Despite an economic climate in which it can feel all too tempting to stick with what you know, this year’s New Product Award winners have shown courage, ingenuity, and imagination to expand their product portfolios in new directions. The result is a bold, flavourful, and innovative list of winners from across categories, many of which blew our judges away with their creativity. And by ensuring they keep a watchful eye on price, packaging and nutritional credentials, these brands have managed to continue meeting shoppers’ other priorities of health, sustainability and convenience

There’s no shortage of challenges facing food and drink brands right now.

From supply chain disruption to volatile commodity costs and an escalating cost of living crisis in the UK, there is a perfect storm of pressures that teams need to grapple with.

Which makes the quality and innovativeness of this year’s roster of New Product Award winners all the more impressive.

Over and over again, our judges praised the ways in which companies have shown a willingness to be agile, leverage emerging consumer trends and expand portfolios in new directions. All despite a tough economic climate in which it may feel easier to stick with what they know.

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The result is a bold, flavourful and genuinely innovative list of winners, many of which blew judges away with their creativeness.

In particular, though price and a strong sense of value ran through many launches, the existing macro trends of health, sustainability and convenience remained.

The use of new ingredients to add functional benefits was strong throughout, from seeded crusts on Birds Eye fish fillets to redesigned low-calorie ‘Air Nuts’ by Real Handful. As were efforts to create healthy swaps that mimicked the taste and enjoyment of existing products, but with less sugar and calories, or more fibre and protein. Many brands had worked hard to achieve HFSS-compliant status in categories where it has traditionally been a major challenge to do so, demonstrating a desire to reduce sugar, salt and fat despite uncertainty around the government’s position.

Sustainability remained an overarching theme, despite much debate around the changing priorities of consumers struggling with household bills. The Cheeky Panda used bamboo woven through its facial wipes to offer an alternative to the plastic used in 90% of the wipes market, B Corp Clipper opted for plant-based teabags and eco-friendly sourcing, and Organix complied with planetary health guidelines on its winning babyfood product. A raft of next-gen plant-based products also spoke to this trend, with creations that are now almost indiscernible from the ‘real thing’ thanks to novel ingredients and technologies.

And as consumers continue to rebuild their ‘outdoor’ lives following the pandemic, convenience too was at the core of many winning launches. Be it a Tuna Honey & Ginger Super Salad by John West designed for a quick and easy lunch on the move, or individually wrapped Cherry Bakewell Oat Boosts from Graze, perfect for popping in your pocket.

Innovative, delicious and each offering brilliant value, here are our New Product Award winners of 2022…

The Grocer’s New Product Awards 2022: value shines through among winners