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Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru®, will once again serve as spokesman for Product of the Year USA, the only consumer product award voted on by consumers to recognize product innovation. In his capacity of spokesman, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, will host the Product of the Year Awards Gala scheduled for February 2010. He’s best known as the consumer products trends editor and correspondent for NBC News’ “Today” show, and his regular appearances on ABC’s “The View,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “20/20”; CNN; CNBC; Discovery Health; and MSNBC. Additionally, Colin Watts, chief innovation officer at Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Corp, will be jury chair for the second-annual Product of the Year USA Awards.
“Over the past 18 months, we have seen a new shopper in stores -- Smarter, savvier and more equipped to buy what is right for them,” noted Lempert. “They compare product attributes and prices online before they walk through a retailer’s door, because these shoppers are relying more on word-of-mouth recommendations. While many Web sites offer a handful of comments about a particular product, consumers are demanding more. That’s why the power of the Product of the Year Award is more important to brands than ever before. Having more than 100,000 consumers vote on which products are the most innovative makes the decision of which product to buy easier.”
Lempert will promote the winning products and the award program in trade and consumer media. The 2009 winners received over $1 million in free media exposure, with the 2010 program to guarantee at least the same level of coverage. Lempert exclusively revealed the 2009 winners on a special episode of “The View,” at which the audience received a Product of the Year giveaway bag containing all winning products. Additionally, he appeared on over 40 TV shows nationwide to promote the Product of the Year seal and winners. Winners can feature the Product of the Year seal on packaging and in their marketing initiatives.
“Although this tough economy causes consumers to be frugal with their spending, the demand and quality of innovation has increased,” said Colleen Kelly, managing director of Product of the Year USA. “Product of the Year is a powerful ROI tool, proven to drive sales, distribution and foot traffic, helping not only consumers, but [also] manufacturers and retailers. With severe budget cuts and scaled back product launches currently going on in the industry, this is a sure way for companies to help their innovations stand out.”
Product of the Year is now accepting product submissions until the end of September. All finalists will be able to attend the Product of the Year USA Jury Day on Oct. 28 at the Gansevoort Hotel in New York. Watts and the jury panel will preview the latest innovative consumer packaged goods before they go on to compete for the 2010 Product of the Year designation from 100,000 American shoppers. Winners will be unveiled at the Product of the Year awards ceremony in February 2010. For more information visit http://www.productoftheyearusa.com/.