New Product Awards 2017: who won what and why?

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New products in 29 categories fought it out to be crowned winners of the 2017 awards this week

Adult Drinks

Fentimans Pink grapefruit

Fentimans Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water

Our expert judges said this premium drink “had great, sophisticated adult taste”. Offering value for money and featuring “lovely” packaging, it was “a proper adult soft drink”, on trend and living up to its promise (rsp: £1.90/500ml).

Highly Commended

R White’s Premium Raspberry Lemonade

Finalists

Belvoir Rosé Without the Hangover

Franklin & Sons Ginger Beer & Malted Barley with a Squeeze of Lemon

Funkin Skinny Mojito Cocktail Mixer

Sparkling Ice Orange Mango

Zeo Peach & Grapefruit

 


Ambient Ready Meals and meal Centres

ambient ready meals NPA 2017

Wahaca Tomatillo & Garlic Mojo Soft Taco Kit

This street food-style meal kit from the Wahaca Mexican restaurant chain was “gorgeous” and innovative, said our consumer testers. They praised the “strong flavours” and “good textures”. The kit was seen as especially relevant to younger shoppers. Our experts applauded its premium packaging, convenience and contemporary nature (rsp: £3.69/470g).

Finalists

Kohinoor Tarka Dal – Meals in Minutes – Indo-European Foods

Princes Edition Mackerel Fillets in a Brazilian Sauce – Princes

Urban Noodle Sweet & Sour – Petty Wood

 


Baby & Toddler Food

baby food NPA

Babease Organic Pumpkin, Chickpea, Tomato & Brown Rice Masala

The pouch welcomed babies “to the world of flavours” said our experts (rsp: £1.49/130g).

Highly Commended

HiPP Organic Apple & Peach Porridge Pouch

Finalists

Babease Organic Pumpkin, Chickpea, Tomato & Brown Rice Masala

Ella’s Kitchen Veg Blends Super Smooth Purée – Carrots, Peas & Kale

Kiddylicious Veggie Straws

Little Dish Pop Pops – Original

Piccolo Mango, Pear & Kale with a Dash of Yoghurt

 

 


Bread

bread NPA

Borg Bakery 6 Crusty White Rolls

These frozen bread rolls were of a “remarkable standard”, while being convenient and great value for money, according to our expert panel, which also lauded the “excellent taste and texture” (rsp: £1.25/450g). Consumers were impressed by the “restaurant quality” of the product. Baked directly from the freezer, the rolls were “fluffy” and “tasty” with a “crunchy outer”. The packaging also came in for praise for looking “expensive”. In fact, these “stupendous” rolls attracted no negative comments.

Highly Commended

Warburtons White Toastie Pockets

Finalists

Hovis Soft White Loaf

 


Breakfast

Breakfast NPA

Quaker Oats Super Goodness Super Fruits Blueberry, Cranberry & Guava

“Tasty”, “healthy”, “easy to use” and “very sweet” were some of the many positive descriptions provided by our consumer panel of this porridge in individual sachets that tap the trend for superfood. The “good amount of berries”, “lots of information on pack” and overall appearance were further attractions. Our experts liked the packaging and the fruit content, adding this “convenient” breakfast option from PepsiCo would be a good store cupboard standby (rsp: £2.99/280g).

Finalists

Oomf! Cinnamon Roll Porridge Pot, 20g Protein with no Added Sugar

 


Cakes & Biscuits

cakes and biscuits NPA

Border Biscuits Dark Chocolate Gingers & Orange

This “beautifully executed premium product” was “nicely presented” and “fairly priced”, said our experts (rsp: £1.50/175g). Our consumers agreed, saying the “beautiful” dark chocolate biscuits were “moreish” and their packaging was “classy”.

Highly Commended

McVitie’s Digestives Thins – Milk Chocolate

Finalists

Burton’s Biscuit Co Jammie Dodgers – Best Ever Recipe

Millie’s Ready to Bake Milk Chocolate Cookie Dough

Twix Cookies

 


Condiments

Heinz NPA

Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise

This challenger to the dominance of Hellmann’s mayo was “a risk worth taking”. That’s according to our experts. Like its bulbous jar, the product was “different” and looked good on shelf, they said. The “lovely” smell, “smooth” texture and “pleasant aftertaste” appealed to our shopppers too (rsp: £3.49 for 680g).

