The Grocer Own Label Awards 2018: the winners

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Celebrating the very best supermarket own label food and drink has to offer The Grocer’s annual Own Label Food & Drink Awards took place at London’s Hilton Park Lane this Friday.

More than 1,000 entries had been whittled down over a rigorous two-stage testing programme involving consumer and expert judges, with the winners announced by Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer, and TV presenter Stacey Solomon.

As always, the awards highlighted some key themes emerging in own label - with suppliers increasingly tapping into the wellness trend through the use of ‘healthier’ ingredients and clean labels, while ethically sourced meat and a focus on provenance were also much in evidence. There were also some intriguing new twists on old favourites, such as Iceland’s Sourdough Crumpets and Aldi’s Mac and Cheese with Pancetta.

“The best ideas tend to be tweaks on the familiar,” says Alison Eddershaw, senior market research analyst for Cambridge Market Research, which conducted the product testing. “Innovation for consumers may be a familiar recipe or ingredient in a new context; a new ingredient they haven’t tried before or a different pack or presentation format.”

In the meat categories, there was a noticeable increase in added value, with new flavours, specialist cuts and innovative preparation helping the winning products stand out.

But perhaps the most significant trend was consumer engagement, with no less than 20 cooking kits entered this year, alongside restaurant-quality meals and products with real visual impact, from colourful French macaroons to striking blue eggs.

This year there were once again two awards in each category: the first for a category champion, the second for the innovation winner - thus rewarding excellent execution but also encouraging innovation.

Special Awards

There were also three special awards. The Champion of Champions award recognised the best of the best - the product that stood out above all others through our two-stage judging process. The Innovative Product of the Year award celebrated the most impressive piece of innovation. Finally the Innovative Retailer of the Year award recognised the retailer who achieved the highest average innovation score across all its entries. With both suppliers and retailers consistently upping their game there were plenty of worthy contenders for all three of these overarching awards. Aldi continued to impress through its blend of quality and value, winning 21 awards, with Lidl in second place with 19 awards, and The Co-op in third with eight. Aldi also led the field in terms of total innovation with 14 awards, followed by Lidl with 13 awards and the Co-op with eight.

However, Iceland - which has invested heavily in its own-label proposition by hiring chef Neil Nugent and building a £2m test kitchen - took home both the Champion of Champions Award and the Innovative Product of the Year award for 2018.

The former went to its Arctic Royal Salt Baked Seabass, which had “real wow factor” for consumers and experts alike, while the innovation prize went to its Luxury 2 Rose Veal Saltimbocca, which not only tasted “spectacular”, but also delivered high animal welfare credentials and a “great back story”, our judges noted.

Iceland didn’t just impress with its seabass and saltimbocca, with the frozen food specialist scoring consistently highly for innovation during the expert judging phase. But it was Morrisons that scooped the Innovative Retailer of the Year award after achieving the highest average innovation score from consumers and our experts across its entries.

 

The winners: 

 

Ambient meal kits

 

Asda Extra Special Bake in The Box Brownie_0001

Category champion: Asda Extra Special Bake in the Box Belgian Chocolate & Salted Caramel Brownie

Supplier: Symington’s

Not only did this Asda kit “look amazing” in its innovative bake-in-the-box design, but it tasted “moist and delicious” with a “lovely salted caramel flavour”, said our consumers. Judges praised its value for money at only £2, saying it offered a delicious treat and “something fun to do with the children”.

 

Innovation winner: Asda Extra Special Bake in the Box Belgian Chocolate & Salted Caramel Brownie

Supplier: Symington’s

Packaging alone “made this a winner”, said our judges, with the fact it could be baked in its box offering a “truly convenient” solution and delivering the “wow factor”. Some 80% of consumers agreed, believing the product offered something different and awarding it an impressive innovation score of 19/20.

 

Bacon

Aldi Specially Selected Treacle Glazed Back Bacon_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Treacle Glazed Back Bacon

Supplier: not disclosed

Praised by judges for its “very appealing” look and “excellent packaging” coupled with the introduction of innovative new flavours, this bacon from Aldi impressed. Consumers loved that its “sweet taste and excellent quality” made it the perfect “weekend treat” with the flavour adding a “luxurious” edge to a cupboard staple.

 

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Treacle Glazed Back Bacon

Supplier: not disclosed

Glazed in treacle, this took the category beyond tried and tested bacon flavours and offered something truly different, said our judges. An overwhelming 90% of consumers thought it improved on current products already out there in the market, while two thirds (63%) agreed it brought something new and different.

 

Bakery  - savoury/sweet

 

Iceland Luxury Sourdough Crumpets_0001

Category champion: Iceland Luxury Sourdough Crumpets

Supplier: not disclosed

“Light and airy in texture” with a “crisp base” and “plenty of flavour” were just some of the comments about these premium Iceland crumpets, which impressed all round. Our judges praised their “good presentation” and “good use of ingredients”, all at a price of £1 for six. Some 85% of consumer testers said they’d buy these crumpets again after tasting.

innovation winner: Iceland Luxury Sourdough Crumpets

Supplier: not disclosed

Bang on trend, the inclusion of sourdough helped “elevate this product” above the normal expectations of the crumpet category, said our judges, with consumers remarking on its “intriguing” ingredient list even before trying. As a result, this product was handed a double innovation star, with a third of consumers (62%) happy to recommend it to others.

 

Blue cheese

 

Aldi Specially Selected Mature Blue Stilton_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Mature Blue Stilton

Supplier: not disclosed

Scoring close to maximum points, this stilton was widely enjoyed by consumers who praised its “creamy texture” and “excellent value” (£1.45/220g), along with a “classy label that flagged up its quality assurances”. “A lovely strong, classic blue cheese taste,” added our judges, offering “fantastic value for money - great for entertaining and occasions.”

 

Lidl Deluxe Bleu DAffinois_0001

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe Bleu D’Affinois

Supplier: not disclosed

The novelty of this premium cheese saw it awarded a double innovation star by consumers, many of whom hadn’t tried the variety before and enjoyed its “lovely, melt-in-the-mouth texture”. The packaging was “upmarket and simple, like something you might get from a deli counter”, added experts, while the product was “deliciously creamy.”

 

Burgers

 

Aldi Aberdeen Angus Picanha Beef Burgers copy

Category champion: Aldi Aberdeen Angus Picanha Beef Burgers

Supplier: not disclosed

Our consumers liked the use of picanha, a cut prized in Brazil, alongside the Aberdeen Angus and scored the product 47/50. They found the burgers “thick” and “light yet meaty”, well seasoned and with a “peppery herby taste”. At £2.99 the burgers were also “great value”. Our expert judges, meanwhile, found them “beautifully moist” and “good quality”.

