Product of the Year (POY) 2024 has confirmed the experience of many, that rising inflation is having an impact on the FMGC landscape. Research conducted by NielsenIQ for POY showed 86 per cent of Australians were now employing cost saving techniques.
More than 5000 Australian shoppers cast votes for their favourite supermarket and everyday products, in the annual Product of the Year Awards for 2024. The awards program is now in its 15th year in Australia.
For 2024, the leading number of Product of the Year category awards were taken out by Coles and Woolworths for home-brand, deli and bakery products, with Coles taking 19 of the 44 award wins, and Woolworths taking ten.
NielsenIQ’s findings indicated that nearly one in two (45 per cent) of Australians had been switching to home brand options in order to make more savings. Alongside this, three in five are removing indulgent foods and snacks like chocolates, desserts and premium nuts from their shopping lists to cut down costs.
Other cost-cutting tactics included opting to shop at a sole retailer in order to avoid overspending across multiple stores; switching to cheaper cuts of meat (42 per cent), cutting back on food delivery (40 per cent), consuming more home-cooked meals (40 per cent) and reducing food wastage by eating leftovers (38 per cent).
Product of the Year director, Sarah Connelly said the rising cost of living had vastly changed the FMCG landscape.
“Affordability and ease are the leading driver behind the way Aussies shop. The NielsenIQ 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.
“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.
Woolworths came out as the leading retailer, voted to have the best selection of fresh, healthy, and organic products, and continued to lead strongly among the supermarkets on most important shopping attributes tested.
Woolworths also won for overall shopping experience by maintaining a tidy environment, stocking high quality premium brands and having a wide range of fresh, healthy and organic products (+10 per cent points on average clear of Coles), with both the major retailers being seen as equally affordable. However, value based supermarket chain Aldi was voted as the most affordable.
First-time winners included LeVel Beverages, The Gourmet Entertainer, and Tassal.
The NielsenIQ research that determines the winners involved evaluating consumer responses by using six key innovation criteria which included:
- Relevance – is the product fulfilling a need or addressing a problem?
- Uniqueness – does is stand out and bring something new to the category?
- Excitement – how excited are they to use the product? Would they spread the word?
- Likeability – does it deliver what you want?
- Distinctiveness – does it add something new to its category?
- Innovation – is it an innovative product?
NielsenIQ found that price and affordability remained the key decision factor when deciding to buy a new brand or product, being a key consideration for 88 per cent of Australians, with many also influenced by the source and quality of the ingredients (74 per cent) and the health credentials of new products (65 per cent).
Winning food and beverage companies on the 2024 Product of the Year list include:
- Coles for 19 products including its Coles Joyful Protein Bar range; Coles Ultimate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Baking Mix; Coles Ultimate Gluten Free 40% Chocolate Chip Cookies; Coles Finest All Butter Puff Pastry Cheese Mini Twists; Coles BOM Dairy Free Chocolate Liquid Breakfast; Coles Finest Belgian Dark Chocolate range; Coles Flame Grilled Burger Sauce; Cucina Matese Triple Cheese Pasta Sauce; Coles Finest Mini Tart Selection; Dreams Crumb True Lemon Meringue Cupcake; Coles Finest Thick & Juicy Beef Burgers; Coles Finest Australian Lamb Shanks with Massaman Curry Sauce; Coles Finest Beef with Margaret River Shiraz Sausages; Coles Finest Spanish Truffle 3 Month Matured Cheese; Coles PerForm Build Chicken Filled Tortellini Pasta; Coles Sweet Potato Waffle Fries; and Woofin' Good Peanut Butter Flavour Dog Treat Biscuits;
- Coles Express for its Coles Express Hot Pocket;
- Woolworths for eight food products including its Greek pot Set Yoghurt; Chicken Kyiev Bites with Garlic Filling; Woolworths Thick Cut Beef Eye Fillet; Woolworths Smokey BBQ Slaw Kit; Macro Free Range Boness Butterflied Chicken; Woolworths Lemon and Herb Panko Crumbs; Woolworths Macro Pasture Raised Carbon Neutral Eggs; and Woolworths Slow Raised Whole Chicken;
- Ferrero for its Nutella Biscuits;
- Nestle Australia for its Nescafe Tim Tam Choc Mocha;
- Tassal for its Australian Tiger Prawns and Tassie Salmon;
- LeVel Beverages for its LeVel Lemonade Aluminium Can, and
- The Gourmet Entertainer for its Dried Gin Food.