What is Product of the Year?

Product of the Year is the largest consumer voted award for product innovation. Product of the Year was created to champion new product innovation and give shoppers a shortcut to the very best new products on the market. It’s not only an internationally recognized award but a proven ROI tool.

How is Product of the Year different from other awards?

There are three key areas in which Product of the Year differs versus other award programs:

Trust

Product of the Year has been in operation for over 30 years worldwide. We work with innovation leaders such as P&G, Unilever, Kimberly Clark, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle and many more.

Global

Product of the Year has a globally expanding footprint that currently stands in over 40 countries. Each country operates under a similar goal: Guide consumers to the most innovative products on the market.

Independent

At its core, Product of the Year awards innovation through one of the largest independent consumer surveys which is conducted by the global leader in product innovation research, Kantar.

How is Product of the Year relevant in the current market?

Consumer behavior has shifted dramatically over the past few years, making it essential for manufacturers to find new and dynamic ways to connect with consumers and build trust when launching a new product. The Product of the Year seal helps make that consumer connection.

Here are some key insights showcasing how effective the POY confidence mark will be in the market place:

  1. The level of access consumers have to products today is unprecedented – far beyond retail aisles, they have DTC options, grocery delivery in the palm of their hands, and they can watch their favorite influencer review items they’re considering purchasing in real time. With so many more paths to purchase, how will consumers choose the best product? Product of the Year is an established and increasingly relevant resource for CPG companies, helping their products stand out, and be understood and trusted by their customers. What better way to invoke consumer confidence than an award supported by 40,000 real shoppers.
  2. Brand loyalty is in constant flux, Product of the year winners can prove their worth and differentiate. In this environment winning Product of the Year makes the case for both legacy brands (how do I get back in the favor of my core consumer) and challenger brands (how do I keep the favor of my new consumer).
  3. There is only ONE global award for innovation. Numerous reports (eg. Kantar, McKinsey) suggest that innovation in times of recession or market conflict is the key to bouncing back sooner and higher. POY is the ideal way to show your company, brand and product kept innovating through turmoil, meeting new and ever changing consumer demands. To that end, the POY seal will stand out all the more in 2025.
  4. Our research program, driven by Kantar, has never been more important. All participants will receive this crucial piece of research, based on a nationally representative sample of 40,000 American shoppers.

What products qualify?

For the 2025 awards, we accept entries from products launched after January 1st, 2023. Products must demonstrate meaningful consumer innovation in one of the following areas: function, design, packaging, ingredients. If you’re not sure if your product qualifies, please reach out to us, and we can help figure out product eligibility.

How do you define innovation?

We accept entries from products that demonstrate innovation in their function, design, packaging, or ingredients. This could be a completely new type of product or a useful innovation to an older product or brand, such a new ingredient, redesigned shape or size, new formula (eg. less sugar) or new packaging (eg., user-friendly or “green”). Remember, it does not have to be revolutionary as long as it makes consumers’ lives better/easier. Please contact us directly if you have questions about your product.

How are the winners determined?

We partner with the leading global research company Kantar, to survey a nationally representative sample of 40,000 American shoppers. The survey is designed to evaluate product innovation on several criteria, including product appeal, satisfaction, advocacy, purchase interest, uniqueness, relevance and excitement.

Can I enter more than one product?

Yes. There is no limit on how many products from one brand can be entered, as long as they meet the criteria above.

When can I enter?

Product of the Year accepts entries for the 2025 program beginning April 1, 2024 and closes for entries October 15, 2024.

What are the categories?

The general broad categories of product entries we accept include Food and Beverage, Health and Beauty, Personal Care, Household Products, Pet Supplies, OTC medications, Small Appliances and Electronics, etc. The exact category names are determined by Kantar after all entries are received. Because this is an award for innovation, the categories are often driven by innovation trends of the preceding year.

We work with Kantar to make sure only comparable products compete with each other and there are never less than 2 or more than 6 products in a category.

How much does it cost?

  • If your product is selected to be a part of the 2025 survey of 40,000 consumers, there is a finalist fee of $7,000.
  • If consumers vote your product “Product of the Year”, there is a one-time winner fee of $76,000 that allows promoting the win and using our logo in any type of media for two full years. This fee also covers full inclusion in the national PR campaign which generates over 1 billion media impressions annually.

Can I opt out once I enter?

Products cannot opt out once submitted. By submitting your product, you are providing full commitment to the program and any fees that may apply if your product is voted a finalist or winner of Product of the Year.

What are the benefits of winning?

Winners have found numerous ways to benefit from POY over the past 30 years, but below are the guaranteed benefits offered to the Product of the Year winners:

  • Inclusion in nationwide PR campaign – delivering at least one billion media impressions annually through national & regional broadcast, consumer & trade media, social media & influencer campaigns, giveaways and more.
  • A comprehensive research analysis of the Kantar survey of 40,000 consumers, reporting product performance across several measures including appeal, satisfaction, advocacy, purchase interest, uniqueness, relevance and excitement.
  • Most importantly, winners receive a two-year licensing term on unlimited usage of the Product of the Year seal on all marketing material which has a proven track record to lift sales.

What is Press Preview?

Press Preview is a preliminary evaluation of all entries to confirm that each product meets the basic requirements for the program. The Press Preview is an event attended by industry professionals, media and influencers. Products advancing from Press Preview are deemed “Finalists” and are subsequently placed into research for evaluation from the Kantar survey of 40,000 consumers.

When was Product of the Year founded?

Product of the Year was founded in 1987 in France by former L’OREAL executive, Christian LeBret.

Does Product of the Year exist in other countries?

Product of the Year currently exists in over 40 countries. Each market operates independently.

Who can I contact for additional information?

You may contact us with any questions at info@poyusa.com

With questions about sponsorships, joint ventures or media inquiries, you can contact Dolinda Meeker at dolinda@poyusa.com.

With general inquiries and information on how to enter, contact Jeff Hurwitz at jeff@poyusa.com.

 

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