Editor's Note: At least four of the 22 products that garnered the prestigious Product of the Year USA award cite packaging as integral to the product's innovation, according to Colleen Kelly, managing director, Product of the Year USA. ConAgra won for its Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowl microwave popcorn and Healthy Choice Top Chef inspired Café Steamers microwave steaming packaging; Valspar was recognized for its new easy dispensing technology for spray paint; and Clairol Nice n' Easy Color Blend Foam from Procter & Gamble was cited for its drip-free foam pump.
Product of the Year USA, the largest consumer product award that rewards innovation and is voted on by consumers, brought together executives from iconic consumer brands such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, PepsiCo, ConAgra Foods and Johnson & Johnson among many others on Feb. 28, 2012, at the 4th annual Product of the Year USA awards ceremony at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Chicago's top improv comedians Kate James and Greg Mills hosted the highly anticipated annual awards night and honored winners from Aquafresh, Snickers, Coffee-mate, Huggies and many more while delivering hilarious anecdotes and colorful commentary throughout the evening.
"Now more than ever, brands are focusing on implementing innovative solutions and creative strategies to stand out on shelves in a crowded consumer marketplace," says Colleen Kelly, managing director, Product of the Year USA. "Shoppers are more likely to buy a product that is recommended to them by their peers. Now in our fourth year in the United States and our 25th year worldwide, Product of the Year recognizes and honors groundbreaking products with an awards seal that is backed by real shoppers throughout the U.S."
According to the 2012 Product of the Year U.S. Shoppers Survey conducted by TNS, the world's largest custom research agency, young consumers (under 35) are 33 percent more likely to try a product if it has won some kind of award. Additionally, younger consumers have more of a desire for new products.
"Innovation is the lifeblood for CPG companies," says Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru. "As shoppers spend more time comparing product features and prices, the path to success and their shopping cart is a combination of differentiation and delivering on consumer value. Product of the Year offers assurance that any merchandise that carries the POY seal is one of true innovation."
Hosted in 28 countries, Product of the Year is the world's largest consumer-voted program that recognizes innovation in consumer packaged goods. The following products were voted Product of the Year in their respective categories:
• Pet Treats: Milk-Bone Mini's Dog Treats, Del Monte Foods
• Pet Health: Better Than Bones Plus Dental, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition
• Laundry: Wisk Deep Clean, The Sun Products Corp.
• Personal Hygiene: Softsoap brand Coconut Scrub Bar Soap, Colgate-Palmolive Co.
• Oral Care: Listerine Total Care Zero, Johnson & Johnson Inc.
• Professional Oral Care: Philips Zoom NiteWhite & DayWhite, Philips Oral Healthcare
• Whitening: Colgate Optic White, Colgate-Palmolive Co.
• Beauty Care: Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam, Procter & Gamble
• Baby Care: Huggies Little Movers Slip-on Diapers, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
• Beverage: Sierra Mist Natural, PepsiCo Inc.
• Candy: Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, Mars Chocolate North America
• Snacks: Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowl, ConAgra Foods Inc.
• Frozen Food: Healthy Choice Top Chef inspired Café Steamers, ConAgra Foods Inc.
• Specialty Foods: New York Brand Garlic Knots, T. Marzetti Co.
• Air Care: Air Wick Flip & Fresh, Reckitt Benckiser Group
• Toddler Mealtime: mOmma by Lansinoh Straw Cup with Dual Handles, Lansinoh Laboratories Inc.
• Toddler Oral Care: Aquafresh Training Toothpaste, GlaxoSmithKline
• Paint: Valspar Spray Paint, The Valspar Corp.
• Household Cleaning: Zero Odor, Zero Odor LLC
• Insect Repellent: OFF! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent, S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.
• Skin Treatment: RetinoSyn-45, Beauty Bioscience
• Creamer: Coffee-mate Natural Bliss, Nestle USA Inc.
Starting in March of 2012, consumers nationwide will be able to shop through the overcrowded supermarket shelves and recognize the winners of innovation by looking for the honorary red "Product of the Year" seal, which will be on packaging, advertising and in-store displays. Last year's winners included products from Sara Lee, Mars Chocolate North America, Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Nestle USA among many others who promoted their wins by wearing the red seal.
Source: Product of the Year USA