Product of the Year – South Africa’s largest independent consumer-voted survey – celebrated 10 years of rewarding innovation and excellence in the country at its annual awards gala ceremony, where this year’s winners were announced.
Product of the Year is a third-party endorsement programme that aims to help clear the clutter for consumers, to guide them and help them find the best new products and services in their market, while also rewarding manufacturers for quality and innovation.
The results are based on the endorsements of 4, 000 consumer households who, after trying and testing the products or services, were surveyed by leading global information and measurement company, Nielsen.
“The 2018 awards were characterised by diversity, as we had a broad spectrum of winners from varied companies, with both local and international brands recognised on the night,” says Preetesh Sewraj, CEO and Chief Innovation Analyst at Product of the Year South Africa.
“Global icons such as Samsung and LG won awards, with international companies that are headquartered in France, the US and Britain acknowledged alongside home-grown brands like Hug in a Mug and the innovative Seatbelt Medic emergency device, which won the new safety category.” Cookware was also added to the list of categories in 2018, which was won by Tefal Expertise.
Driving the innovation agenda
Sewraj adds that 2018 also saw the introduction of the Innovation of the Year Masterclass. “This took the form of a conference held at The Maslow before the awards ceremony, aimed at helping executives and marketing professionals drive the innovation agenda within their organisations,” he explains.
Sewraj believes that this has become a strategic imperative for brands locally as the marketplace becomes more cluttered and a growing number of nimble startups disrupt existing lines of business.
“South Africa has bred a number of industry pioneers who have contributed greatly to global innovation, but those driving the most prolific developments in this regard are generally doing so outside of our country. We therefore want to foster a culture of innovation among our business professionals, entrepreneurs and non-governmental organisations to help them improve the lives of South Africans across the board.”
The inaugural masterclass took the form of an idea-sharing platform. Guest speakers from Nielsen’s Innovation Division and Popimedia, the only local Facebook-approved marketing partner, engaged with invited attendees on the topic of cultivating an innovation mindset within organisations and how to leverage it to succeed in the modern marketplace.
The full list of category winners includes:
- Alcohol Beverages – Strongbow Apple Ciders
- Male Deodorants – Playboy Signature
- Female Deodorants – Playgirl Sensuous Antiperspirant
- Feminine Protection – StayFree Flexicomfort Pantyliners
- Laundry Detergent – Sunlight 2-in-1 with Smartfoam
- Personal Hygiene – Dettol Eventone Hygiene Soap
- Cooking Appliances – Philips Viva Collection TurboStar Airfryer
- Fragrances – Gold Series Pour Homme Eau de Toilettes
- Home Appliances – HiSense Fridge
- Television – LG OLED TV
- Safety – Seatbelt Medic
- Motor Lubricants – Castrol Magnatec
- Beverages – Hug in a Mug
- Cookware – Tefal Expertise
- Dairy (Heritage) – Nutriday
- Home Cleaning – Harpic White & Shine
- Dairy Snack – Danone DanUp
- Premium Smartphones – Samsung Galaxy S8+