What are Canada’s Best New Grocery Products?

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April 4, 2013

Retail Council of Canada Names Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards Finalists

20th Annual Awards Highlights Year’s Most Innovative Brands

Shopping carts full of grocery innovation have made it to the checkout line.  Retail Council of Canada (RCC) today announced the finalists for the 20th annual Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards.

The award program celebrates new products in 26 food, non-food and private-label categories, as selected by a 32-member jury.  The panel comprises consumers, food editors, journalists, advertising executives, packaging designers and members of the grocery industry.

Winners will be announced on June 5, 2013 at Toronto Congress Centre, as part of the STORE 2013 – Canada’s Retail Conference presented by RCC.

“The growth of the consumer products industry depends on new product development and innovation,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “Now in its twentieth year, the Grand Prix program has a rich history of showcasing products that respond to the latest consumer needs and lead key trends.”

Judges grade each entry in the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards on five criteria: uniqueness and innovation, product characteristics, presentation and packaging, overall consumer value, and consumer acceptance (household penetration rate of a product).

To become a finalist, a product must score of at least 70% in judging.  This year, 127 products reached that mark.

The jury gathered in March at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec in Montreal to evaluate the food and private label products.  Judges assessed the non-food products in their own homes over six weeks.

The products put forward for the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards have shown increasing innovation over the years, says jury chair Marcus Von Albrecht, who has been involved in the judging for 18 of the 20 years of the competition.

“I’m more impressed every year with the R&D that goes into the products,” says Von Albrecht, President and COO of Mava Foods, and VP, North America for AREGALA (Gourmet Restaurateurs Association of the Americas).  “These aren’t small improvements, but big changes in everything from flavour profiles to sustainable practices.”

New products always reflect evolving consumer needs and desires.  What sort of trends have this year’s entries shown, across categories?  A greater feeling of authenticity was a theme.  Von Albrecht noticed lots of products touted as more natural, in their composition, volume of packaging and imagery.  “Consumers want to help the world,” he says.

This year’s Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards was open to manufacturers and distributors of all sizes, for products introduced during the 2012 calendar year.  The finalists and winners can use the Grand Prix Award logo on their packaging for two years.

For a complete list of this year’s finalists, visit: http://www.storeconference.ca/grand-prix-awards-gala.