BrandSpark International is sharing the winers of its 2021 Best New Products Awards, as well as new insights on the state of shoppers — both gleaned from a national survey of 14,500 consumers.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the 13th year of the Best New Product Awards," said Robert Levy, president of BrandSpark International and founder of the Best New Product Awards. "With so many new products launched each year, it is hard for consumers to know what to buy and challenging for brands to break through the clutter. This is where the Best New Product Awards comes in.”
While the health, beauty and personal care categories and the household product categories were all dominated by big-name brands, food and beverage winners were largely private label or retailer exclusives. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Aldi was far and away the big winner among food and beverage exclusives, taking the top spot in 18 categories. In fact, Aldi was side-by-side with L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble as the companies with the most wins this year.
Other private brand winners included Giant Food’s Artie 2018 South African chardonnay, which won the store brand chardonnay category, and Lidl’s Preferred Selection British Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese, which won the specialty aged cheese category.
Private and exclusive brands are increasingly on the minds of consumers who are seeking differentiation among retailers. Last year, 52% of consumers said the best new product innovation was coming from brand-name companies. This year, that number was down to 46%.
Even amid the pandemic, shoppers still look for novelty. Seven in 10 said that they like trying new products, and 50% said that they actively through stores for new and different products. They also are less price sensitive. A slim majority (51%) of shoppers said that finding a one-stop shop is more appealing than the lowest prices, a 12-percentage-point increase from last year.
Other pandemic-related shifts include a bigger focus on taste as a deciding factor in a purchase, with 78% saying taste is the most important factor when buying food — an increase of five percentage points over last year. But they also are looking out for their health, with 70% saying they are making changes to live healthier. Of these, 78% said they believe a lot they can do a lot with food and nutrition to prevent illness. That’s not to say indulgence isn’t a factor. Seventy-three percent said that indulgent foods are still worth it, despite not being the healthiest option — an increase of 5 percentage points from last year’s survey.
The Best New Product Awards are being featured in Newsweek’s print and digital publications, as well as being showcased in targeted communications and other efforts. For the full list of winners, click here.