The results are in! Over 10,000 Australian shoppers have had their say and voted for their favourite products in the annual Product of the Year Awards. The world's largest consumer-voted awards program recognises product innovation and serves as a shortcut for shoppers helping them to save time and money. See full list, here.
This year, 13 out of 35 winning categories sit within the 'health' segment; whether that's in the form of healthy snacks, food, oral care, digestive and gut health, or supplements, it's clear that this is a real focus for shoppers. This growing fixation with health is affecting every aspect of consumer's lives and it's not surprising to see that it's noticeably impacting their shopping habits. This sentiment is backed up by research that states that, "82% of Australians have changed their eating habits in the past five years, with 86% trying to be more health-conscious regarding their diet." Furthermore, "over one in two Australians claim to be eating healthier than they were five years ago."
These findings are echoed by the consumer research conducted by Nielsen for this year's Awards which found that, "The quest for finding healthy alternatives is the key driver for consumers when looking for new products in the supermarket.
Product of the Year Director, Sarah Connelly says, "We're thrilled to see that healthier alternatives are increasingly available in stores as consumers are yearning for this. We're also happy to see an increase in 'self-care' products as the importance placed on mental health and wellbeing in society continues to escalate. Not only will these products improve consumer's quality of life, they are also becoming more affordable and accessible."
Sarah continues, "We've also seen a resurgence of emerging brands winning in their respective categories as leaders in their space, and we couldn't be happier to welcome them into the program. It's pleasing to see that consumers are backing these independent brands, with our research finding that 'more than half of the consumers surveyed would purchase new products, even if they were unaware of the brand name.'"
Brands have made a strong showing this year, taking out a staggering 30 of the 35 awards on offer. There are several newcomers as well including Castello, Darrell Lea, Gravox, Sunsol, Dilmah, The Juice Brothers and Australia's Own. Coles also scooped up 5 awards; within the Cheese, Bakery, Cakes, Household Cleaning and Meal Solution categories.
Shoppers can be confident when buying these products as they undergo a rigorous testing process. A panel of judges, comprising of industry experts, first tested the products for quality, credibility, and innovation. The resulting scores were collated into a shortlist of product finalists which were then reviewed and voted for by 10,000 Australians.
Key Research Findings From Nielsen:
• 41% of consumers claimed they would definitely or probably buy a new product if it won POY.
• The most important supermarket category is fresh fruits & vegetables, followed by bakery & pantry staples. Pet items and baby care were marked as least important categories when it comes to choosing a supermarket.
• Price is still the key decision factor whilst making decisions about purchasing new products, followed by recommendations from family and friends.
• The majority of consumers consider price more important than its background story. However, 18-34 year old's are more likely to rate the background story as more important than other age groups.
• Consumers are more open to buying home brand products in everyday perishable and household product categories. However, less likely for baby care and pet items.
• Half of the respondents have done grocery shopping online, with 1 in 10 always / almost always shopping online.