New Product Awards 2016: the winners

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new product awards 2016

Every year the bar is raised. And every year fmcg delivers. In 2016 over 200 entries across 32 categories battled it out to be crowned a winner this week at London’s Marriott Grosvenor Square. So which new products emerged victorious?

Adult drinks

Shloer Celebration Pink Fizz

shloer celebration fizz

Our expert judging panel said this product was a “playful” take on a Prosecco-style drink (rsp: £2.99/750ml). One in four of the consumers were definite buyers after tasting, with some commenting that it was “ideal for family occasions” and “a nice bottle for a party”.

Finalists

Ice & Easy Frozen Alcoholic Drinks Margarita

Lipton Raspberry Ice Tea

Muddle & Mash Passionfruit & Vanilla Pornstar Martini

Fentimans Sparkling Lime and Jasmine

Tango Orange Sugar Free

Zeo Soft Drinks Cloudy Lemon

Ambient Desserts

Joe & Seph’s Salted Caramel Sauce

joe and sephs caramel sauce

“Heavenly” said our consumer testers when tasting this product. Every bit as indulgent as the packaging suggested, they loved the “creamy” mouthfeel of the caramel, which had a touch of sea salt in it. The judges commented on the quality of the rich product, which features 49% double cream (rsp: £4.99/230ml). Over three in four of consumers rated this product “better than” other brands, with 88% considering it new and different.

Highly Commended

Cadbury Hot Cakes Chocolate

Finalists

Hartley’s Fruit in Jelly Pots Peach in Strawberry Jelly

Ambient Ready Meals

Urban Noodle Satay

urban noodle pot

Consumers were impressed with the “authentic” taste these noodles delivered (rsp: £1.99/330g). With the strong taste of peanuts and mild spicy hit in this ready meal, consumers thought it tasted like “scrummy” street food. The “soft” and easy to eat noodles were a popular feature, while the judges thought it would appeal to those seeking quick lunches. The “bright” carton also made the product stand out, with over 40% considering at least a monthly purchase.

Finalists

School of Wok Black Bean Noodle Kit

Santa Maria Pulled Chicken Dinner Kit

School of Wok Pad Thai Noodle Kit

Breakfast Occasions

BelVita Soft Bakes Red Berries

belvita soft bakes

These soft bakes were said to have “excellent softness” and “good flavour” by our judges. Consumers also praised the texture of the biscuit, which had “lots of filling” and lived up to its ‘soft bake’ name (rsp: £2.79/250g). Half of those who tested the product were keen to recommend it, while one in four said they would definitely buy the biscuit, which was “eyecatching”, “not too sweet” and “better than most breakfast cereal bars”.

Highly Commended

Warburtons Giant Crumpets

Finalists

Cheerios Cinnamon Oat Crisp

Oomf Golden Syrup 75g Porridge Pot

Cakes & Biscuits

Thorntons Double Chocolate Wafer Rolls

thorntons chocolate wafer rolls

Seven in 10 consumers were keen to try these wafer rolls “a lot” prior to tasting thanks to the packaging and tempting description. The price of £1.50 per 110g encouraged consumers to consider it as a regular purchase. The expert judges thought there was a “great mix of textures” while agreeing on the value for money for this “high quality” product.

Highly Commended

Graze Lemon Drizzle Flapjack

Finalists

Cadbury Amaze Bites Chocolate

McVitie’s Digestives Nibbles Milk Chocolate

Coffee

Dualit NX Intense Espresso Coffee Capsules

dualit intense espresso

The intensity of flavour prompted some polarisation among the consumer panel, with some considering it “bitter”. However 48% said the product was “ideal when entertaining”. The expert judges were less divided on taste and thought the product was “surprisingly good” and “better than espresso” (rsp: £2.90/100g). A good selling point for consumers was the capsules’ compatibility with Nespresso coffee machines.

Highly Commended

Lavazza Prontissimo Intenso

Finalists

Dualit NX Single Origin Indian Monsoon Coffee Capsules

Coconut Based

Ape Crispy Coconut Curls Lightly Salted

ape coconut chips

This product “brings new excitement to the maturing coconut trend” according to our experts. The coconut curls (rsp: 99p/20g) were popular with the consumer panel, who liked the low calorie content and the “moreish” saltiness. The product was particularly popular with 18 to 34-year-olds.

