This month producers are celebrating the first-ever Canadian Product of the Year Awards. The winners were selected based on the results of an online survey of more than 12,000 Canadian consumers, conducted by research company TNS in November to December 2009.
The Product of the Year program originated in France over 23 years ago as consumer-driven recognition award. While it has existed worldwide for the past 20 years, it launched in Canada only last year. Entry is free, and open to products from all consumer categories that have launched in the past 18 months. Judging was based on product innovation in terms of design, function or packaging.
Food and beverage winners
This year’s winners include 11 products in the consumer packaged goods sector. Of these, seven are food and beverage products, including:
- Baileys with a hint of Coffee
- BlueWater Potato Crunch Fish Fillets
- Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale
- Dempster’s Healthy Way with ProCardio Recipe Bread
- Mott’s Fruitsations Apple Pomegranate + Antioxidant
- Mott’s Fruitsations Harvest Apple + Calcium
- V8 V-Fusion
According to Sandie Orlando, executive program director of the Product of the Year, winners often reflect prevalent consumer trends. “This aligns with the significant consumer interest we’re seeing for products that help maintain optimum health,” she says. The Product of the Year Consumer Survey of Product Innovation also showed that three of the top five most important considerations when purchasing new products are health related – nutrition, simple/natural ingredients and improving health.
Canadians like trying new products
Other survey findings include the fact that 86 per cent of Canadian consumers say they like to try new products; 93 per cent recommend new products to others if they like them; and about one third say recommendations from friends or family influence their purchase decision. In addition, 73 per cent of respondents say that nutritional information or list of ingredients has the most positive impact on purchase intent than all other on-package information.
Winners of the program are entitled to use Product of the Year branding on their advertising, point-of-sale and communications materials. They also receive a detailed consumer research report.