Own label is changing. As we’ve noted in recent weeks Tesco has moved on from its once ground-breaking good-better-best construct, while Asda’s Chosen by You range is in the process of being retired in favour of a more ‘retro’ design, while also developing its Scratch Cook portfolio, with seven new variants of frozen and prepared vegetables and herbs.

But The Grocer’s Own Label Food & Drink Awards is a chance to take stock, at a product level, of some of the consumer trends in the market. And what’s really encouraging from the results is that, in another year of record entries to our awards, the standard is the highest ever. That’s not just my opinion, but consumers too. Almost a third of all the entries achieved a score of over 45 (out of 50), up from 25% last year, and 4% when the Own Label Awards launched in 2006.

It’s easy to characterise the evolution of own-label and the closely associated success of the discounters in purely value terms. ‘Like brands only cheaper’ and all that. But Aldi has retired the strapline and with good reason. It does a disservice to the innovation it has brought to the market. Its success - and Lidl’s - has been predicated on upping quality and taking risks as much as it has been slavishly copying brands at a lower price.

Even more important is that despite the high number of entries from the discounters, there’s a greater diversity of retailer coverage and product types among the winners.

This demonstrates that the market is responding to the challenge of the discounters not just by slashing prices, a point reinforced by Tesco at its IGD briefing this week. But it also shows there’s a greater confidence and willingness among consumers to try something new. On-trend ingredients were much in evidence, with wide use of salted caramel, chorizo and sea salt, but there were also unexpectedly popular entries using less mainstream ingredients like harissa, katsu, baobab and kimchi among our winners.

There was also a nod to the clean eating trend, with the use of seeds, coconut, quinoa and juices mixes, and with baked good enhanced with wholemeal, corn or gluten-free. And while the latter category is still the subject of scrutiny over its higher fat contentand premium pricing, at least it shows supermarkets are meeting a market need.

The quality of the meat and fish entries was another stand-out feature. Not only was a focus on sourcing and provenance very much in evidence, There was also some fantastic innovation around cooking methods and packaging, as reflected in my Chairman’s Champion, which I awarded to the M&S hog roast from our 68 Gold award winners after much deliberation. It was hog roasts that started the pulled pork trend. But they’ve always taken forever to prepare. Arguably anticipation is part of their appeal: not for the supermarkets. Here is yet another example of UK grocers doing what they do best: delivering on-trend, delicious products, and making them easy to prepare and consume.