 

Asda Extra Special 2 Wagyu Beef Burgers_0001

Innovation winner: Asda Extra Special 2 Wagyu Beef Burgers

Supplier: ABP UK

Eighty-five per cent of consumers thought this was better than alternatives and looked “better than a standard burger”. Over half also felt the burgers were new and different. Our experts agreed they were “different to anything else”. They liked the “different meat to give a different texture” and felt the burgers brought a new cut to the category.

 

Cereals

 

Lidl Super Berry Granola_0001

Category champion: Lidl Simply Sumptuous Super Berry Granola

Supplier: not disclosed

This granola had a “lovely, moreish taste” and was packed full of “plenty of fruits, almonds and seeds,” said conusmers, with 73% keen to add it to their basket after trying. “A natural-looking, appealing product,” added our experts, who thought it was complemented by “great packaging” that showcased the provenance of ingredients.

 

Asda Apple & Cinnamon Seed Mix_0001

Innovation winner: Asda Apple & Cinnamon Seed Mix

Supplier: IPL

The apple and cinnamon flavour profile gave this cereal topper a “seasonal twist” felt consumers, which was also praised fo rits “healthy image and versatility.” Seventy-five per cent felt it brought something new and different. Our judges praised its “innovative idea”, “authentic flavour”, “nutty crunchy texture” and “old-fashioned store cupboard packaging”.

 

Cheddar cheese

Lidl Deluxe Somerset Crunchy Vintage Cheddar_0001

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Somerset Crunchy Vintage Cheddar

Supplier: not disclosed

Described as “nutty, creamy, and crumbly, with a complex flavour”, this deluxe cheddar impressed our judges, who also praised its “creamy, moreish flavour with a rounded rich aftertaste”. It was the standout entrant for consumers, too, seen as a great option for midweek that would also sit comfortably on a cheeseboard.

 

Lidl Mature Cheddar Balsamic Onion Waxed Truckle_0001.jpg

Innovation winner: Lidl Mature Cheddar & Balsamic Onion Waxed Truckle

Supplier: not disclosed

Presentation alone impressed our experts, who described it as “inventive, playful and quirky”, with strong novelty appeal. Consumers felt it would draw them in over and above other cheddars on the market, with 85% believing it was better than other options out there, featuring a “gorgeous nutty taste” and great value at £1.99.

 

Cereal bars

Aldi Goji & Cranberry Quinoa Bar_0001

 

Category champion: Aldi Goji & Cranberry Quinoa Bar

Supplier: not disclosed

Our experts enjoyed the “great texture and taste” of these snack bars and thought that, at 49p, they were “excellent value for money”. The fact that quinoa featured as a lead ingredient was also praised. The consumer testers were impressed by the “chewy texture”, “healthy ingredients” and “combination of flavours”. Nearly all testers said they would consider purchase.

 

Bread

 

Aldi Traditional White Bloomer_0001

Category champion: Aldi Traditional White Bloomer

Supplier: not disclosed

A high-quality product with a “good depth of flavour” and “nice cut”, said our judges, with the look of a rustic loaf found in a bakery. Consumers agreed, praising the “soft, fluffy” texture, value for money and “appealing appearance”, coupled with a resealable bag to help prevent waste. Nearly half (45%) said they’d happily make this part of their regular weekly shop.

 

Innovation winner: Aldi Traditional White Bloomer

Supplier: not disclosed

At a time when salt is being rapidly dropped by manufacturers in a bid to boost health credentials, the choice by Aldi to include sourdough saw this product score highly on innovation for our experts. Some 76% of consumers felt it offered an improvement on other products on the market, with 43% feeling it created something new and different in the category.

 

Beef steaks

Aldi Specially Selected Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak

Supplier: Not disclosed

Consumers loved this “full of flavour” steak and scored it 48 points out of 50, describing it as “juicy”, “tender” and “better than most other supermarket packaged steak”. More than half of our testers thought this would be great as a weekend treat and more than three quarters of them said they would buy this product again.

 

Lidl Deluxe Dry Aged British Beef Tomahawk Steak_0001

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe Dry Aged British Beef Tomahawk Steak

Supplier: Not disclosed

Our consumers gave this product 17/20 on innovation, with 79% saying they would like to make this an occasional purchase. With a price of £14.99 the testers thought this steak would likely be enjoyed as a weekend treat. The expert panel thought it “brought something new to the category” and that it had “the wow factor”.

 

Kids

Lidl Lupilu Apple Carrot  Parsnip Baby Fruit  Veg Pouch_0001.jpg

Category champion: Lidl Lupilu Apple, Carrot & Parsnip Baby Fruit & Veg Pouch

Supplier: not disclosed

Scoring 49/50 even in unfinished packaging, this “good value” babyfood was our consumers’ champion. They liked the organic ingredients and flavour. Our experts also loved the use of organic and the lack of additives, seeing it as evidence the retailer is acting responsibly. The texture, flavour and use of ingredients were also appreciated.

 

Aldi Mamia Raspberry Mini Rice Cakes_0001

Innovation winner: Aldi Mamia Raspberry Mini Rice Cakes

Supplier: not disclosed

Our consumers loved this “easy, convenient snack”. They thought the rice cakes were a “great alternative to crisps” and over half of our parent testers were attracted by the strong health credentials. Our experts liked the way Aldi took an adult product into the infant category and noted that its “bright pink colouring” would prove a hit with kids.

 

Chilled ready meals - Asian

Nisa Retail Heritage Chicken Saag Masala with Pilau Rice_0001

Category champion: Nisa Heritage Chicken Saag Masala with Pilau Rice

Supplier: not disclosed

Our consumer testers thought this entry was “better” than other brands on the market, and praised its generous chicken content compared with competitors. The product was ­”tender” with “good flavours”. Our judges, meanwhile, said it was a “great ­tasting” product with “good heat and flavour” which left a “pleasant taste in the mouth”.

 

Chocolate

 

Category champion: Co-op Irresistible Decadent Artists’ Collection

Supplier: Lir Chocolates

Despite a premium price tag of £6 for 190g, our consumer testers thought the chocolates were a “good size” and the “great variety of flavours complemented each other”. Our expert panel was impressed by the attention to detail paid­ ­­­­­­­­­­­­to the luxe packaging and the magnetic box, describing it as “gift-worthy” and “bold”.

