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Product of the Year awards highlight Canadian innovation

Award-winning products focus on quality, convenience and health


Toronto, Ont. – Based on the results of this year’s Product of the Year competition, Canadians are looking for healthier, higher-quality and more convenient food and beverage options.

Canada’s Product of the Year awards surveyed more than 5,900 Canadians from across the country for their opinions on consumer products launched in the past 18 months. Products, both retail and those available online, were evaluated on innovative design, function or packaging in 17 categories.

This year’s food and beverage winners were: Asana Yogurt, Black Diamond Funcheez Marbelicious, Campbell’s Créations Soups, Fontaine Santé Humm! Hummus Cocktail, Molson Canadian 67, Maple Leaf Natural Selections Deli Meats, Riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps, High Liner Signature Southern Style Cod, and the Singleton of Glendullan Scotch.

Competitive advantage

Winners are entitled to use Product of the Year branding and logo on packaging, advertising and point-of-sale materials.

“Recognizing a seal of approval that has the endorsement of thousands of other Canadians is a shortcut that helps shoppers move on to more important decisions,” notes Sandie Orlando, executive program director for Product of the Year. “Consumers told us they want products that make it easier to live better without compromising on quality.”

Consumer behaviour

The survey also asked consumers for information on their buying habits. Findings include the fact that Canadians like to sample new products, with 60 per cent saying they’ve tried a new product in the last six months based on a recommendation from a friend or family member. Eighty-nine per cent also say they regularly recommend new products they’ve tried. Other trend results include:

•    Only 58 per cent of consumers say they shop based on best prices;
•    79 per cent say they would pay more for a new product if they were satisfied with it;
•    71 per cent say they will try new products if they are part of a sale or promotion;
•    Almost 75 per cent believe social media is an effective tool for companies to receive feedback on products;
•    60 per cent say points or loyalty programs have some influence on where they shop and the brands they choose;
•    64 per cent believe brand names influence their purchasing decisions;
•    60 per cent are loyal to brand names; and,
•    Just 57 per cent believe most innovative new products usually come from brand names.

Age and gender were also found to influence purchasing behaviour, with the majority of women finding brand names more credible and innovative than men. The 36- to 45-year-old age group also considered consumer products to be more credible and innovative than did other age groups.

The Product of the Year awards were established more than 22 years ago in France, and are now presented in 25 countries. The Canadian awards were launched in 2009. Participating Canadian consumers were surveyed online in December 2010 and January 2011 by Rogers Connect Market Research group.