Highly Commended

The Groovy Food Company Organic Coconut Flour

Finalists

Blue Elephant Coconut Cream

The Groovy Food Company Organic Cooking Spray with Virgin Coconut Oil

Vita Coco Chocolate

Chocolate

Kinder Joy

kinder joy

This new line comes in a plastic shell (so the chocolate doesn’t melt), and is a real step up from the Kinder egg: rather than a basic shell egg, it splits in two: on one side is creamy white chocolate with crispy balls; on the other side is a novelty toy. The expert judges said it was “very innovative” and a “great way to entertain kids” (rsp: 99p/20g). Some also preferred the taste combo. Eight consumers out of 10 considered it a “lovely idea for a party”.

Highly Commended

Cadbury Dairy Milk Medley with Fudge & Biscuit

Finalists

Kinder Sharing Bag Choco-Bons

Chilled Desserts

The Collective Scottish Raspberry Gourmet Yoghurt + Seeds, Nibs ‘n’ Coconut

the collective yoghurt

This yoghurt’s packaging set it apart from other brands, and looked “upmarket” according to consumers. The expert judges thought the flavours presented a “good marriage of health meets indulgence” (rsp: £1.29/147ml).

Highly Commended

Naughty but Rice Salted Caramel

Finalists

Arla Protein - Blueberry

Tims Dairy Bio-Live Greek Style Yogurt with Raspberry

Pots & Co Little Pot of 70% Chocolate

Müllerlight Goodies Lemon

Canned Fish Products

Princes Mackerel Fillets in a Tomato and Roasted Onion Sauce

princes mackerel

“Would be decent on hot buttered toast” said our judges about this product. They also thought the more classic flavours offered here “can be superior to more faddish flavours”. The consumer testers also enjoyed the product, with over one third saying they would buy the mackerel at least fortnightly, with just under 50% considering it to be a good standby or midweek meal solution (rsp: £1.69/190g).

Finalists

Princes Mackerel Fillets in a Hot and Sour Sauce

Princes Mackerel Fillets in a Texas BBQ Sauce

Condiments

Santa Maria Extra Fine Selection BBQ & Grill Mesquite Grinder

santa maria pepper

Both our consumer and expert judges thought this spice mix would enhance a range of foods, with 74% of consumers saying they would purchase the product occasionally. Scores were above the category average, with some commenting that it was “very tasty” (rsp: £3.99/85g).

Highly Commended

The English Provender Co Pickled Onion Pickle

Finalists

Eaton’s Jamaican Jerk Sauce

Meat Lust BBQ Mop Sauce

Red’s True Barbecue Sauce Range

Red’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce

Cooking Sauces and Marinades

Oxo Stock Pots: Succulent Chicken with Garlic & Thyme

oxo stock pot

The combination of a great flavour and innovative design meant this stock pot was considered “essential” for the store cupboard by the judges, who said it had a “real taste of meat juices”. Consumers called the pack “cute”, while some said they preferred it to plain chicken Oxo and Knorr stock products (rsp: £1.45/4x80g).

Highly Commended

Homepride All American Sticky Hickory Smoked Maple Cooking Sauce

Finalists

Blue Elephant Thai Red Curry Cooking Set

Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Spicy Garlic Aubergine

Dairy Based

The Laughing Cow Mini Cravings

laughing cow mini cravings

“Little hands would love them” said consumers about this cheese offer from The Laughing Cow. The 24-cube pack contains three different flavours: Ham & Herb, Garlic & Herb and Three Cheese, which consumers thought were great as a lunchbox option. The familiarity of the brand was a key selling point, alongside the “excellent” packaging and “moreish” flavours. Our expert judges said the little cheeses had “good delivery on all levels” and were “inspired” (rsp: £2/125g).

Highly Commended

Arla Best of Both Milk

Finalists

Up & Go Banana & Honey

Free From Biscuits

Prewett’s Gorgeously Gluten Free Spiced Ginger & Chocolate Cookie

prewetts gluten free biscuits

This cookie was expected to become a regular weekend treat for the coeliac consumer panel. The texture was almost as popular as the taste, with over half of consumers “definite” buyers and over 50% saying they would recommend the product, which had identifiable ginger that was “not too strong”. The expert judges called this offering “scrummy” with a “strong slap of chocolate” (rsp: £2.25/150g).