 

Cookies & biscuits

Lidl Dark Chocolate Ginger Biscuits_0001

Category champion: Lidl Dark Chocolate Ginger Biscuits

Supplier: not disclosed

A “great product” with “well-balanced, rich flavours,” said our experts of these Lidl biscuits, also praising the “good crunch and decent layer of chocolate.” Consumers agreed, praising their “moreish, creamy” taste, which provided a luxury look and feel. Seventy-seven per cent said they’d make the perfect weekend treat and 83% believed the product beat rivals.

 

Lidl Hazelnut Heart Cookies_0001

Innovation winner: Lidl Hazelnut Heart Cookies

Supplier: not disclosed

In a design that simply “can’t be replicated at home” this cookie scooped the prize for innovation, its hazelnut centre a “great concept” “at the start of a mass market trend,” said our experts. Consumers awarded it 17/20 for innovation, with a whopping 91% keen to buy both before and after tasting and 75% believing it brought something new and different to the market.

 

Crackers

Aldi Gourmet Sea Salted Savoury Crackers_0001

Category champion: Aldi Gourmet Sea Salted Savoury Crackers

Supplier: not disclosed

Scoring top marks with our consumers, these gourmet crackers were described as “crunchy” and “moreish”. Testers thought the crackers looked “high end” and, at 79p, that they were “excellent value”. The experts found them to have a “really excellent flavour,”enjoying the “pretty” and “premium” packaging and “nice salted taste” too.

 

Confectionery - sugar

Lidl Scottish Fudge_0001

Category champion: Lidl Scottish Fudge Box

Supplier: not disclosed

Our experts were impressed with the “deep buttery” ­flavour of this fudge, which was also “great value for money” at 79p. Consumers loved its “creamy” texture, Scottish provenance and eye-catching pack design. Nearly 70% thought it was better than the competition, and all agreed they would buy it again as a “nice gift”, to offer guests, or as an occasional weekend indulgence.

 

Asda Extra Special Handmade Cornish Sea Salt Caramel Fudge_0001

Innovation winner: Asda Extra Special Handmade Cornish Sea Salt Caramel Fudge

Supplier: The Serious Sweet Company

With its ornate gold packaging, this fudge was a standout for our consumers, who praised its “delicious” rich, buttery flavour and “smooth” texture. Our experts agreed the packaging was “unique and gift-worthy”, while the fudge more than delivered on taste with a “good combination of sweet and salt”.

 

Coffee

Lidl Deluxe Guatemalan Roast Ground Coffee_0001.jpg

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Guatemalan Roast & Ground Coffee

Supplier: not disclosed

This “smooth”, “rich” and “refreshing” coffee delighted consumers with its “distinctive flavour”. In an “eye-catching” pack, it was suitable for entertaining - though its “strong aftertaste” wasn’t for everyone. The coffee’s “single-origin credentials” were enjoyed by our experts as were the packaging and “fantastic value for money” at £1.99 for 200g.

 

Chilled ready meals

Aldi Specially Selected Macaroni Cheese with Pancetta copy

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Macaroni Cheese with Pancetta

Supplier: not disclosed

Our consumer testers loved the “rich” flavours on offer, with “plenty of excellent pancetta” and “gooey and stringy” cheese among the highlights. More than a quarter said they would buy it fortnightly, while our expert judges liked the crispy topping and thought the price point (£3.99/800g) made it a great all-rounder.

 

Aldi Specially Selected Tuscan Sausage Tortiglioni Bake copy

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Tuscan Sausage Tortiglioni Bake

Supplier: not disclosed

The “fantastic sturdy packaging” with “wooden-style container” was considered right on trend, with 85% of our consumer panel saying they thought this was a “new and different” concept. The seasoning went down particularly well, with judges and consumers enjoying the “tangy”, “creamy” flavours with a hint of fennel.

 

 

Dairy & eggs

 

Lidl Deluxe West Country Butter with Sea Salt Crystals copy

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe West Country Butter with Sea Salt Crystals

Supplier: not disclosed

Smoooth and creamy with an added bite of salt crystals, this butter was a hit with consumer testers, who thought its West Country provenance and “sophisticated” packaging made it stand out. More than 90% said they would buy it again. Experts were impressed by the “crunch” of the sea salt and its “good value” at £1.39 for 250g.

Aldi Specially Selected Blue Eggs_0001

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Blue Eggs

Supplier: not disclosed

Nearly 90% of consumer testers thought these “unique” pale blue eggs, with British provenance and free-range credentials, were new and different - earning them a triple innovation score. They also delivered on taste with “lovely orange yolks”. Our experts agreed they were an exciting addition to the category, with a great taste and “unbelievable” value at £1.49 for 300g.

 

Family desserts

The Co-op Irresistible Sticky Toffee Pudding_0001

Category champion: Co-op Irresistible Sticky Toffee Pudding

Supplier: Hain Daniels

Gold lettering against a dark design meant this Co-Op dessert stood out as premium. Consumers thought it was a good example of its type, saying it was “delicious”, “luxurious” and had “lots of fruit and sauce”. Crystallised fresh dates were a selling point for our experts, who thought the “flavour was consistent all the way through” without being too rich or too sweet.

Lidl Black Forest Kirsch Trifle copy

Innovation winner: Lidl Black Forest Kirsch Trifle

Supplier: not disclosed

Consumers loved that they could taste the alcohol in this trifle, describing it as “more-ish” with an authentic Black Forest gâteau taste. Good visibility through the packaging showed how fresh it was, they thought, giving it an expensive, luxury feel. The experts thought the “retro” pud ­”re-imagined an old-fashioned concept into a tasty­

21st century trifle”.

 

Dressings, vinegars & oils

 

Aldi Soy, Chilli & Ginger Dressing_0001

Category champion: Aldi Soy, Chilli & Ginger Dressing

Supplier: not disclosed

This salad dressing was described by consumers as “delicious” and “a great product for summer barbecues”. The “eye-catching” bottle was “attractive” and a huge 95% of participants said they would buy it, as an ideal product for entertaining. Our team of judges liked the “great flavour delivery”, “great packaging” and “amazing value for money”.

Innovation winner: Aldi Soy, Chilli & Ginger Dressing

Supplier: not disclosed

The experts thought the dressing was “unusual” and “exciting”. They praised its potential uses as “dipping sauce or marinade”. Consumers loved the “spicy kick” and thought it was ideal for giving salads a tangy edge. Eighty per cent felt the product was new and different and 63% thought it was better than what was available elsewhere.

