Convenience dominates Product of the Year Awards

Convenience has triumphed in the 2022 Product of the Year Awards (POY), with 12 out of 37 winners being snacks, ready-to-eat products and frozen meals.

This year saw major grocery retailers Coles and Woolworths dominate with home brand products winning across six categories. Coles secured 11 awards across a variety of market segments while Woolworths won six categories. 

Product of the Year director Sarah Connelly said household eating habits have shifted during COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Now we’re seeing people having to work from home more, manage more people in their household and even in many instances, home-school children, which is leaving the average Aussie short on time and capacity to prepare lavish meals. 

“Instead, we are seeing the move towards easy, simple, and pre-made meals and snacks that save people time and leaves them with one less thing to worry about in their day-to-day lives,” Connelly said. 

Coles’ own sports nutrition brand PerForm which launched in July won the frozen performance meals category, along with its own Ultimate 40% Triple Choc Chip Cookies and Green Goddess Salad Kit winning their respective categories.

CEO of parent company Roma Foods Sam Schachna with POY winner Spliits. (Image source: Roma Foods)

Roma Foods was awarded POY in the Vegan Snacking category for its recently launched plant-based Spliits crispbread, confirming the company’s strategy to meet growing consumer demand for products boasting health and wellness credentials.

Roma Foods CEO Sam Schachna said: “We are delighted that Spliits has been recognised by both industry and the public as leading the way in product innovation. Made with veggies and no added sugars, these gluten-free vegan crispbreads align with our mission of creating great food for healthier living.”

He said the Product of the Year award was a clear endorsement of that approach.

“Our community are telling us they want to eat better and live healthier lives. It is pleasing to see sustainable foods becoming more sought after by consumers, which is resulting in more healthy offers available across the supermarket. Our vision is to have a Roma Foods product in every family’s pantry. We are getting closer to achieving that all the time,” Schachna said.

San Remo’s new ‘Performance Range’ Pasta has been awarded POY in the Pasta and Rice Category. The range features Pasta Pro and Fibre Fest and were created to meet a broader range of consumer need.

San Remo’s new ‘Performance Range’ Pasta has been awarded POY in the Pasta and Rice Category. (Source: San Remo)

San Remo Pasta Pro is vegan friendly and offers the same protein as 125 grams of cooked chicken breast and with 25 per cent fewer carbs than regular pasta. San Remo Fibre Fest is the very first pasta in Australia to include prebiotic fibre into the ingredient and packs two times more fibre than regular pasta and 25 per cent fewer carbs.

San Remo CMO James Askham-Levy said: This win is recognition of our focus on innovation and reinforces our commitment to ensuring every Australian can enjoy quality pasta whatever their dietary requirement or personal lifestyle choices.”

Other winners were Dilmah’s Organic Tea range, Goodman Fielder’s Plantry plant-based ready meal range, Nando’s Bag & Bake range, Twisted Healthy Treats’ Rich Chocolate Ice Cream Licks and Woolworths Plantitude frozen vegan dessert and yoghurt.

The list also featured ‘up and coming’ companies including Lakanto’s Monkfruit Sweetener products and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic G&T. Products were tested for quality, credibility, and innovation by a panel of industry experts who selected a final range to be tested and ranked by 5000 Australians.

The consumer responses were then analysed by the Neilsen on six key areas: for relevance, uniqueness, excitement, likeability, distinctiveness, and innovation.

Key findings 

The findings showed that consumers are seeking forms of convenience through retailers with online shopping capabilities, strong deals and promotions. 

Woolworths was nominated as the most convenient ecommerce platform, receiving 33 per cent of votes and tied with Coles for ‘most affordable’. Woolworths was the most preferred major retailer as it received votes for cleanliness (40 per cent); high quality brands (39 per cent); best range of fresh and organic products (41 per cent); sustainability commitments (33 per cent); and online shopping experience (33 per cent). 

Neilsen found 45 per cent of Australians would consider purchasing a new product if it had the POY logo, and approximately 90 per cent have tried a new product in the past year, with majority of them still purchasing the brands. 

Convenience is becoming a top priority when considering purchases, with 38 per cent of respondents highlighting it as an important factor alongside price. 

Sustainability was also identified as an important aspect to shoppers, with 51 per cent of participants look for products with a better environmental footprint



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