Highly Commended

Hellmann’s Tomato Ketchup Sweetened Only by Honey

Finalists

Hawkshead Relish Company Black Garlic Ketchup

Monini Classico Squeezable Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 


Chilled Ready Meals and meal Centres

chilled ready meals NPA

Pukka Pies Philly Cheesesteak

With its nod to the ongoing Americana trend, this meat-and-cheese pie from Leicestershire’s Pukka Pies was no-nonsense, said the expert judges, with “a nice honesty about it”, and it tasted “better than you expect for the price” (rsp: £1.50/226g). The packaging was “savvy”, too. Our consumers, meanwhile, were impressed by the “lovely pastry crust and base” the pie had. It tasted “like a chip shop pie”, they said, and it was “nice to have the cheese melted in it”.

Finalists

Fit Kitchen Pad Thai Chicken with Zesty Sauce

Pure Butternut Squash Risotto

 


Crisps

Crisps NPA

Manomasa Serrano Chilli & Yucatan Honey Tortilla Chips

These premium tortillas from It’s All Good dazzled our experts, who called them “bold”, “quirky” and “delicious”. The snack was a “brilliant all-rounder” (rsp: £2/160g).

Highly Commended

Emily Veg Crisps Crunchy French Beans, Sugar Snap Peas & Black Edamame Crisps

Finalists

Corkers Crisps Hand Cooked Olive Oil Vegetable Crisps Seasoned with Sea Salt

Great British Sauce Co Hot & Sweet Chilli Seasoned Potato Crisps

Walkers Bugles Southern Style BBQ

Wellaby’s Simple Bakes – Smoky BBQ

 


Dairy-Free

dairy free NPA

Alpro Hazelnut Chocolate Ice Cream

There was agreement among both experts and shoppers that this large format offering from Alpro delivered to a high standard, bringing dairy-free ice cream in to the mainstream and putting it shoulder-to-shoulder with its dairy rivals. The hazelnut flavour was enjoyed by all, as was the lack of excessive sweetness (rsp: £3.50/500ml).

Highly Commended

Oatly Creamy Oat Fraiche

Finalists

Alpro Oat Original – FreshBooja-Booja Caramel Pecan Praline Dairy Free Ice Cream

Perfect World Caramel Pecan Ice Cream

Vita Coco Coconut Milk Alternative

 


Frozen Ready Meals and meal Centres

frozen ready meals NPA

Strong Roots Kale & Quinoa Burger

“Truly innovative” said our expert judges (rsp: £2.99/450g).

Highly Commended

The Saucy Fish Co Cook From Frozen Salmon with Chilli, Lime & Ginger Dressing

Finalists

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Shredded Hoisin Duck

Pizza Express Hawaiian Ham & Pineapple Chutney Pizza

Pizza Express Prawn Linguine

Slimming World Aromatic Chicken Noodles

Young’s Gastro Tempura Battered 8 Chunky Cod Fish Fingers

 


Gluten-Free Sweet

gluten-free NPA

Yorkshire Provender Gluten-Free Fresh Jumbo Oat Porridge with Apple & Cinnamon

More innovative and with packaging surpassing that of its free-from rivals, this breakfast option impressed experts and coeliac consumer panels alike, variously described as “comforting”, “healthy”, and “natural” (rsp: £1.79/300g).

Highly Commended

McVitie’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Hobnobs

Finalists

Genius Gluten-Free Cranberry & Oat Breakfast Bakes

Nakd Cocoa Mandarin Posh Bits

Prewett’s Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookie

 


Household Products

Household prods NPA

Comfort Perfume Pearls

Unilever’s latest fabric conditioner was an “innovative and brilliant commercial idea” that would add value to the household category, our experts insisted. They liked the aroma, too. Consumers agreed it was “a good idea” and were attracted to the way it made clothes “smell great and feel soft” (rsp: £5.50/275g).

Highly Commended

Hob Pride

Finalists

Comfort Perfume Pearls

Protector Health & Hygiene Antimicrobial Household Gloves

Surf Perfect Black

Zep Commercial 10 Minute Hair Clog

 


Infants Care

Infants care NPA

Ambre Solaire Anti Sand Spray

This factor 50 sun protection spray with a sand-repelling action was easy to apply and covered skin well, said shoppers. They enjoyed the “lovely holiday smell” and thought the premium product ideal for babies and children alike. It also felt good on the skin. Our expert judges agreed it was “not sticky or slimy” and appeared to work well (rsp: £12/200g).

Highly Commended

HiPP Organic Foaming Hand Wash

Finalists

Paddy’s Bathroom Dream Time Gentle Baby Bubble Bath

Paddy’s Bathroom Tangy Tangerine Bubble Bath

 


Hot Drinks

Dualit NPA

Dualit NX Single Origin Sumatra Mandheling Compostable Coffee Capsule

This compostable product’s environmentally responsible credentials and “nice looking packaging” sparked experts’s interest, while consumers enjoyed the “full-bodied” flavour and “smooth” aftertaste of the coffee, with its strength rating of eight (rsp: £2.90/52g).