 

Food to go - savoury

 

Lidl Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto copy

Category champion: Lidl Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto

Supplier: not disclosed

Packed with “tasty, crunchy veg” this lunch pot from Lidl impressed consumers with its good health credentials and “colourful packaging”, with 61% happy to recommend it and a fifth (22%) convinced it could make it into their weekly shop. “Fresh and good value for money,” added our judges, with a “good vegetable selection” as well as being “well balanced”.

Lidl Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto copy

Innovation winner: Lidl Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto

Supplier: not disclosed

So impressed was our consumer panel it awarded the Lidl risotto a double innovation star and a top innovation score of 20/20, with 78% saying it was better than other lines out there and 80% saying it offered something different. Judges agreed, praising the “high quality and convenience of the meal” in a design concept that “is hard to do well”.

 

Free-from - savoury

 

The Co-op Free From Tagliatelle_0001

Category champion: The Co-op Free From Tagliatelle

Supplier: Rondanini UK

Our consumers enjoyed the “nice texture” of this product and the fact it tasted just like regular pasta even though it was gluten free. Nearly half would expect to buy this product occasionally, finding it “handy” if in a hurry. The expert judges liked the “substantial texture and bite” and “nice mouthfeel” of the pasta and that it was “very close to normal pasta delivery”.

Innovation winner: The Co-op Free From Tagliatelle

Supplier: Rondanini UK

Our consumers found the concept of a 300g bag of fresh gluten-free pasta appealing and liked the clear packaging. As it is quicker to cook and perceived as healthier, younger, pre-family testers were particularly interested. The expert panel thought the “deli-style” packaging was “accessible” and “modern”, and they liked the consistency.

 

Fish & shellfish

 

Overall winner of Champion of Champions 2018: 


Iceland Arctic Royal Salt-Baked Seabass_0001

Category champion: Iceland Arctic Royal Salt-Baked Seabass

Supplier: not disclosed

Iceland snapped up both wins in this category with this seabass SKU, which consumers called “moist and tender”. They liked its “eye-catching” packaging, which they thought “looked posh”. Judges thought it had “real wow factor” and was a “good innovation not commonly seen” that “adds theatre”.

 

Innovation winner: Iceland Arctic Royal Salt-Baked Seabass

Supplier: not disclosed

Iceland’s innovatively prepared seabass was deemed “new and different” by a definitive 81% of consumers, with 77% claiming they would buy it occasionally. They thought it had a “lovely label design” with “excellent instructions”. Judges thought it was “fantastic to see so much innovation” in a product and that it was “a real first” in NPD.

 

Individual desserts

 

Category champion: Asda Extra Special Melt in the Middle Salted Caramel & Chocolate Puddings

Supplier: Classic Desserts

Prominent traffic light labelling was considered helpful, while our consumer testers said the “indulgent” dessert brought something new to the category thanks to its “dark, rich melting chocolate”. Our expert panel of judges found the product “fun”, reminiscent of TV’s MasterChef challenges.

 

Lidl Deluxe Passion Fruit  Vanilla Posset_0001.jpg

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe Passion Fruit & Vanilla Posset

Supplier: not disclosed

Experts and consumers alike thought the reusable ceramic dish was a great feature of this posset, making it look “upmarket”. Almost 90% of consumers thought it was better than what’s out there, praising its “thickness” and flecks of vanilla as standout textures. The panel described it as “mouth-wateringly fruity” and thought it offered excellent value at 75p/90g.

 

Deli

 

Aldi Moroccan Houmous_0001

Category champion: Aldi Moroccan Houmous

Supplier: not disclosed

This deli product from Aldi was a clear winner for our consumer testers, who praised its bold packaging and innovative ingredients leading to a houmous “full of flavour”. They said it would make an ideal lunchtime snack or dip option when entertaining. Judges called it “a nice twist on a traditional recipe” with a “great balance of flavours” that “captured Morocco”.

 

Innovation winner: Aldi Moroccan Houmous

Supplier: not disclosed

A whopping 75% of consumers thought this product was “new and different”, agreeing its spice mix had “impact” and would stand out in a chiller. Judges thought the texture had been greatly improved with the addition of chickpeas and sultanas and liked the “attractive” packaging. Overall, “fantastic flavour, excellently executed” with a “well formulated texture”.

 

Italian cooking sauces

 

Morrisons The Best Italian Vine Ripened Cherry Tomato_0001

Category champion: Morrisons The Best Italian Vine Ripened Cherry Tomato, Pecorino Cheese & Chilli Pasta Sauce

Supplier: LDH (La Doria)

Boasting a “good tomato flavour” with a subtle hint of chilli, this pasta sauce was a big hit with our consumers. They also loved the “classy” bottle. Nearly 90% said they would consider buying it again, as a good standby or as part of a quick and easy midweek meal.

 

Innovation winner: Morrisons The Best Italian Vine Ripened Cherry Tomato, Pecorino Cheese & Chilli Pasta Sauce

Supplier: LDH (La Doria)

Our experts thought this sauce brought something truly different to the category, with the “great mix” of ingredients resulting in “bold and fresh” flavours. They were also impressed by its “sleek, premium packaging” and Italian provenance giving it real standout on shelf.

 

Individual cakes & pastries

 

The Co-op Irresistible Authentic French Macaron Collection_0001

Category champion: The Co-op Irresistible Authentic French Macaron Collection

Supplier: Rondanini UK

Consumers loved the “upmarket” and “eye-catching” presentation of this pastry collection from the Co-op that included a variety of flavours, all of which were “crumbly and soft”. Our judges felt the product was of a “superb” quality and “great value” too, both “aesthetically pleasing” and “with a great flavour profile”.

Innovation winner: The Co-op Irresistible Authentic French Macaron Collection

Supplier: Rondanini UK

Shimmery, colourful packaging saw these macarons praised by judges for tapping the seemingly ubiquitous “unicorn trend”. Sixty per cent of our consumers felt it offered something new and different, working as the perfect product to brighten up a party thanks to its “good flavours” and striking packaging.

 

Fruit infusions and tea

 

Lidl English Breakfast Tea Bags copy

Category champion: Lidl English Breakfast Tea Bags

Supplier: not disclosed

This Lidl tea attracted plenty of praise from our consumer testers who were impressed with its “refreshing” delivery and “light flavour”, with more than 90% saying they would consider buying. The expert judges were equally enthused, calling the tea “a proper brew” with a “nice dry finish”. A “strong, rich flavour which would be perfect with a buttery biscuit,” said one.

