Tide Pods Mystic Forest won the People’s Choice vote in BzzAgent’s first “Hypeworthies” awards, recognizing new supermarket products that are both generating buzz and achieving strong sales.
In addition, winners in 13 categories were chosen by a panel of grocery industry and social media marketing experts. Judges used a combination of consumer votes, online buzz metrics, retail sales and repeat-buying performance data (derived from BzzAgent parent dunnhumby) and more subjective factors.
Winners in the categories are:
The nominations process was open to all consumers and marketers (BzzAgent got the ball rolling by promoting the contest to its consumer social network). Before the consumer vote, BzzAgent narrowed the 500-plus nominations received down to those that had launched within the previous 52 weeks and were selling well at retail, according to Malcolm Faulds, SVP of marketing for the social marketing company.
The finalists were posted to the awards’ site; voting occurred through social media and on the site. During the voting period, the site provided consumers with information on nominated products’ sales and online buzz. Consumers could share nominated products or post reasons that they liked certain products.
Innovations relating to wellness, convenience and value were particularly important in contributing to products’ “talkability” quotients and ultimate choice as winners, says Faulds.
Products offering wellness benefits plus exciting new tastes include the peanut butter variety of Multi Grain Cheerios, V-8 V-Fusion, Ritz Crackerfuls Multigrain (with 8 grams of whole grain per serving), 120-calorie Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters, and Garnier’s Miracle Skin Perfector (which provides sunscreen, as well as correcting skin imperfections), Faulds notes. Wellness-plus-taste trumped even in the pets category.
Innovation in convenience was exemplified by Tide Pods (a simple, lightweight capsule containing detergent, stain fighter and brightener) and International Delight Iced Coffee (simple solution for making café-quality coffee at home), among others.
All of the winning products offer value through their innovations—meaning consumers view them, at whatever their price, as well worth the money, Faulds points out.
At the awards event, Lynn Dornblaser, director of CPG Trend Insight at Mintel Research and one of the judges, noted “phoenix brands” -– reinventions or reinvigorations of older brands -- as being one of today’s key CPG trends. Again, Tide Pods fits here (it took eight years, 450 product sketches, 6,000 consumer tests and hundreds of millions of dollars for Tide to perfect the concept, Dornblaser pointed out). Faulds cites Starburst’s use of the “Morph” technology, which changes the gum’s flavor while it’s being chewed, as another example of brand reinvention.