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    Product of Year USA Awards Place Spotlight on Innovation

    The second annual Product of the Year 2010 Awards Ceremony, held in New York this week, honored 14 products voted by consumers as the best in their category.

    The second annual Product of the Year 2010 Awards Ceremony, held in New York this week, honored 14 products voted by consumers as the best in their category. Supermarket guru Phil Lempert, a regular contributor to Progressive Grocer, The Gourmet Retailer and Convenience Store News, again served as master of ceremonies for the event.

    “With consumers watching their wallets more closely and the increase in new products, today’s brands and retailers are constantly looking for ways to help shoppers deal with “aisle overload,” noted Colin Watts, chief innovation officer at Deerfield, Ill.-based drug store chain Walgreens and one of the evening’s guest speakers. “Successful companies are the ones who bring new product innovations that are based on what consumers need during these challenging economic times, and consumers are rewarding them with their purchases.”

    Herb Sorenson, scientific advisor for global retail & shopper practice for international research firm TNS, which surveyed over 60,000 American consumers to find out their product preferences, added: “Shoppers are faced with a blizzard of choices in the store, and anything that helps them cut through the clutter is good for the shopper . . . and good for the retailer and brand. Product of the Year is a three-way win: shopper, retailer and brand. It not only provides a distinguishing mark, but [also] backs that mark with a one-two punch: chosen by other shoppers and ‘new,’ a powerful motivator of trial in a jaded market.”

    “The past 20 months proved to CPG brands just how important innovation is, and the difference it can make in keeping their sales and customer base strong,” observed Lempert. “As the economy rebounds, look for more companies to follow this year’s winners to the path of success.”

    Present in 28 countries, Product of the Year is the world’s largest consumer-voted program recognizing innovation in consumer packaged goods. The following products were voted Product of the Year in their category:

    Hair Care: Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion Shampoo and Conditioner, Procter & Gamble
    Hair Color: Perfect 10TM by Nice ‘n Easy, Procter & Gamble
    Personal Care: Secret Clinical Strength Waterproof, Procter & Gamble
    Laundry Products: Tide Stain Release, Procter & Gamble
    Carpet Care: Resolve Deep Clean Powder, Reckitt Benckiser
    Household Products: Glade Sense & Spray, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
    Home Cleaning Products: Pledge Multi Surface, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
    Coffee Systems: Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Nestlé
    Beverages: Sprite Green, The Coca-Cola Co.
    Oral Care: Colgate Wisp, Colgate-Palmolive Co.
    Personal Hygiene: Afrin PureSea, Schering-Plough Consumer HealthCare
    Pet Food: Cesar Treats, Mars Petcare U.S.
    Children’s Products: Springfree Trampoline, Springfree Trampoline, Inc.
    Value Products: Moser Roth Chocolate, Aldi, Inc.

    According to a recent TNS survey, 41 percent of consumers are looking for new products that offer better value for the money. Recommendation is also highly important for new products, with consumer endorsements positively affecting purchase interest among nearly half the population. Additionally, the survey found that displaying the Product of the Year stamp on a package is 25 percent more effective at driving purchase interest from shoppers than putting the word “New!” on a package.

    “The Product of the Year seal is a true vote of confidence for today’s consumer,” said the program’s managing director, Colleen Kelly. “In our age of information and social networking, it’s the only distinction that truly delivers the consumer vote to everyday shoppers.”

    Starting this month, the red ‘Product of the Year’ stamp will appear on packaging, in advertising and on in-store displays. Among last year’s winners were products from Duracell, CoverGirl, Oust, Canada Dry and Degree.

    For more information, visit www.productoftheyearusa.com.

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