Walkers' Potato Heads, for example, was a pretty safe bet, considering that the kid-friendly brand was, at the time of our choosing, already clocking up impressive sales. Aero Bubbles was another bit of a cheat, as again it had shown early signs that it would go on to do great things.
Yet, while we chose some obvious stars, we also plumped for products whose futures were less straightforward but in which we saw a glimmer of potential. Ferrero's Giotto was one product that was much deliberated; we eventually tipped it for success despite the fact that a number of biscuit buyers had expressed concerns that consumers would be confused about whether it actually was a biscuit or a confectionery line. With sales of more than £3.7m, while the product will never pose a real threat to the likes of McVitie's, it has proven itself a worthy nominee. Tango Clear was another success story that was less obvious to predict. The 'no added sugar' drink could have been a hit with parents, or its healthier image could have damaged the main Tango brand. Once again our gut instinct was right and, with sales on the verge of topping the £10m mark, Tango Clear has probably exceeded even Britvic's expectations for the product in its first year.
Hovis Invisible Crust has also justified its place in the star products' gallery, with impressive sales of both its white and Best of Both variants. Hailed as the world's first loaf to be baked without a crust, sales are already close to £9m.
Yet, while we were on the money with some products, others have failed to live up to our high expectations. Consumers didn't agree with us about Nescafé Partners' Blend, opting to buy rival product Kenco Sustainable Development coffee instead. Partners' Blend racked up sales of only £168,000, compared with £433,000 for Kenco Sustainable Development [ACNielsen].
The success of other products is harder to call, even now. Kronenbourg Blanc, for example, has undoubtedly been a success in the on-trade, where it has become a strong contender against InBev's Hoegaarden. Off-trade sales have been less encouraging, however, and the brand has clocked up only £3.4m of sales since launch, although it is definitely a product that is set to go places.
In last year's survey, for the first time, we also introduced a section in which we picked products that we thought deserved a special mention, either because they pushed the boundaries of innovation or just because they seemed like really good ideas.
Some of these have turned out to be a huge success. Unilever's Vie Shot, for example, had achieved sales of £5.8m by the end of February this year, according to ACNielsen, with 31.2% repeat purchase. St Ivel Advance has also performed well as one of the first products in food and drink to get in on the Omega-3 act. The product was launched last May and, by February this year, it had already clocked up sales of £3.8m. The company predicts that it will become a £14m brand by the end of the year.