 

Asda Rhubarb & Custard Tea Infusion_0001

Innovation winner: Asda Rhubarb & Custard Tea Infusion

Supplier: Typhoo Tea

A “playful, nostalgic, aromatic” hot beverage, said judges of this Asda herbal tea infusion, with many shoppers equally intrigued by the concept of a dessert-inspired blend. Upon tasting they enjoyed the sweet aroma and balance of flavours within the tea, with many pleasantly surprised by the taste. The colourful packaging was widely praised too.

 

Ice cream

 

Iceland Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream copy

Category champion: Iceland Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Supplier: not disclosed

This ice cream was “full-on peanut”, said our experts, who also loved the “great chunky pieces of chocolate”. Shoppers were in agreement. They applauded everything from the “colourful and attractive” packaging to the flavour and “creamy” texture. This product was “absolutely delicious”, they said, as well as being “good for adults and kids”.

 

Aldi Double Chocsticks Peanut Butter_0001

Innovation winner: Aldi Double Chocsticks Peanut Butter

Supplier: not disclosed

Part of an Aldi range to have scored highly with shoppers in the past, this variant did not disappoint. There was effusive praise for every aspect - from the price (£1.75/264ml) to the combination of salty peanut butter and sweet ice cream. Even the shape pleased consumers - and judges gave a thumbs-up to the “snap from the chocolate”.

 

Frozen meals

 

Asda Oven Cook From Frozen Spanish Chicken  Chorizo_0001

Category champion: Asda Oven Cook From Frozen Spanish Chicken & Chorizo

Supplier: Faccenda Foods

The mix of “tender chicken” and just the “right amount of chorizo” meant this product hit the spot for consumers. Seen as a “very healthy” meal, it appealed greatly to younger shoppers. Judges praised the “good value” of the dish, which was a “good midweek meal option” in “fresh” packaging.

 

Fresh fruit & vegetables

 

Aldi Kalettes copy

Category champion: Aldi Kalettes

Supplier: not disclosed

This pack of greens was well received by consumers. Described on pack as a mix of kale and Brussels sprouts ‘with a twist’, many were curious to try out the unusual veg combination. When they did they enjoyed the “really nice flavour” the product delivered and felt it “would appeal to kids” too. Our judges agreed that the product combined “the best of both vegetables”.

 

Innovation winner: Aldi Kalettes

Supplier: not disclosed

There wasn’t a bad word to be said about this Aldi product, with shoppers handing it a coveted double innovation star. They said it brought something truly new to the fresh veg fixture. Described as “colourful” and “easy to cook”, Aldi’s offer would be a definite regular buy for around a third of consumers as a midweek accompaniment. The experts found it “highly innovative”.

 

Free-from - sweet

Co-op cookies

Category champion: The Co-op Irresistible Free From Triple Chocolate Cookies

Supplier: Northumbrian Fine Foods

Our industry judges found this “chewy chocolatey cookie” to be “delicious”. They liked that it contained a “generous amount of chocolate” and handed it a high score of 43/50. Our consumers also thought the cookies were “great-tasting”, though at a premium price of £1.99 more of an “indulgent treat”.

 

Innovation winner: The Co-op Irresistible Free From Triple Chocolate Cookies

Supplier: Northumbrian Fine Foods

Our experts thought this was a “great option for the gluten-free market” and said it was a “nice touch” to have them dipped in chocolate too. Consumers found it “hard to believe” the cookies were free from and over half considered them better than similar products, as well as being “new and different”.

 

Frozen desserts & cheesecakes

 

Lidl Deluxe Apple Salted Caramel Crumble Tart copy.jpg

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Apple & Salted Caramel Crumble Tart

Supplier: not disclosed

Consumers thought this dessert offered great value and was “easy to store”. They were also pleased the product came out the box looking just as good as on the packaging. Judges described it as “indulgent”, saying it was a “nice modern take on a classic”, and lauded the “delicious gooey filling” and “great flavour combinations”.

 

Lidl Deluxe Croquembouche_0001

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe Croquembouche

Supplier: not disclosed

Our panel of consumers went nuts for this imposing addition to Lidl’s Deluxe range, noting the croquembouche would particularly suit ­special occasions and calling it a great “centrepiece dessert”. Some 90% said it was new and different. Judges were similarly enthused, calling the dessert “an excellent idea” that delivered, with “real wow factor”.

 

Jams & spreads

 

Lidl Blackcurrant Conserve_0001

Category champion: Lidl Blackcurrant Conserve

Supplier: not disclosed

Packed in a “sexy” embossed jar, this jam had “great blackcurrant integrity”, according to our experts. They praised the “well balanced” flavour, “lovely lumps of fruit” and “lovely tartness”. Our shoppers added it was “excellent value” at 99p for 450g. It was “colourful” and “thick”, they said, and “very fruity and flavoursome”. In fact, it was “like Ribena in a jar”.

 

Large cakes

Co-op Belgian cake

Category champion: The Co-op Irresistible Belgian Chocolate Cake

Supplier: Finsbury Foods

There were high expectations for this Co-op cake and the product delivered, with its “chocolatey, light, moist sponge” and “attractive packaging” adding up to a “premium, sleek” entry that left 85% of our panel wanting to buy after trying. A “rich chocolatey flavour with delicious cream filling”, added our experts, who also liked its “nice finishing touches”.

 

Aldi Scottish Gingerbread with Candied Orange_0001

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Scottish Gingerbread with Candied Orange

Supplier: not disclosed

Awarded a coveted triple innovation score, this entry wowed consumers with its “upmarket” look and “excellent taste and texture”. Seventy-nine per cent said it beat alternatives in the category and 73% felt it added something new and different. Experts praised its “striking” packaging featuring a “clear Scottish cue”.

 

Pizza

 

Aldi Italian ham Sourdough Pizza_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Italian Ham, Portobello Mushroom & Mascarpone Sourdough Pizza

Supplier: not disclosed

Consumers loved that they could “taste each individual ingredient” on this pizza, praising it for its texture as well as looking “just like the picture”. Our experts agreed the packaging was a great selling point, while an “artisan look” and “handmade feel” added to the appeal.

 

Aldi Specially Selected Caprino Verde Pizza_0001

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Caprino Verde Pizza

Supplier: not disclosed

This premium veggie pizza was much enjoyed by experts and consumers alike, who were attracted to the ­convenience of a frozen option that still “looks fresh and healthy”. Almost 70% of consumers agreed the pizza was “better than what’s already out there” with “well balanced” flavour profiles that weren’t “too overpowering”.

