2021 new product trends reflect Canadians’ growing interest in plant-based foods and desire to add more restaurant-level finesse to their home cooking.
The 29th Annual Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award finalists represent 121 of the most impressive food and non-food products launched into the Canadian market in 2021. Submissions were received from all types of product development teams across the country, including entries from both large and small established companies, startups, and family-owned independent retailers.
“It’s exciting to see brands introducing new packaged goods products in Canada are listening to Canadian consumers” said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “We hear from retailers, restauranteurs, and food influencers that Canadians are looking for ways to recreate restaurant-like meals at home while also looking for healthier plant-based options, and more environmentally friendly packaging. And that is what we are seeing in many of this year’s finalists.”
The prestigious Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards, and the feedback provided to product developers, are widely viewed as an endorsement of achieving the level of excellence that will satisfy consumers’ evolving desires and become a commercial success.
Chef and Jury Chair Marcus A. Von Albrecht, who has overseen the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards judging for 23 years, has directly witnessed the influence of these awards. “I see the past feedback from our expert jury reflected in the most innovative products and exceptionally smart packaging we have seen in this year’s entries. There have been, for example, huge quality improvements in plant-based eggs, vegan cheeses, and foods that are now strong alternatives to the more traditional food choices. Packaging, as another example, is quickly moving to using more sustainable materials and showing more of the product.”
This year’s jury of 34 food and grocery industry experts evaluated products based on innovation, taste, texture, consumer value, and packaging. The rigorous evaluation process requires that to become a finalist, a product needs to receive an overall score of at least 70 per cent. Jurors review food and non-food products in the four categories of innovation and originality, product characteristics, presentation and packaging, and overall consumer value. Finalists can use the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award finalist seal on their products. Finalists also receive extensive exposure in a variety of digital and printed publications, distributed to Canadians across the country.
On June 1, 2022, the winners will be announced live at the 29th Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award Gala along with five specialty awards. These specialty awards recognize the best performance in the evaluation of Innovation and Originality; Innovative Packaging; and Overall Consumer Value. Also recognized are the products that performed highest across all evaluation categories, an All-Canadian made product, and an Excellence in Ethnic Products award.
This year’s Gala dinner and awards show will be hosted by international food and travel celebrity Mijune Pak, known to many as the founder of FollowMeFoodie.com and judge on both Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef Canada.
The complete list of finalists is now posted on the Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards website.
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $78 billion in total compensation. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were over $433B in 2021. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit industry-funded association that represents small, medium, and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, and online merchants. www.retailcouncil.org.
RCC grocery members represent more than 95 per cent of the market in Canada. They provide essential services and are an important source of employment in large and small communities across the country. They have strong private label programs and sell products in every food category.
Branka Stavric, Senior Director Marketing and Communications