Highly Commended

Drink Me Chai Sugar-Free Chai Latte

Finalists

Starbucks Guatemala Antigua Single Origin Espresso Capsules

Starbucks Kenya Single Origin Espresso Capsules

 


Gluten-Free Savoury

gluten-free savoury NPA

Dr Oetker Ristorante Gluten-Free Pizza Mozzarella

Both consumer panels and experts were full of praise of this pizza. For many consumers, it had “the perfect texture”. It was a new and different addition to the free-from category, with a crispy base and “great topping”. Our experts called the frozen product superior to many restaurant pizzas. It “didn’t taste gluten free” and offered very good value for money (rsp: £2.99/370g).

Finalists

Genius Gluten-Free Toastie

LighterLife Light Bites – Cheddar Cheese & Chutney

Too Good To Be Gluten-Free Red Thai Chicken Pie

 


Desserts

Pizza express NPA

Pizza Express Tiramisu Gelato

This gelato from Pizza Express was great value, both panels of judges agreed. They also praised the Italian-style ice cream’s texture and “creamy” flavour , and its innovative use of tiramisu pieces. The “very chic” dessert brought restaurant-quality food in to the home, shoppers added (rsp: £2.50/480ml).

Highly Commended

Little Pot of Malted Milk Chocolate

Finalists

Mary Berry My Mother’s Bread & Butter Pudding

Matthew Walker Golden Mulled Plum & Port Pudding

Müller Simply Bliss Strawberry

 


Dairy-Based

 

Yazoo No Added Sugar Strawberry

dairy yazoo NPA

“Refreshing” and “truly innovative” said our experts. “A technical innovation” in a “great format” adhering to clean label requirements (rsp: £1.60/4x200ml). The “snazzy” bottle pleased consumers, too, as did the strong flavour of the “refreshing” low-sugar milk drink from Friesland Campina. It was not too sweet and kids would love it, they said.

Finalists

Arla Protein Plain Cottage Cheese

Delamere Dairy Spreadable Goats’ Butter

Fuel10K Quark with Fruit: Mango & Passionfruit

 


Cooking Sauces & Marinades

Kohinoor NPA

Kohinoor Bombay Egg Curry

Indo-European Foods had produced a curry more versatile than the pack suggested, claimed the panel of expert judges. With its “natural ingredients”, the mix of spices offered depth and balance (rsp: £1.25/375g). The kick from this “flexible” sauce was strong “but not overpowering”, shoppers added.

Highly Commended

Slimming World Chip Shop Curry Sauce

Finalists

Bisto Best Beef & Red Wine Rich Gravy Sauce with Chestnut Mushroom

Homepride American Texan BBQ Cooking Sauce

Yutaka Japanese-Style Curry

 


Meal Accompaniments

Meal accompaniments NPA

Strong Roots Oven Baked Sweet Potato

The good quality taste and “standout packaging” charmed our experts, while shoppers thought these “very moreish” frozen sweet potato chips were crunchy with a “great texture”. There was “healthy and natural appeal” too (rsp: £2.99/500g).

Highly Commended

Napolina 50%/50% Fusilli Pasta

Finalists

I Am Super Grains – Quinoa, Mixed Peppers & Lentils

Mash Direct Sweet Potato Fries

Paxo Sensational Lemon, Rosemary & Thyme with Ciabatta Breadcrumb Stuffing

 


Personal Use

Lynx NPA

Lynx Signature Daily Fragrance

In an extremely diverse category, this fragrance from Unilever, one of a three-strong range (rsp: £5.99 for 100ml), stood out for judges by virtue of its “well balanced” aroma and “simple, clean and strong design”. It was also “extremely good value for money”, didn’t irritate the skin and brought something new to the market.

Highly Commended

Rowse Pure Honey & Lemon Sachets with Vitamin C

Finalists

EvoShave Shave By Touch

Logic Pro

 


Sausages

sausages NPA

Wall’s Ready Baked Fire Grilled Sausages

These ready baked Cumberland sausages from the well-known Wall’s brand were “banger on!” quipped one expert. Others said it was “very convenient”, a “smart idea” with a pleasing smell. Consumers took to the “peppery” and “smokey” flavour and enjoyable aftertaste. Good value for money (rsp: £2/275g), they also liked the “good clear” packaging in a “luxurious” black. It was a “quick and easy snack” that would be most appealing to teenagers, our consumer judges added.

