Product of the Year entries open for 2015/2016

South Africa’s best products to be crowned in market-leading consumer survey

Entries for South Africa’s Product of the Year, the world’s largest consumer-voted award, are officially open.

The nation’s largest independent consumer survey, which rewards product innovation based on the endorsements of 5,000 consumers, will accept early bird entries via the online portal until 31 July 2015, with final entries accepted before 15 September.

Established 25 years ago in France, Product of the Year currently operates in 28 countries with the aim of guiding consumers and helping them find the best new products and services in their market, while also rewarding manufacturers for quality and innovation.

Preetesh Sewraj, CEO and Chief Innovation Analyst at Product of the Year South Africa explains that in this highly competitive consumer market there are many companies out there that claim their product or service is new, innovative, and the best.

“It can be extremely confusing for consumers,” he states, “and with limited expendable income they are unable to test and trial every offering on the market to make their own informed decision. That’s why we try to take the guesswork out of the purchase decision-making process for South African consumers, giving them a shortcut to the check-out counter while also saving them time and money.”

Sewraj adds that there are many companies that choose to promote products that may not deliver on claims or brand promises in the name of making a profit. “The Product of the Year third party endorsement programme helps to clear the clutter as only the best quality products and services can stand up to this level of independent scrutiny. It therefore offers the ideal platform for companies to prove to customers why they should purchase their product above all others.”

The success of this form of marketing platform is evident in the number of third party endorsement programmes currently in operation in South Africa. However, Sewraj cautions that many use commercial models where endorsements are paid for, which means they are not independent. “A Product of the Year award cannot be bought. The winning product in each category is selected based entirely on consumer feedback. Once the selection has been made the winner is then able to use the distinctive red Product of the Year logo on their packaging and marketing under licence for a period of 12 months.”

This unique approach has certainly yielded results for previous winners, with an average increase of 10-15% in sales from a global perspective, a figure that is often much higher in South Africa according to Sewraj. “Research conducted by Nielsen, the world’s largest research agency, shows that 66% of South African consumers are willing to buy a product with the Product of the Year logo,” he explains. “When two out of three shoppers place that much confidence in an endorsement it is little wonder why this programme has become such an integral element in the modern marketing mix for companies in the consumer and FMCG space.”

With categories that include food, beverages, personal care, and household care, among others, any brand or product manufacturer that is looking to increase awareness, trial, distribution and sales of products released in the last 18 months, and set themselves apart from their competition can visit

Product of the Year is an opt-in process. No initial payment is required. A jury will select the finalists and the public then chooses the winners via a quantitative  process.

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