 

Potato products

 

Lidl Deluxe Maris Piper Chunky Oven Chips_0001

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Maris Piper Chunky Oven Chips

Supplier: not disclosed

At £1.95 for 1.5kg, these chunky chips were “stunning value” said our panel of experts. “Well seasoned” with “great taste”, there was a “good contrast” between the “crispy” outside and “fluffy” inside. Shoppers loved the “upmarket” look of the packaging and the “excellent size” of the chips - which they said were better than those from some leading brands.

 

The Co-op Rainbow Fries copy

Innovation winner: The Co-op Rainbow Fries

Supplier: Fullers Foods

For many shoppers, this was a novel product with great appeal for kids. The “colourful” mix of vegetable fries was “different” and came in packaging likely to catch one’s eye. The product was “crunchy” and “not oily” with an “excellent coating”. Our judges said the fries looked “attractive on the plate” and picked out the sweet potato ones as the tastiest.

 

Poultry joints

 

Morrisons Sage  Onion Spatchcock_0001.jpg

Category champion: Morrisons Sage & Onion Spatchcock

Supplier: Avara Foods

Dropping just one point across the board, the spatchcock gained praise from consumers keen on its clear cooking instructions, “subtle” flavour profile and “good size”, with almost a quarter saying they would buy it weekly. The expert judges thought the ovenproof tray and short cooking time offered “real convenience”.

 

Potato crisps

 

Iceland Luxury Sea Salt & White Wine Vinegar Crisps_0001

Category champion: Iceland Luxury Sea Salt & White Wine Vinegar Crisps

Supplier: not disclosed

The expert judges loved the flavour delivery, citing its “sharp, strong vinegar taste and crunch”. They also noted the “attractive premium-style packaging”. Our consumer panel thought the crisps were “lovely” and “good value for money”. Over two thirds thought they were better than the competition and over 90% said they would buy.

 

Lidl Scottish Multi-Pack Crisps copy

Innovation winner: Lidl Scottish Multi-Pack Crisps

Supplier: not disclosed

Our experts loved Lidl’s “new and different” range of flavours (which include Scotch Bonnet, Haggis and Aberdeen Angus Steak) and gave the “very different” crisps a high innovation score. Over 80% of consumers thought the product was “new and different”, with nearly 60% saying they were better than other multipacks currently on the market.

 

Meat joints

Aldi Butterflied Lamb Leg copy

Category champion: Aldi Butterflied Lamb Leg

Supplier: not disclosed

The novel presentation of this joint combined with its “excellent” flavour and moist texture meant it scored top marks with our experts. They felt it was an easy cook and carve, making lamb “more accessible”. Consumers liked the absence of bone and thought it was “tender” and “succulent” with “lots of flavour”. Around half of the consumers were future buyers.

 

Lidl French trimmed pork loin_0001

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe French Trimmed Pork Loin with Honey & Mustard Butter

Supplier: not disclosed

With a score of 18/20 for innovation, this product was a hit with our consumers, 81% of whom thought it was a new and different addition to the market. They liked the “good-sized portion” and found it “well worth the money”. Our experts noted its French trim was innovative and “unusual”. The judges also liked that it “looked premium”.

 

Ketchups & chutneys

 

Aldi Specially Selected Caprino Verde Pizza_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Red Onion & Balsamic Vinegar Chutney

Supplier: not disclosed

The Scottish provenance, informative presentation and competitive price of £1.19 for 310g all helped this chutney achieve top marks from our consumers. They admired the “lovely tangy ­flavour”, “fab colour” and liked that it spread easily. For our experts, Aldi’s chutney was ­”warming”, “rounded” and “very nice overall”.

 

Morrisons The Best Brinjal Pickle_0001

Innovation winner: Morrisons The Best Brinjal Pickle

Supplier: AB World Foods

This premium-positioned chutney’s unusual recipe, centred on aubergine, drove a lot of interest among shoppers. While not everyone liked it - comments varied from “authentic” to “cannot taste brinjal” - they agreed that it brought something new to the fixture. Judges agreed it was a “bold idea” - although “more like a pickle than a chutney”.

 

Prepared fish

Aldi Specially Selected  Salmon Fishcakes

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Melt in the Middle Salmon Fishcakes

Supplier: not disclosed

Aldi’s fishcakes were heralded as “divine” by consumers, who thought they were “as good as M&S’ but cheaper”, with “lots of fresh salmon” that “melts in the mouth”. Experts agreed, ­calling them “very special for the price point” of £1.89 with the packaging “excellent with a premium feel”.

 

Prepared poultry

Morrisons Lime and Chilli Breast Quarters cutout copy

Category champion: Morrisons Lime and Chilli Breast Quarters

Supplier: Avara Foods

The expert panel described this as “well balanced” and “a bit more indulgent”. They liked that the meat was “nice and moist” and a “good size” in addition to its “decent value for money”. Our consumers also thought it was a “good portion size”, with 63% saying it had an “excellent taste”. Testers gave it 48/50, with 65% saying they would buy it for a midweek meal.

 

Innovation winner: Morrisons Lime and Chilli Breast Quarters

Supplier: Avara Foods

Also a winner in innovation with a score of 17/20, our consumers found its flavours “enhanced the chicken”. Nearly three quarters of them felt it was new and different. A huge 81% of testers thought it was better than similar products on the market. Our experts also gave this “different proposition” a high score, noting it was a “nice twist on classic chicken”.

 

Fish - ready to eat

 

Aldi Fish Sushi Selection_0001

Category champion: Aldi Fish Sushi Selection

Supplier: not disclosed

This sushi pack wowed our panel of consumers, who thought it was “great for a lunch at work” and had “lots of fish” with “distinctive ­flavour” - as well appreciating as its “cute tray”. Judges described the Aldi sushi as “a really good-quality ­product” with “excellent variety for an excellent price”, lauding its “insanely good value”.

 

Sausages

 

Iceland Luxury Thick Pork Sausages copy

Category champion: Iceland Luxury Thick Pork Sausages

Supplier: not disclosed

Our experts scored these bangers 46/50 due to their higher pork percentage, “great flavour” and “moist texture”. They also thought the packaging “communicated luxury”. Consumers gave them a score of 46/50, praising the “good flavour”. They particularly liked the “classy” packaging too, which includes RSPCA and Red Tractor assurances.

Co-op sausages

Innovation winner: The Co-op Irresistible Chicken & Cracked Black Pepper Sausages

Supplier: Cranswick

The experts loved that these sausages were a healthier option and that the “packaging highlighted the high protein and low-fat content”. They also liked the fact they were gluten free and “good value for money”. Our consumers scored the bangers 17/20 for innovation, with 77% saying they were “new and different”.

