Over 5,000 Australian shoppers have had their say and cast votes for their favourite supermarket and everyday products, in the annual Product of the Year Awards (POY) for 2023. The world’s largest consumer-based awards program is now in its 14th year in Australia, recognising product innovation, and serving as a shortcut for shoppers, saving them time and money when finding the right products.
It’s no secret that inflation rates are having an impact on Australian households, with 72% of Aussies noticing a considerable price increase on their usual grocery shops. As the inflation rates sits at around 6.1%, Aussies are on the hunt for ways to cut back and save costs – and how they are doing this is good news for big grocery retailers and more affordable brand offerings!
For 2023, the leading number of Product of the Year category awards were taken out by supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths for their home-brand, deli and bakery products, with Coles taking 11 award wins and Woolworths taking home 5 of the 33 winning product gongs. With Aussies feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living more so than ever, this is having a trickle-down effect into the way they shop, with many switching to lower-cost items and cheaper alternatives.
And this is supported by the NielsenIQ research conducted for Product of the Year, which found that 84% of shoppers are employing cost-saving techniques with their weekly shop, with one in two shoppers (50%) admitting they have had to switch to low cost or home brand options in order to save money; 42% claiming they have to switch to more affordable fresh food/cuts of meat, and 37% just generally opting to buy less than they usually do.
Product of the Year Director, Sarah Connelly says, “The rising cost of living has definitely changed the FMCG landscape, with affordability now the most important consideration for Aussies making their weekly grocery trip. Typically, during a recession, you will see many people cut back on holidays and indulgent expenses like eating out, but interestingly, the data indicates something else is happening entirely. Only a third of Aussies reported that they cut back on splurge-like expenses such as dinners and food delivery, instead opting to switch to cheaper brands, buy less groceries or reject their favourite brands altogether. After extended COVID-19 lockdowns, you can tell that people are much more willing to sacrifice their household goods if it means getting the opportunity to go out, socialise and enjoy all the things they’ve missed on in recent years.
“In addition, the POY winner’s trends are also showing that health and wellbeing is still at the forefront of minds post COVID-19, with 10 of the 33 winners sitting within the health, pharmacy and cleanliness categories including products from Hydralyte, Voltaren, BioSLIM and Inner Health.”
The NielsenIQ research also uncovered that the post-pandemic trend is in favour of supporting local, with a third (32%) of shoppers preferring to go to retailers that support Australian brands. Shoppers also gave Woolworths the nod as the leading retailer with the best selection of fresh, healthy, and organic products.
This year, POY was thrilled to welcome beloved household brands back into the winner’s pool, including Birds Eye, Colgate, Lyre’s and Moccona. In addition, they are very excited to welcome first-time winners including Rokeby Farms’ environmentally friendly ‘ReMilk,’ Roll’d Vietnamese Sauces, and The Comfort Mattress from The Emma Sleep Company.
Shoppers can be confident when buying Product of the Year category winners as they undergo a rigorous testing process. A panel of judges, comprising of various industry experts, first tested the products for quality, credibility, and innovation. The resulting product finalists were then reviewed and voted on by 5,000 Australians. The NielseniQ research that determines the winners involves evaluating these consumer responses by using their six key innovation criteria which include:
1. Relevance – Is the product fulfilling a need or addressing a problem?
2. Uniqueness – Does is stand out and bring something new to the category?
3. Excitement – How excited are they to use the product? Would they spread the word?
4. Likeability – Does it deliver what you want?
5. Distinctiveness – Does it add something new to its category?
6. Innovation – Is it an innovative product?
KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS FROM NIELSENIQ:
– The POY logo is recognised across Australia, with nearly one in two Aussies (45%) likely to purchase a new product if it had won a POY award.
– The average Australian household spends around $200 per week on groceries, with more affluent households able to spend more.
– Price / Affordability is the key decision factor for over 86% of Australians when deciding to buy a new brand or product.
– The change in flexible/hybrid lifestyles has seen the household shopping responsibilities change for over 2 in 5 Australians now held by middle-aged males, more so than ever.
– Over a quarter (27%) of those doing more of their households shopping claim they have had to take over as they are more financially responsible and therefore can help their household save money
– Woolworths is Australia’s preferred retailer across a range of criteria including: Biggest range of healthy and organic products (41%); Best range of fresh products (40%); Cleanliness (39%); Provides the best shopping experience (38%).
2023 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR WINNERS
Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.