Online Exclusives

When Better Is Best

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | February 17, 2014

Find out what it takes to be a winner of the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards.

Following The Great Recession, Americans remain cautious when it comes to spending their hard earned dollars on products that don’t live up to their promises. But shoppers will still reward companies and brands that deliver.  Just last month Better Homes and Gardens announced the winners of its 2014 Best New Product awards in beauty, food and beverage, health and personal care, and household.
“Successful new products deliver on their promises, while offering meaningful incremental benefits, explained in terms that consumers understand,” explained Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark International and founder of the Best New Product Awards. “Closely following the innovation in your market and listening to the consumer through research like the American Shopper Study is crucial to ensuring that your innovations will appeal to your consumer and resonate in the market.”
Some takeaways from the Best New Product Awards are:
• Product innovation in CPG has accelerated and has been largely guided by a few critical consumer needs led by value, health, convenience and an interest in new innovation, including new experiences and sensations.
• In food and beverage, new tastes, health and convenience have underscored many new innovations. 

• In personal care and household care, increased convenience and effectiveness have been the usual hallmark of strong new products. Natural versions of brand name products have also been a steady trend, benefiting from perceptions that more-natural products are healthier and better for the environment (in the case of household care).

• Overall, 6 in 10 shoppers believe that ongoing product innovation really is “constantly leading to better products.”
The 2014 program attracted 80,000 consumer responses, which was up slightly from last year when 78,000 American shoppers participated. According to organizers, the American Shopper Study has always been large with more than 63,000 participants in 2011 and 66,000 in 2012.  
“This high number of consumers allows us to study a wide range of topics relevant to American consumers, and supports the Best New Product Awards program, where we identify past purchasers of specific new products in CPG who provide their feedback to determine the annual winners,” explained Levy.
Since the awards debuted six years ago, American shoppers have been put through the wringer due to high unemployment, rising commodity prices and the lingering impact of The Great Recession. According to Levy, 50% of survey respondents said that their lives were negatively impacted by the downturn and 37% said they are less loyal to companies than before the recession.
The awards also look at consumer attitudes. Some key findings from the American Shopper Study include:
• Shoppers have become even more price conscious and we are currently seeing 85% of shoppers reading the supermarket flyers at least each month, and 3 in 4 reading them each week, while coupon clipping and price matching are also popular.
• 85% say they will stock up when a product that they like is on sale. Retailers have responded with strong price promotions, which in turn has strengthened American consumers’ drive to find the best value. 
•  It is important to note that the best value doesn’t mean the cheapest product: consumers still want quality, whether that means great tasting foods or highly effective personal care and household care products.  1 in 2 shoppers agree that price is the single most important factor in their purchase decisions, but 7 in 10 "continue to purchase the same brands regularly.”
Also, consumers have also steadily become more concerned with the health impact of the products they use.
• 75% indicate that they are actively making changes to live healthier.
• These consumers are more educated on how their diet can affect their health: 84% agree that there is a lot they can do with food and nutrition to prevent illness and 75% feel that they are knowledgeable about nutritional issues.
Finally, new technology is changing how the consumer shops, with smartphones now in the hands of 6 in 10 household shoppers. They are  using them to perform on-the-spot product research for big ticket items, but are also using them during CPG shopping.
“Most frequent uses were a digital shopping list, searching for coupons, and checking a recipe,” Levy told Happi. “Overall, smartphones were used for research during 12% of household shopping trips, but this is expected to increase quickly in near future.”
So, without further ado, here are the 91 winning products:
Category    Product
At-home Manicure    SensatioNail Manicure Starter Kit
Body Wash     Dove Go Fresh Restore with NutriumMoisture
Cleansing Oil   Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil
Concealer       Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Conditioner    Pantene AgeDefy
Dark Spot Treatment                        Olay Pro-X Tone Correcting Protocol
Eye Cream (over $40)          Regeneration Tight, Firm & Fill Extreme Eye Complex
Eye Cream (under $40)       CoverGirl + Olay Eye Rehab CC Cream
Face Serum (over $60)        Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Turbo
Face Serum (under $30)     Olay Total Effects Moisturizer + Serum Duo
Facial CC Cream        Olay Total Effects CC Cream
Facial Cleanser          Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser
Facial Mask    Tarte Double Detox Amazonian Clay Exfoliating Facial Mask
Facial Moisturizer      Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Facial Moisturizer with Sunscreen  Olay Age Defying Sensitive Skin with SPF 15
Facial Wipe    Olay Fresh Effects S’wipe Out! Make-Up Removal Cloths
Foundation    CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 2-in-1
Hair Styler      Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil
Lip Color (over $15)bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick
Lip Color (under $15)          Maybelline New York Color Whisper Lipcolor
Mascara (over $10)  Marc Jacobs Lash Lifter Gel Volume
Mascara (under $10)           CoverGirl Clump Crusher by LashBlast
Men’s Body Spray     Axe Apollo
Men’s Shower Product         Dove Men+Care Aqua Impact Body + Face Wash
Nail Polish      OPI Liquid Sand
Night Cream  Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair
Shampoo        Pantene AgeDefy
Teeth Whitening KitCrest 3D White Whitestrips 1 Hour Express
Women’s Razor         Gillette Venus & Olay Sugarberry

