LeVel Beverages and The Coles Express Hot Pocket have been named in the annual Product of the Year Awards for 2024.
In its 15th year in Australia, the annual Product of the Year Awards (POY) is the world’s largest consumer-based awards program, which recognises product innovation, and serves as a shortcut for shoppers when trying to find the right products.
LeVel Beverages’ LeVel Lemonade in an aluminium can took out the beverages category, while the Coles Express Hot Pocket took out the Hot Food to Go category.
Chrish Graebner, Founder of LeVel Beverages, said he was elated at the result and believes it will open many doors for the company.
“For us to be voted on by the public, it’s a great moment. We couldn’t be prouder that 5,000 consumers found our product to be worthy of winning in this subcategory.”
Sarah Connelly, Director of Product of the Year, said the rising cost of living has changed the FMCG landscape, with affordability and ease being the leading drivers behind the way Aussies shop.
“The Nielsen findings highlight how Australian consumption habits have shifted considerably, with the cost-of-living crisis echoing through many households. Whilst snacks and treats were commonplace in the shopping trolley before living expenses started to increase exponentially, these are now classed as luxury items rather than a need, with many shoppers viewing snacks as a low priority when it comes to feeding the family.”
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 19 of the 44 award wins and Woolworths taking home 10 product prizes.
These results represent Australian’s efforts to implement cost-saving techniques, with research by NielsenIQ showing that nearly one in two (45 per cent) of Australians are switching to home brand options to make savings.
“In addition, the POY winner’s trends are also demonstrating that many Australians have health and sustainability as added priorities, with quality and the source of ingredients ranking high in their consideration set, shown by winners such as the Coles Joyful Protein Bar Range, and Woolworths Macro Pasture Raised Carbon Neutral Eggs, to name a few,” said Connelly.
Key research findings from the NielsenIQ 2024 survey include that price remains a key deciding factor for 88 per cent of Australians, while 74 per cent are influenced by the quality and source of the ingredients, and 65 per cent look at the health credentials of new products.
A panel of judges, comprising 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.