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Following are some patterns PG's editors detected among the nonfood submissions to Editors' Picks:
- Man’s best friend still has four legs, if the upscale pet products we received are any indication. In this category, we were particularly impressed by items from Loving Pets, which expertly balanced luxury and affordability, enabling consumers to indulge their pooches for less.
- High-end housewares are entering mainstream grocery stores in greater numbers, as shown by the larger number of such items we received. Particular standouts included the Kuhn Rikon Dual Graters, which not only performed as advertised, but also looked incredibly stylish while doing it.
- Skin is in — or, more precisely, keeping skin healthy and hydrated is in — since even antiperspirant/deodorant products feature moisturizers these days, and products featuring proprietary moisturizing technology abound. Differentiators we noted with approval were expanded fragrance offerings, including such heady combinations as Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange or Pistachio Crème With Magnolia, and inventive delivery systems like St. Ives' spray-on lotions.
- Better health on a budget is possible with products once way more likely to be found in specialty shops making their way onto neighborhood supermarket shelves. Healthy Mama Boost It Up!, which banishes tiredness and nausea in mothers-to-be, or Iovate’s Six Star Pro Nutrition 100% Whey Isolate Protein Gel are prime examples of this. Additionally, QuickMelts, with their superlative ease of use, proved a winning format for vitamins and supplements.
By Bridget Goldschmidt, EnsembleIQ