South Africa’s Product of the Year winners revealed

South Africa’s best products, recognised through a market-leading independent consumer survey, were announced at the Product of the Year gala event in Johannesburg last week.
South Africa’s Product of the Year winners revealedPart of one of the world’s largest consumer-voted awards programmes, this independent consumer survey, conducted by leading global information and measurement company Nielsen, rewards product innovation based on the endorsements of over 5,000 consumer households. Established 30 years ago in France, Product of the Year currently operates in 38 countries to guide consumers and help them find the best new products and services in their market, while also rewarding manufacturers for quality and innovation.

“In this competitive and cluttered market, making informed purchase decisions can be extremely confusing for consumers,” states Preetesh Sewraj, CEO and chief innovation analyst at Product of the Year South Africa. “With limited expendable income, consumers are often unable to test and trial every offering on the market, which is why we aim to take the guesswork out of this process for local consumers, effectively giving them a shortcut to the check-out counter while also saving them time and money.”
To enter, brands submit products for inclusion through an opt-in process in a variety of categories. Winners are chosen through a robust research process that employs best in class research techniques to understand consumer perception of innovation in the market. 

In its infancy, Product of the Year award categories extensively covered the FMCG sector, specifically food, beverages, personal care and household care, but these have since expanded to include other important consumer-facing market segments such as automotive, technology, petrochemicals, medical and health products, and clothing, among many others.
The winners are now able to use the distinctive red Product of the Year logo on packaging and marketing, under licence, for a period of 12 months. 
Winners list

Based on the independently verified feedback of the 5,000 consumers surveyed, the most innovative products of the year for 2017 are:
Category Winner

Baby care Epi-max Baby & Junior Range

Beverages Fuze Tea

Biscuits Bakers Eet-Sum-Mor Chocolate Chip

Breakfast White Star Instant Maize Porridge

Chips Doritos

Dairy Beverages Deneys Swiss Diary Gourmet Drinking Yoghurt

Dessert (Heritage) Ultra Mel Vanilla Flavoured Custard

Female Deodorants Shield MotionSense

Feminine Skincare Johnson’s Vita-Rich

Food (Heritage) Big Jack Pies

Fuel BP Ultimate with Active Technology

Hair Treatment Dove Intensive Repair Treatment Mask

Hairwash Tresemme Beauty Full Volume

Healthy Snacking Planters Nuts

Home Appliances Hisense Ice Maker Refrigerator

Male Deodorants Shield MotionSense

Male Grooming Schick Hydro 5

Mayonnaise Miracle Whip

Mobile Phones Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Motor Lubricants Shell Helix Ultra

Popcorn Simba Kettle Popped Flavoured Popcorn

Pourable Sauces Wellington’s New Recipe Tomato Sauce

Television Samsung SUHD TV

Therapeutic Skincare Vaseline Camphor Restore

Wearables Samsung Gear VR

Yoghurt NutriDay Yoghurt

Product of the Year also launched its partnership with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) at the event. “We were honoured to have in attendance of Adam Patisson, VP the America and EMEA at BBM,” states Sewraj. “It is an important partnership for both us and our category winners as modern consumers increasingly adopt a mobile-centric approach to information sharing and e-commerce. We are therefore well positioned to drive innovation within the mobile channel, to amplify our reach and highlight the work being done to champion the consumer cause.”
Heritage – new category

A Heritage category was included for the first time in this year’s endorsement programme, offering multiple divisions in line with the other established Product of the Year categories. 
“South Africa has a strong history of innovation, which means that there are still iconic brands on shelf today that have woven their way into the fabric of our society and continue to offer consumers quality and value for money. While they may not be innovative by today’s standards, we feel they still deserve recognition and should still be considered by consumers at the point of purchase. This is why we chose to expand our footprint and include the Heritage category in the Product of the Year awards,” explains Sewraj.
“Product of Year looks forward to supporting the winners through the company’s innovative and diversified platform. We hope to continue stimulating innovation in South Africa through our brand endorsement programme to ensure that deserving brands and their products get the exposure and recognition they deserve in the marketplace,” concludes Sewraj.

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