Australian shoppers have had their voices counted, and the most innovative new products of 2018 have been revealed in the 9th annual Product Of The Year (POY) awards.
The awards were established 30 years ago in France, and now operate in over 30 countries. Their purpose is to guide consumers to the best products in the market, and also reward manufacturers for quality and innovation.
Innovation means only that the product demonstrates a feature that makes consumers’ lives better or easier. We accept entries from products that demonstrate innovation in their function, design or packaging. This could be a completely new type of product, a new ingredient, or a changed package design.
Product of the Year accepts entries from products that were launched within the previous year. They are placed into specific categories such as food, beverages, personal care, household care, etc. One product is chosen as a winner in its category through a national online study conducted by Nielsen research, with over 13,000 Australians taking part.
Brands belonging to retail giants ALDI and Coles have battled for top spot, winning in 25 of the 47 categories. ALDI came out just ahead of Coles, with 13 wins to 12.
Metcash (IGA Supermarkets) and Chemist Warehouse, newcomers to the awards, are off to an impressive start, with Metcash winning five awards and Chemist Warehouse winning two.
According to Nielsen research, shoppers thought Coles provided the best shopping environment and experience, and also voted Coles for being the first to have new products on its shelves, and having the best home brand.
ALDI scored highly for good deals and promotions for its customers.
Woolworths, however, scored better on offering fresh and healthy products.
Brands made a strong showing, taking out 15 of the awards. Most people believe home brands are sometimes better than name brands, but would be happy to purchase name brands if they were the same price (or cheaper) than the home brands.
Nearly half of shoppers think it is harder to find their favourite brands on shelf compared with a year ago.
Winning products receive the right to use the POY seal in marketing communications for one year. Product of the Year winners typically see their sales increase by an average of 10%-15%.
You can see a list of the winning products at www.productoftheyear.com.au/site/years/2018.