 

Savoury pastries

 

Aldi Pork, Bacon & West Country Cheddar Sausage Rolls_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Pork, Bacon & West Country Cheddar Sausage Rolls

Supplier: not disclosed

The sausage rolls were deemed to “look top quality” by consumers, who said the bacon complemented the taste, giving it a “quite sweet”, “upmarket” feel, almost “like a pie”. Judges raved about the “intense favours, even down to crispy cheese bits”, saying the cheddar added “another dimension”.

 

Morrisons The Best Smoked Bacon & Camembert Quiche_0001

Innovation winner: Morrisons The Best Smoked Bacon & Camembert Quiche

Supplier: Morrisons

Consumers thought the combination of bacon and camembert with maple syrup made for a “lovely starter” and considered the quiche “light and fluffy” with “just the right amount of saltiness” and a “good cheese flavour”. Judges praised the “hand-crafted” feel and were impressed by the whole camembert in the middle.

 

Sandwiches and wraps

 

The Co-op Onion Bhaji Sandwich_0001

Category champion: The Co-op Onion Bhaji Sandwich

Supplier: Greencore Food to Go

An “excellent tasting vegan product” said our judges, with a good texture from its vegetable filling, balanced flavours and an “attractive” appearance. “An excellent mix of ingredients,” they added, “with a great use of colours”. In fact, more than half of our consumer testers (54%) said they’d look to buy it again despite its relatively niche filling.

 

Innovation winner: Co-op Onion Bhaji Sandwich

Supplier: Greencore Food to Go

This Co-op sandwich, which capitalises on the plant-based food trend, was an “excellent product”, said our judges, with balanced flavours and a “fantastic” appearance. Some 83% of our consumers felt it offered something new and different, awarding it a 17/20 innovation score, believing it could add a touch of inspiration to the standard sandwich selection.

 

Prepared salads

 

Lidl Cheese Coleslaw_0001

Category champion: Lidl Cheese Coleslaw

Supplier: not disclosed

Consumers commented that Lidl’s cheese coleslaw offered fantastic value at only 79p, with one third adding that they would buy it at least fortnightly after tasting it. They also lauded its relatively low-calorie content. Our experts pointed out it had a “lovely cheese taste and great ratio between the veg and sauce” with “a nice balance of flavours.” Overall, a “very well-executed” product.

 

The Co-op Irresistible Super Green Salad_0001

Innovation winner: The Co-op Irresistible Super Green Salad

Supplier: Freshtime UK

Consumers called The Co-op’s Super Green Salad “fresh” and “colourful” and thought it offered great value at £3.20/240g. Some 79% of testers said it was “new and different,” with 46% saying they would buy it occasionally. Judges thought it was a “very innovative salad without the use of lettuce” and said they loved the inclusion of falafel.

 

Prepared meats

Lidl Mint & Honey Pulled Lamb_0001

Category champion: Lidl Mint & Honey Pulled Lamb

Supplier: not disclosed

Our experts liked the “innovative idea” of pulled lamb and the “good punch of flavour” this product gave and enjoyed its “great taste”. Consumers scored it 45/50 and over 90% would consider buying thanks to its “lovely smell”, “great texture” and complementary ingredients. They thought it offered both value (£3.49/380g) and convenience.

 

Overall winner of Innovative Product of the Year 2018: 


Iceland Luxury Rose´ Veal Saltimbocca_0001

Innovation winner: Iceland Luxury Rosé Veal Saltimbocca

Supplier: not disclosed

Two thirds of consumers found this “flavoursome product” an interesting addition to the market and “eye-catching”. Experts thought it was “stunning” with a “great back story” about higher-welfare British veal. All in all, a “carefully considered, well-executed” product.

 

Savoury pies

 

Lidl Deluxe Spinach Vintage Cheddar  Garlic Wellingtons_0001.jpg

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Spinach, Vintage Cheddar & Garlic Wellingtons

Supplier: not disclosed

The consumer panel thought this was “great comfort food” with a good ratio of pastry to filling and considered the “nice crispy pastry”, which “didn’t go soggy”, a triumph. Both consumers and expert judges thought it was “a great alternative for vegetarians” with the mixture of cheese, garlic and spinach “melting in the mouth”.

 

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe Spinach, Vintage Cheddar & Garlic Wellingtons

Supplier: not disclosed

This wellington also won its category’s innovation award, achieving three innovation stars with consumers, 88% of whom thought it was new and different. Our experts were bowled over by the “full flavoured innovative pie”, considering the parcel design a very different twist on traditional beef wellingtons, with great visual impact.

 

Side dishes

 

Lidl Deluxe Apricot & White Stilton Stuffing Parcels_0001

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Apricot & White Stilton Stuffing Parcels

Supplier: not disclosed

With its premium packaging and use of outdoor British pork, this seasonal treat had immediate appeal among our consumers, who loved the combination of ingredients. Our experts were impressed by the “good execution” throughout”, noting the stuffing parcels would “look great on a dinner plate” and had “lots of flavour”.

 

Innovation winner: Lidl Deluxe Apricot & White Stilton Stuffing Parcels

Supplier: not disclosed

Nearly all our consumer testers agreed the “luxurious” and “festive” parcels were “new and different”, earning them two innovation stars. Despite their premium positioning they scored well on value for money. Our experts were particularly impressed by the presentation and “hand-made packaging” of the parcels.

 

Soft drinks & juices

 

Lidl Orange & Mango Juice copy

Category champion: Lidl Orange & Mango Juice

Supplier: not disclosed

Lidl’s juice was awarded top marks, scoring above average in all key measures. Consumers loved the bright packaging and the 99p price. They thought the juice had a “great mango taste” and 90% said they’d be happy to add it to their basket. The expert panel added it was a “good breakfast accompaniment” with a “refreshing and fruity” flavour.

 

Innovation winner: Lidl Orange & Mango Juice

Supplier: not disclosed

The juice also won for its innovation, with consumers giving it two of three stars. Nearly 80% of the consumer group thought the juice was better than other, similar products on the market. They liked the packaging, which was “cheerful” and showed the wording well. Our expert judges awarded it 16/20 for its innovativeness and noted its “great price”.

 

Speciality bread

 

The Co-op Rye Bloomer_0001

Category champion: The Co-op Rye Bloomer

Supplier: Country Style Foods

The “fresh, rustic appearance” and well balanced “malty” flavour of this Co-op bloomer saw it score incredibly highly with our consumer panel, many of whom felt it would be perfect “to impress guests when entertaining” and 60% would happily recommend it to others. “The flavour and texture is great, it looks beautiful and could be eaten everyday,” added our expert judges.

