverick and finally Banks Hoggins O’Shea FCB. (now Draft FCB) In that time he looked after a number of different clients in varying sectors: from Pan European accounts such as Castrol and Coors Brewing to domestic business for Weetabix and The National Trust. He was also responsible for new business development in the UK for FCB.

He founded Product of the Year UK ltd in 2004 with David Felwick and John Banks and is CEO with responsibility for all day to day running of the company.

He is also CEO of Product of the Year Management which owns and runs operations in: USA, Canada, India, South Africa, Australia and Japan.

Mike was a professional rugby player in the mid 90’s playing for London Irish under Clive Woodwood. His kids don’t believe him.

Christian Le Bret – Founder of Product of the Year
Christian Le Bret is a French entrepreneur and founder of Product of the Year. With over 30 years experience in marketing, LeBret masterminded the launch of Product of the Year in 1987 with the aim to champion and reward product innovation in FMCG categories. The driving force behind the expansion of Product of the Year throughout Europe A winning formula, Product of the Year has existed in France for 28 years.

LeBret’s previous marketing experiences include holding an executive marketing position at L’Oreal which led to his spending 5 years on the executive committee at SVP, France’s largest B to B service company. In 1987 LeBret resigned from the committee to head up Marketing Europe Management, MEM. It was LeBret’s belief that consumers should be give an opportunity to voice opinions about products they purchase daily in supermarkets, a belief which lead to the development and subsequent launch of Product of the Year.

David Felwick – Chairman
With over 25 years experience in retail retiring Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership David Felwick is making his mark in product innovation. Stationed at the sharp end of new product development with an expert eye for consumer goods the successful retailer is chairing UK Product of the Year. Felwick plans to make a difference in, arguably, one of the toughest sectors where millions of pounds are spent and lost each year on new product launches. A former wing commander in the Royal Air Force Felwick’s career moved into retail in 1985 when, after gaining selling experience in the John Lewis Department Store, he became Managing Director of John Lewis Welwyn. He transferred to Waitrose in 1987 as Director of Selling and in January 1991 was appointed Managing Director of Waitrose and Director of Trading (Food) for the John Lewis Partnership, a position he held for eleven years. In March 2002 he became Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and, at the same time, took on the role of Chairman of the British Retail Consortium. David Felwick is a Fellow of the Institute of Grocery Distribution and is a past President of the National Grocers’ Benevolent Fund. In January 2004 he was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for services to the Retail Industry. David plays an important role in bringing the full extent of his retail experience to Product of the Year UK, and ensuring that it stands for championing innovation across the board.

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