Product of the Year is significantly expanding its consumer sample and broadening the scope of questioning in its next annual survey to identify the best new products across a range of categories, as the program continues to grow in Australia.
Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, has been appointed to conduct the national survey later this year to determine the winners of the 2013 awards who will then be announced in February.
As part of the switch to Nielsen from TNS, the nationally representative sample size will be increased by 53 per cent from 7,000 to 10,700, guaranteeing even more robust and accurate results.
Nielsen is also re-designing the survey questions to have a greater focus on new product performance, with an expanded consumer preference index as a key measurement area.
Sarah Connelly, Director of Product of the Year Australia, said that as Australiaâs largest independent consumer survey of new products designed to reward innovation in the aisles, Product of Year needs to continually up the ante and Nielsenâs appointment is a key enhancement moving forward.
âSince launching in Australia in 2009, Product of the Year has grown enormously so it was timely to review the size, scope and methodology of the consumer research used to decide winners,â Ms Connelly said.
âWith this expansion, Product of the Year is without question the ultimate vote of consumer confidence in new products,â she said.
Before nominated products are submitted to the Nielsen survey, a jury safe online blackjack panel of industry experts will put each entry through rigorous testing to ensure it meets key criteria.
This year the panel will be led by Ian Alwill, Chairman of the Advertising Standards Bureau and former Executive Director of Group Marketing for Nestle. He will be joined by Today Showâs Lisa Wilkinson, Kidspot.com.au CEO, Natalie Mactier, IGAâs Peter Love and Foodworksâ Middhat Massoud.
Ms Connelly said the jury panel adds another dimension to the extensive research phase to ensure Product of the Year recognises and rewards only the most innovative products to hit the shelves.
âWe want as many interesting, creative and exciting products as possible to be part of the awards program and the jurors help guard against those that donât offer a true consumer benefit or fail on innovation,â she said.
Entries for the 2013 awards are currently open with an early bird discount of $500 available until 6 July 2012.
To be eligible for entry, products must launch between January 2011 and August 2012 and be either a completely new type of product or represent a useful innovation to an existing product or brand, for example, a redesigned shape or size, new formula, or even new packaging that will enhance the consumer experience.
The 2012 Product of the Year winners were chosen from 28 categories, up from 21 the year before and 17 in 2010, including Fresh Foods, Small Appliances, Beauty, Hair Care, Pet Care, Cleaning and Adult Medicine.
Entries close 3 August 2012. To enter, visit the website at www.productoftheyear.com.au.