Highly Commended

Prewett’s Chocoful

Finalists

Mrs Crimble’s Choc Macaroon with Stem Ginger

Free From Other

Nutribix Gluten Free

nutribix gluten free

For those following a gluten-free diet, this cereal, which is made with sorghum, was considered a good alternative to Weetabix. Two thirds of consumers rated the product as “good” or “excellent”, with 86% believing it offered something new and different to the market and over half saying the “bright” and “bold” packaging would stand out on shelf. The expert judges also thought this cereal should be commended for its low sugar content, which also scored well with consumers (rsp: £3.79/375g).

Finalists

Matthew Walker Gluten Free Chocolate Sponge Pudding

Nestlé Gluten Free Go Free Coco Rice

Free From Savoury

Doves Farm Foods Buckwheat Penne Pasta

doves buckwheat pasta

Though buckwheat pasta was a new experience for many consumers, most said it had “good texture” and that it “tastes like real pasta” (rsp: £2.99/500g). Judges agreed, calling this product a “breakthrough in gluten-free pasta”.

Highly Commended

Goodfella’s Gluten Free Pepperoni, Ham & Mushroom Pizza

Finalists

Mrs Crimble’s Cheese Straws

Flora Freedom

Genius Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

Bfree Foods Quinoa and Chia Seed Wrap with Teff and Flax Seeds

Meal Accompaniments

Albert Bartlett Rooster Homestyle Chips

albert bartlett rooster potatoes

“Great texture” said our expert judging panel of these chips. Seven out of 10 consumers said the chips were better than what’s out there and over 90% said they were “good value for money” (rsp: £1.75/900g). Despite not being a new concept, 57% judged this product to be new and different.

Highly Commended

Mash Direct Carrot and Parsnip Fries

Finalists

Aviko Rib Cut Sweet Potato Fries

Heinz 50% Less Sugar Beanz

Jazzy Potatoes

My Skinny Easy Cook Basmati Rice

Infants

For Aisha Babyfood - Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry

for aisha curry

Consumers said this halal product for babies seven months and up would be “great for introducing spicy foods” (rsp: £1.45/130g). Over 80% thought the product offered something new and different to the market, while the judges were particularly impressed with the “beautifully packed” design.

Highly Commended

Kiddyum Fish & Veg Pie

Finalists

Babease Organic Stage 1 Sweet Potato & Pear with Coconut Water, Brown Rice & Quinoa

Kiddylicious Crunchy Pea & Sweetcorn

Household Products

Bloo Foam Aroma Ocean Mist

bloo foam

This toilet cleaner was considered an innovative entry with a competitive price at £3.49 per 500g. The foaming feature scored well with consumers, who felt they could see the product working and liked the “lasting” smell it omitted. Some consumers said it was an “exciting way to clean the loo”, with one in three testers calling it a “must buy” product.

Highly Commended

Surf Sensations Golden Blossom Liquid (23 washes) laundry detergent

Finalists

Comfort Intense Fuchsia Passion (38 washes)

Trolley Bags Original Vibe

Functional Drinks

Sunsoul 100% Natural Energy

sunsoul

Over one third of consumers said they would recommend this low calorie energy drink (rsp: £1.29/250ml), with its “natural” ingredients appealing to the older consumer testers especially. Triallists thought it would make an ideal mixer or a quick energy boost. The expert judges said Sunsoul was “not at all like an energy drink” but instead “very clean” and “uplifting”.

Highly Commended

Scheckter’s Organic Energy Green Tea & Ginger

Finalists

Monster Energy Ultra

Savse Protein Punch

Frozen Meals/Centres

Goodlife Foods Leek & Caerphilly Glamorgan Sausage with Wholegrain Mustard

goodlife sausages

This vegetarian sausage exceeded the expectations of our consumer testers, with some commenting on the “good colour and flavour” while the judges said it had “strong flexitarian appeal” (rsp: £2.49/250g).