 

Lidl Fig Walnut Bread_0001.jpg

Innovation winner: Lidl Fig & Walnut Bread

Supplier: not disclosed

Described by our experts as an “attractive product that tastes gorgeous with cheese” this bread offered a “well-balanced sweet and nutty” flavour, and scored 17 on innovation from our consumer panel too. Seventy-one per cent thought it offered something new and different, 78% would be happy to buy after trying and a huge 80% felt it was better than other products on the market.

 

Speciality cheese

 

Lidl Baking Camembert with a Caramelised Red Onion Relish_0001

 

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Baking Camembert with a Caramelised Red Onion Relish

Supplier: not disclosed

Awarded full marks, this Lidl Camembert “did not disappoint.” It was described as “creamy, melt-in-the-mouth” with a “sweet aftertaste” by consumers, 88% of whom would happily add it to their trolley. Judges felt it was a “real crowd-pleasing comfort food” with a “beautiful taste”.

 

Soups

 

Aldi Specially Selected Chicken Mulligatawny Soup_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Supplier: not disclosed

Our experts voted this Indian-inspired soup 40/50 and enjoyed its “good selection of ingredients”. They also thought the soup offered a “substantial” lunch proposition. Consumers found the “hearty soup” to “smell gorgeous” and “look home-made”. Three quarters thought it was better than other chilled soups and around half said it would be a definite future purchase.

 

Sliced meats & pâtés

 

Aldi Specially Selected Black Treacle Stout Ham copy.jpg

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Black Treacle & Stout Ham

Supplier: not disclosed

Consumers loved this ham from Aldi, claiming it looked “expensive” and “different” with the taste of the ham enhanced by the sweetness of the treacle - “very more-ish”. Judges thought it tasted “amazing” and were impressed that it was made from formed meat as it “looks like natural muscle structure”.

 

Aldi Specially Selected Farmhouse Apple Pork Cider Pa^te´_0001.jpg

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Farmhouse Apple, Pork & Cider Pâté

Supplier: not disclosed

An impressive 71% of our consumer panel said Aldi’s pâté was better than what was out there, with 65% agreeing it was both new and different. They liked its “creamy” mouthfeel and “tasty apple pieces”. Judges thought the pâté was provided in “great”, “innovative” packaging that helped to reduce food waste too.

 

Savoury snacks

 

Lidl Deluxe Oregano Garlic Root Vegetable Crisps_0001.jpg

Category champion: Lidl Deluxe Oregano & Garlic Root Vegetable Crisps

Supplier: not disclosed

Scoring 49/50 from consumers and described as an “ideal product for entertaining”, our panel loved the “different textures” of these crisps. The packaging was noted as “unlikely to go unnoticed on the shelf”. Our experts felt the oregano added “something new and different”. They were described as “good value” at 99p for 100g.

 

Aldi Veggie Burst cutout_0001

Innovation winner: Aldi Veggie Burst Power Pocket

Supplier: not disclosed

Our expert panel thought this individual-sized product was a “great innovation”, which can be popped into a bag for an “on-the-go” snack. Its “good mix of nuts and pulses” was thought to offer a “refreshing alternative”. Our consumers loved it too, with 79% saying it was “new and different” and 69% believing it was better than other products available on the shelves.

 

Yoghurts

 

Aldi Specially Selected Lemon Curd Farmhouse Yogurt_0001

Category champion: Aldi Specially Selected Lemon Curd Farmhouse Yogurt

Supplier: not disclosed

Our expert panel gave this Aldi yoghurt full marks, with its presentation particularly well received. The panel thought it “very indulgent” with a “creamy flavour and a distinct long-lasting flavour of lemon”. Our consumers scored it 50/50. They liked the sharp, creamy taste, with 56% saying it would be a “refreshing” weekend treat.

Innovation winner: Aldi Specially Selected Lemon Curd Farmhouse Yogurt

Supplier: not disclosed

Not only a category champion but thanks to its “new and different” packaging also an innovation winner. The experts thought the pack was unique and its “continental aspiration” made it stand out. The glass jar gave it the “feel of a premium French product” and the packaging made a “dessert from a yoghurt”.

 

Store cupboard

 

Aldi Pickled Whole Baby Beetroot_0001

Category champion: Aldi Pickled Whole Baby Beetroot

Supplier: not disclosed

Our expert judges loved the price point of 52p for 440g of this product. They noted the “tender texture” of the beetroot and thought there was a “good balance” of flavours too. Over three quarters of the consumer group said they would notice the “bright label design” and British provenance. On tasting they were impressed by the “earthy, fresh” flavour.

 

World cooking sauces

 

Morrisons The Best Keralan Coconut Sauce_0001

Category champion: Morrisons The Best Keralan Coconut Sauce

Supplier: AB World Foods

Our expert judges thought this sauce had an authentically “homemade” taste and texture, with a “good depth of flavour”. Our consumers were intrigued by the unusual recipe and glass jar, and while it was a little too hot for some, others enjoyed the “hot kick”. With a “good price” of £1.44 for 350g, it was rated as better than similar products from leading brands.

 

The Co-op Irresistible Theakston Ale & Thyme Cooking Sauce_0001

Innovation winner: The Co-op Irresistible Theakstone Ale & Thyme Cooking Sauce

Supplier: Greencore Grocery

Consumers and experts agreed this unusual sauce brought something new and different to the category. Judges were impressed by the practical two-step jar, with the separate herb compartment giving a “new twist”. Nearly 96% of consumers loved its “rich” and full-bodied flavour. More than a third would recommend it

 

Morrisons seal Innovative Own Label Retailer of the Year Award through consistently high execution average

Morrisons has really upped its game in own label in recent years. We saw that last year when The Best - its top-tier range - was voted Own-Label Range of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards. To be crowned Innovative Own Label Retailer of the Year, it needed consistency of execution across all its entries, including innovation in standard as well as premium tiers.

It also needed to convince bothconsumers and experts. Analysis from Cambridge Market Research showed Morrisons bested Lidl to achieve the highest average innovation score across all its entries in the consumer testing round, and Morrisons continued to impress in the second round, with only Iceland achieving a higher combined innovation score across shortlisted products in the blind testing phase. When the average consumer and expert scores were combined, Morrisons came top, with an average score of 34.53 out of 50. Aldi was in second place with 33.84, while Iceland was third with 33.62.

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Real shame all of the Aldi and Lidl products say 'supplier not disclosed'; the awards are also as much about the innovative great products suppliers come up with - but they don't get any credit.

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