Category         Product
Air Freshener            Glade Wax Melts Warmers
Automatic Diswash Detergent         Cascade Platinum
Baby Wipes    Huggies Natural Care
Bath Tissue & Wipe  Charmin Ultra Strong
Battery           Duracell Quantum
Diaper                        Huggies Little Snugglers size 3
Dish Soap       Ultra Palmolive Scent Essentials Lotus Blossom & Lavender
Dog Food & Snack     Milk-Bone Trail Mix
Drain Opener            Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake + Gel System
Fabric Softener          Snuggle Exhilarations
Flea & Tick Control    Seresto Flea and Tick Protection Collar for Dogs
Floor Care      Pledge Floor Care Wood Spray Cleaner
Liquid Laundry Detegent     Gain Original with Clean Boost
Paper Towel  Bounty DuraTowel
Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent  All Fresh & Sensitive
Single Dose Laundry Detergent      All Mighty Pacs
Stain Remover           OxiClean 2in1 Stain Fighter plus Color Safe Brightener
Surface Cleaner         Swiffer Dusters Refills with Gain Scent
Tile Cleaner   Rejuvenate Soap Scum Remover
Wood Care     Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths

Category         Product
Dietary SupplementFiberChoice Fruity Bites
External Analgesic    ThermaCare Muscle & Joint Heatwrap
Hand Wash    Method Foaming Blue Poppy
Men’s Antiperspirant           Dove Men+Care Cool Silver
Sensitive Skin Care Body      Aveeno Skin Relief Healing Ointment
Sleep Aid        ZzzQuil
Toothpaste     Crest 3D White Arctic Fresh
Women’s Antiperspirant      Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response

Baking            Betty Crocker Hershey’s S’mores Premium Cupcake Mix
BBQ Sauce      Grill Mates Montreal Steak Sauce
Beverage Flavoring   Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Low Fat Chocolate
Breakfast Food          Marie Callender’s Cheddar Biscuit
Butter Blend  Saute Express Sauté Starter by Land O’ Lakes
CerealKellogg’s Raisin Bran Omega-3
Chip    SunChips Sweet & Spicy BBQ
Chocolate Treat         Lindt Excellence Chocolate Diamonds
Coconut Water          Harmless Harvest 100% Raw
Condiment     Heinz Jalapeno Tomato Ketchup
CookieKeebler Simply Made
Dinner Mix     PF Chang’s Mongolian Chicken
Egg      The Happy Egg Co.
Frozen Appetizer       Tyson Any’tizers Sweet Garlic Glazed Boneless Chicken Wyngz
Frozen Dessert          Cadbury Ice Cream Bar English Toffee
Frozen Pizza   Pizzeria! from Digiorno
Greek Frozen YogurtYoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel
Hot Cereal      Quaker Perfect Portions
Lactose Free Beverage          Silk Light Almondmilk
Marinade       Grill Mates Smokin’ Sweet Tea
Meatless AlternativeGardein Crispy Chick’n Sliders
Mexican Food            Ortega Fiesta Flats Flat Bottom Taco Shells
Pasta   Barilla Veggie
Pickle  Farmer’s Garden by Vlasic
Popcorn          Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Crunch Sugar Cinnamon
Seafood          SeaPak Shrimp Spring Rolls
Side Dish        Idahoan Steakhouse Red Potatoes
Single Serve Coffee Pod       Green Mountain Coffee Defend Blend
Snack Food     Del Monte Diced Mangos Fruit Cup
Smoothie & Shake     Naked Juice Power Carden
Snack Food     Del Monte Diced Mangos Fruit Cup
Smoothie & Shake     Naked Juice Power Garden
Snack Bar       Quaker Big Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
Soda    Caffeine Free Coke Zero
Spread            Philadelphia Snack Delights
WaffleEggo Wafflers Waffle Bars

More info: Better Homes and Gardens