Highly Commended

Slimming World Chicken Saag

Finalists

Gourmosa Chicken Tikka Samosas with Spinach and Quinoa

Goodlife Foods Mushroom & Spinach Kiev with a Creamy Garlic & Cheese Sauce

Slimming World Chicken & Chorizo-Style Sausage Paella

Frozen Desserts

Magnum Pink

magnum pink

The bright pink colour of the pack was expected to stand out on shelf, with almost three out of four consumers keen to buy it despite reservations over the price (rsp: £3.35/110ml). Over 70% of consumers thought these handheld ice creams would be a good weekend treat. The judges agreed, believing the colour was a “great presentation of chocolate” alongside the “fresh raspberry flavour”.

Highly Commended

Simply Ice Cream Peanut Brittle Ice Cream (in partnership with Fudge Kitchen)

Finalists

Goodfella’s Sweet Fella’s Chocolate Brownie Pizza

Teas & Infusions

Tetley Super Fruits Boost Blueberry and Raspberry

tetley super fruits boost tea

The trusted Tetley brand attracted a high level of pre-trial interest in this product, and overall the delivery of the infusion was well received. There was some regional difference in opinion, with the North more positive about the flavour compared with the South. Consumers called it “refreshing” with a “nice mix of flavours” (rsp: £1.59/40gml). The judges appreciated its “subtle fruit flavours” and thought it presented “a change from added vitamins”.

Finalists

Dualit Fine Tea Green Tea Capsules

Dualit Fine Tea Peppermint Infusion Capsules

Sweet Snacks

The Snack Organisation Presents…Freeze Dried Strawberries

snack organisation freeze dried strawberries

“The perfect healthy snack” said our expert judging panel, who thought this was excellent and appreciated that nothing was added to the strawberries. The “intense” but natural flavour went down well with consumers, with one in four saying they would be weekly buyers of this snack. Two thirds of consumers would recommend the snack, with the attractive, “quirky” packaging and competitive price at £1 for 18g boosting opinions from pre-trial.

Highly Commended

Kind Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt

Finalists

Bear Claws Strawberry & Butternut

Sugar Confectionery

Tic Tac Mixers Cherry Cola

cherry cola tic tacs

Consumers said this product was “unique” and “bursting with cherry flavour” with a “kick of cola (rsp: 58p/18g). Over 40% of triallists said this product could become a weekly or fortnightly treat, while one third said they were “definite” buyers, with the price encouraging purchase intention. Our expert judges said Tic Tac remained a “reliable brand”, and admitted to being “pleasantly surprised” by this offering thanks to the flavour of the cherry cola product.

Highly Commended

Chupa Chups Candy Mini Pizza

Finalists

Skittles Bottle

Smint Strawberry Mix

Soups

Yorkshire Provender Thai Green Chicken Noodle Soup

yorkshire provender thai chicken soup

More adventurous soup buyers in the consumer panel appreciated this product, particularly the younger consumers looking for a midweek meal solution (rsp: £2.49/600g). The judges said both the taste and smell of the product delivered.

Highly Commended

Yorkshire Provender Indian Spiced Vegetable Soup

Finalists

Baking Buddy 100% Natural Pumpkin

New Covent Garden Soup Co Skinny Thai Sweetcorn Chowder

New Covent Garden Soup Co Taste of Health Chicken & Leek with Pinhead Oats

Savoury Snacks

Manomasa Tomatillo Salsa Tortilla Chips

manomasa tortilla chips

Made with whole white corn flour, and thus gluten free, coeliac testers said this product was “an all-round winner” with mainstream potential, while the judges called it “authentic” (rsp: £2/160g).

Highly Commended

Jacob’s Cracker Crisps Sweet Chilli

Finalists

The Snack Organisation Presents… Sweet Chilli Rice Crackers

Kettle Bites Maple Barbecue Wholegrain Waves

Ritz Crisp & Thin Cream Cheese & Onion

Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks Sweet Chilli & Lemon

Potato Crisps

Walkers Tear ‘n’ Share - Cheese & Onion

walkers tear and share crisps

The strong brand and different packaging concept meant there was good interest in this product. Consumers and judges both agreed the crunch was “fantastic” and the flavour “strong” (rsp: £1.99/150g). Many triallists appreciated the “hand-baked” appearance of the crisps, considering it better than other Walkers products.

