News: Best New Products Sheds Light on Consumer Trends

Canadians are looking for healthier food options, as well as ways to save money and the environment, according to a study from BrandSpark International.

The Toronto-based strategy firm polled 25,000 Canadians online in the areas of environmental accountability, healthier options in food and beverage and private label versus premium brands.

The survey was conducted for the Best New Product Awards. Now in its seventh year, this year’s Best New Product Awards survey saw consumers vote on 144 products in 47 product categories.

This year’s winners include: Astro Zero Superfruit Yogourt for best in show, Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil in the health and beauty category, and Ziploc Evolve Sandwich Bagsfor household products.

“The survey not only provides us with valuable insights about current products and innovations but also larger movements and shifts in Canadians’ viewpoints and approaches toward what they purchase, and more importantly why,” said Robert Levy, president of BrandSpark International, in a release.

For instance, the study suggests people have made a big shift to eat at home more and as a result are spending more time and money in the grocery store.

Of those surveyed, 65% like trying new products, while 73% say they enjoy cooking for themselves and their family.

Canadians also want more bang for their buck, and as a result have turned to private label or in-store brands. Though consumer perception of private label quality has decreased slightly over the last year, 64% of consumers believe these brands offer good value for their money. Nearly half, (47%) of Canadians surveyed have purchased more private label products in the past 12 months.

“Finding new products that really deliver is more important than ever, especially with shoppers demanding greater value for money,” said Levy.

Healthy living is also a priority for Canadians, with 60% saying it’s important a new product be made from “all-natural ingredients,” while 45% say they have “greater trust” in natural products than those labeled organic.

Since beginning the survey, environmental accountability has grown to become a primary concern for Canadian consumers, said Levy, however 82% of those polled said they felt companies are exploiting environmentally friendly claims for marketing purposes, and 69% say it’s important a new product is better for the environment.

Packaging is one of the top environmental concerns, with 89% saying manufacturers have a long way to go.

“Consumers are demanding companies to be more accountable in terms of their environmental claims and they are willing to pay for products with realistic and tangible claims such as reduced packaging,” he said.

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