Highly Commended

Debbie & Andrew’s Clean and Lean High Protein Chicken Sausages

 


PetFood/Treats

pet food NPA

Cotswold Raw 80/20 Beef Sausages

An innovative product packed with inspired branding made this food for dogs an easy winner. Dog owners loved the convenient way to feed their pet fresh food. The sausages, with 80% raw beef and bones and 20% season fruit and vegetables, were described as “chunky” and “big and juicy” with “no horrible smell”. The clear on-pack instructions were beneficial.

Highly Commended

Feline Cuisine Selection Pack

Finalists

Hey Diddle Diddle – Dog Dry Salmon & Rice

Lily’s Kitchen Delicious Chicken Complete Dry Food for Cats

 


Savoury Snacks

scoffies NPA

Cheestrings Scoffies Fruity Mix – The Green One

This resealable snack pack for children contained a good combination of cheeses, bringing something different to the category, our panels said. The Kerry Foods product was seen as healthy, and ideal for kids’ lunchboxes (rsp: £1.50/60g).

Highly Commended

Cathedral City Baked Bites

Finalists

Captain Tiptoes’ Smoky Bacon PNuts

GoGo’s Full of Beans

Planters Nutrition Protein Mix

Snackling Sea Salted

The Sausage Roll Co – Pork and Smokey Bacon

 


Smoothies & Fruit Juices

smoothies NPA

Savse Jonagold Apple

With its “light and refreshing” taste, pleasing packaging and good explanation of the cold-press production process, this juice was a hit with experts – while consumers rated the “good smell of apples” and the “high quality ingredients”. The product tasted just like freshly squeezed apple juice, they said, and the “very nice” clear bottle was a good size and shape, ideal for viewing the contents and on-the-go occasions. Shoppers in the Midlands were especially complimentary (rsp: £1.79/250ml).

Finalists

Fruella Fruit Juice – Orange

Innocent Berry Protein Super Smoothie

Naked Protein Smoothie Tropical Punch

 


Soups

soups NPA

Yorkshire Provender Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

Experts praised this North African-inspired recipe for being filling, with a pleasing balance of flavours and a wholesome texture. Shoppers loved this “hearty” soup for being “beautiful” and “wholesome”. It was “an ideal standby”. The “clear and bright” packaging was practical – “you can see the product – and eye-catching, with lots of information about the product (rsp: £2.49/600ml).

Finalists

Yorkshire Provender Rustic Vegetable Broth with Lentils, Kale & Quinoa

Yorkshire Provender Piri Piri Chicken Soup

 


Sweet Accompaniments

Clarks Dream NPA

Clarks Dreamy Caramel Dessert Topping

Our experts hailed this “bold step in new product development”, believing it “could change the way the category progresses” thanks to its lower sugar formulation. It also offered good consistency, and was a “really good execution” (rsp: £2/320g), while shoppers loved its versatility.

Highly Commended

Pip & Nut Crunchy Maple Peanut Butter – Pip & Nut

Finalists

Ambrosia Deluxe Custard Vanilla & Clotted Cream

The Groovy Food Company Organic Coconut Sugar

 


Sweet Snacks

sweet snacks NPA

Urban Fruit Coconut Chips – Straight Up Coconut

These coconut nibbles were moreish thanks to their triple roasting and sprinkle of salt, said our experts. Both flavour and texture were pleasing, both stages of judging agreed. The chips were “easy to eat” as a snack or as sprinkles (rsp: 99p/25g).

Highly Commended

Nature Valley Protein Peanut & Chocolate

Finalists

LighterLife Light Bites – Apple & Strawberry Yogurt

Pop Works & Company Sticky Toffee Pudding Popcorn

Whole Earth Power Balls – Pumpkin, Chia & Flax Seeds

 

How the New Product Awards work… and how to enter in 2018

Each product in our New Product Awards is first tried and tested by at least 50 consumers, all under controlled conditions, and assessed for visual appearance, taste, texture, packaging and value for money (among other measures) before moving on for further evaluation by our expert panel. Products are then, where relevant, prepared in professional kitchens, as they undergo scrutiny by expert judges, with the combined scores from the two stages used to determine the winners.

Former winners have described the process as “fantastic recognition” for all their hard work, providing opportunities to build up bigger and better retail listings, and “reinforce a brand’s premium credentials” by walking away with a prestigious and hard fought award.

And from the moment our 2017 winners are crowned at a glittering ceremony at the Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel this week registrations will be open for next year’s competition.

So whether you’ve launched a mindblowing dessert, unique laundry detergent, or the next seriously good condiment, head straight to the New Product Awards website to register.

Brands that believe they have the winning formula across one of the 36 categories (25 food and 11 non-food) can register their interest straightaway by heading to thegrocernewproductawards.co.uk (where all 2017 finalists, winners and photos will also be published) with entries officially open from December this year. The deadline for entries will be in late February 2018.

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