Highly Commended

Ten Acre Pastrami in the Rye Hand Cooked Crisps

Finalists

Cookes Chip Strips Sea Salt & Vinegar

Scott Farms Orange, Purple and White Sweet Potato Chips

Popcorn

Ten Acre Lucia Popperley’s Cappuccino Popcorn

ten acre popcorn

This popcorn lived up to its name with a mild, creamy coffee flavour, according to the consumer judges. Words like “delicate”, “fresh” and “original” were used, while the expert judges were impressed with the balanced sweetness of the popcorn. Despite some caution from consumers at the start, half of all those tested would buy the product for a weekend treat, while nine out of 10 described the snack as “new and different” (rsp: 69p/28g).

Highly Commended

Propercorn Smooth Peanut & Almond

Finalists

Lord Poppington’s Chilli & Lime Popcorn

Petfood/Treats

Pooch & Mutt: Daily Dental, Grain-Free Dog Treats

pooch and mutt

The experts said this doggie treat offered a “good health message on pack”, reflecting its dental hygiene credentials on the “appealing” packaging. Consumers loved them. Or at least their dogs did: they were “very excited” and “loved them” according to triallists, with seven out of 10 rating their pet’s enjoyment as “excellent”. Over 60% said they would definitely or probably buy the product, which had an “eyecatching design” and a “reasonable price for a dental product” at £1.99 for 80g.

Finalists

Harringtons Mixed Selection Box - Dog Food

Personal Care

Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Mouthwash

beverly hills formula charcoal mouthwash

“Charcoal is the new buzz in teeth cleaning” according to some consumers, who thought this mouthwash offered something new to the category as well as its “refreshing taste”. Our expert judges agreed, saying this unusual line would get people “ready for the hot date” (rsp: £4.49/500ml).

Highly Commended

Aquafresh Intense Clean

Finalists

Dove Men + Care Cool Fresh Shower Gel

Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Water

Sure Woman Antibacterial Odour Protection Compressed APA

Meat

Moy Park Good Kitchen Roast in the Bag: Extra Tasty

moy park roast in the bag chicken

Consumers thought this chicken lived up to its “extra tasty” name, with two in three voting it “better than” other brands. Most liked the convenience and safety aspects, and its £5 price for 1.48kg of chicken was considered good value. Only 2% said it wasn’t for them. The judges called this “an attractive solution to a consumer concern”.

Highly Commended

Danepak Rapid Rashers Smoked Bacon

Finalists

Fire & Smoke

Debbie & Andrew’s Harrogate 97% Pork Sausages

Mattessons Savagers Chorizo

Are you interested in entering next year?

If you would like to enter The Grocer New Product Awards in 2017 you can start by registering your interest at thegrocernewproductawards.co.uk. You’ll then be kept up to date with all the latest information so you won’t miss a thing.

In terms of criteria for the awards, The Grocer is looking for new products that are either new to the UK market, reformulated, repositioned, targeted to new markets or significantly repackaged. Additions, variants or extensions to existing product lines are also included.

“Winning a top award at The Grocer Branded Excellence Awards was a fantastic recognition to the authenticity of our Melton Mowbray Pork Pies,” says Dickinson & Morris, a winner in 2015. “Rewarding the taste and quality of our products has reinforced our brand’s premium credentials with our retailers and has given us more opportunities for improving our listings.”

And Clare Logan, Unilever’s brand manager for Persil (another winner in 2015), says: “It is fantastic to have the product’s superior formulation and innovative pack design recognised by consumers in this way - without their loyalty and support, winning prestigious awards like this wouldn’t be possible!”

Judging takes place in two parts. First consumer panel testing is conducted by Cambridge Market Research, an independent market research agency with more than 25 years experience in food and drink testing. All entrants receive a copy of the FoodFax consumer report they compile for each product.

Entries who go through to the next stage are evaluated by an expert panel of judges. Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists all receive New Product Awards logos to use on products, in ads, on social media, at events etc. etc. Examples of how the logo has been used by winners in 2015 are available on thegrocernewproductawards.co.uk.

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