Product of the Year is back and on a mission to discover and celebrate the UK’s most innovative new products for 2021 with food brands expected to play a central role.
Last year, food and drink brands dominated the awards with Premier Foods, Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s all picking up multiple awards. Consumers displayed an appetite for health and fitness products such as Optimum’s Protein Bar and Honest Organic Lemonade both winning awards. Health and fitness is one of the key trends that emerge every year and is likely to be in high demand among consumers in 2021. Vegan and vegetarianism is a steadily growing market, Richmond Meat-Free Sausages won this category. Alongside, healthy products, consumers also displayed an interest in convenience with speedy meal options like Lloyd Grossman’s Pasta Pots range, Sharwood’s Wrap Kits and O’jos Spritz in a can taking the top spots in their categories. But not all consumers were preoccupied with health, indulgent treats such as M&M’s Milk Chocolate Bars went down very well too.
Product of the Year 2021 comes at an interesting time. Over the past few months, the consumer landscape has changed dramatically. Home baking; ambitious fitness goals; healthier eating and a willingness to try new things has characterised life in lockdown for many. And amidst grappling with a ‘new normal’ and negotiating the prevailing uncertainty – it is the true innovators that have shone brightest. Consumer products that continue to provide us with comfort, reassurance and positivity – the products we rely on. And with organisations including Procter and Gamble and Unilever recognising the need to innovate and investing in NPD – the future is looking more optimistic.
Product of the Year is now on the hunt for the next wave of shining stars – the products that served us well in the hard times and will remain in our shopping baskets well into 2021 and beyond.
Now in its 17th year, Product of the Year continues to partner with Kantar, the world’s largest research company, to conduct an independent and robust survey of more than 10,000 UK consumers (200,000 globally) to vote for their favourite new product innovations with the winners earning the right to display the iconic red Product of the Year logo. Voted for by the consumer for the consumer Product of the Year is the world’s biggest survey of product innovation and an emphatic indicator of product excellence.
Last year, 45 products walked away with the title and of those products, over half were food and drink brands. And unlike many awards, Product of the Year celebrates the quiet heroes of the everyday. Nescafe Coffee bags; the innovative Lurpak Butterbox; Diet Coke with a strawberry twist; Heinz Creationz pouches, are just a handful of recent winners.
Judged for their level of innovation across a number of criteria including: function, recipe, design and packaging, the winning products benefit hugely. 86% of shoppers have revealed that they are more likely to buy a product that carries the covered Product of the Year logo with brands recording an average sales increase of 10-15% with some uplifts as high as 135%.
Other benefits include the Blogger Panel, as well as extensive influencer activation and PR – ensuring stand out social media and national coverage for the winning brands.
Commenting on the 2021 awards, Mike Nolan, CEO, Product of the Year says: “Now, more than ever, we need to come together to celebrate and support food and drink product innovation. And rather than sit back and ride the wave many brands are getting on the front foot and investing in NPD to meet the changing needs of today’s consumer. We have seen examples of brands demonstrate extraordinary agility amidst the crisis – pivoting effectively and responding to a changing landscape that few could have predicted. Tough as this year has been – what we know historically, is that the brands that mobilise to counter a crisis with confidence and forward momentum are the ones that will prosper and flourish. We are looking forward to celebrating and supporting these brilliant new products.”
Product of the Year 2021 is now open for entries – closing date 30th September 2020 – and brands can enter the award here via this link: https://www.productoftheyear.co.uk/enter/