The Product of the Year committee has announced the best new grocery products across 14 supermarket categories, as voted by 5,000 consumers.

Steven Braddon, researcher for Roy Morgan, conducted the survey and believes that, contrary to some critics’ beliefs, people are not just pawns in a marketing game when it comes to new products and variants that regularly appear on the shelves.

“Products that make it into the shops are the result of enormous series of consumer studies that try to find out what people’s needs are, and how they behave in the real world. Marketers want to help make people’s lives simpler, easier, faster, and healthier,” Braddon says.

“It’s much more about addressing unmet needs than convincing people to buy what they don’t really need.”

Winners of awards include McCormick, MasterFoods, Dettol, Uncle Toby’s, Nescafe and Omo.

Braddon also asserts that there are some obvious trends emerging from among the winners, one of them being ‘Help My Everyday Life’ – products that make consumers’ lives more convenient, faster, easier and more automatic.

“This is the largest trend across the two years of the Awards in Australia, with nine products falling into this category from last year’s and this year’s winners. This trend, like the others, is familiar and probably not very surprising to many people who will recognise their desire for improvements in their own everyday life in the products on this list,” says Braddon.

Winners from this category are Dairy Farmers Rise Fresh Start, Green Seas Tuna Plus, McCormick Herbs and Spices, and Raid Automatic Insect Control.

whatsnew? managing director Mark Silcocks, who has produced the Awards for the past two years, says the average supermarket presents around 40,000 individual products (SKUs) to the shopper, which can become overwhelming and frustrating for the time-poor consumer.

“The Product of the Year Awards show consumers what their peers have chosen as the leaders in innovation in each category, which saves valuable time and money as well as contributing the little improvements to our daily lives that can make such a difference,” explains Silcocks.

2009 Product of the Year winners

  • DAIRY: Dairy Farmers, Rise Fresh Start
  • SIMMER SAUCES & RECIPE: McCormick Slow Cookers
  • HOT BEVERAGE: Nescafe Greenblend
  • PERSONAL CARE: Dettol Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • DOG FOOD: Purina Lucky Dog 2 in 1 Beef and Marrowbone Dog
  • MEALS TO GO/MEAL KITS: Greenseas Chunky Tuna Plus
  • SAUCES & MARINADES: MasterFoods Homestyle Marinades
  • HERBS & SPICES: McCormick Herbs and Spices
  • BREAKFAST FOODS: Uncle Tobys Oat Crisp Cereal
  • CAT FOOD: Purina Supercoat for Cats
  • LAUNDRY: Omo Small & Mighty
  • INSECT CONTROL: Raid Automatic Insect Control System
  • HOUSEHOLD FRAGRANCES: Glade Scented Oil Candles