12 Jun How to win in the Grocer Own Label Food and Drink Awards
2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Grocer Own Label Food and Drink Awards. Since the first awards in 2006, Britain’s supermarkets have competed to win the coveted Gold and Silver prizes, determining which retailer has the best produce across a wide range of food and drink categories.
The 2015 awards saw 1100 products vying for the chance to be crowned the best the industry has to offer, and the standard was extremely high – the average entry scored 40/50, up four points since 2006. Retailers ranged from M&S to Costcutter aiming to be ‘better than what’s out there’.
The Grocer Own Label Food and Drink Awards have become the industry’s standard of success, and winning retailers use the Gold and Silver award logos as badges of honour on their prize produce. Cambridge Market Research are incredibly proud of the role we play in this prestigious competition, and are often asked how supermarkets can maximise their chances of success. We’ve used our own observations to put together these winning tips!
A winning formula
This has proven to be a major factor in the triumph of certain products over others since the inception of the Awards. The key is to create something that’s fresh and inventive, without being too niche. Innovation and relevance are ranked as part of the scoring process, with the average competing product achieving 14/20 – this score increased to 19/20 for finalists, and 19.4/20 for all Gold and Silver award winners.
Add value with evocative descriptors
Make your product stand out by using alluring vocabulary to bolster its aesthetic appeal. This was used to great effect by several high-scoring products in this year’s awards, including Co-op’s Extra Tasty Whole Chicken and M&S’s Ultimate Crumpets. Other brands aimed to appear less processed, showcasing products such as Morrison’s Rustic Country Pate and Lidl’s Farmhouse Layered Strawberry Yoghurt.
Boost quality expectations by highlighting provenance
Certain popular entries in the 2015 Awards made mention of the origin of the product, either by breed (e.g. M&S’s Gloucester Old Spot Burgers), or by region (e.g. M&S’s Somerset Butter, Tesco’s Greek Halkidiki Olives and Lidl’s Sicilian Lemonade).
Introduce new flavours and complimentary combinations
The fashion industry isn’t the only market to experience trends; successful retailers at this year’s Awards catered for in-favour ingredients and tastes. On-trend ingredients this year included roasted vegetables, squashes, pulled pork, salted caramel, balsamic vinegar, pumpkin seeds and sweet chilli.
Focus on the cooking method
If there’s something a bit special about how a product’s been prepared, let the consumer know! From Lidl’s Slow Cooked Pulled Pork to Tesco’s Finest Hand Crimped Pork Pies, entries that gave the impression that an amount of effort went into the preparation tended to perform well (even if Tesco’s Finest Slow Cooked Pig Cheeks proved a step too far for many consumers).
Think about design and copy
Attractive packaging and alluring back of pack stories proved successful at this year’s Awards – ensure the customer has as many reasons to buy as possible by maximising the appeal of all aspects of the product!
Deliver value for money
As ever, it’s important to give consumers a good deal – after all, everyone loves a bargain! The 2015 Awards demonstrated that discounters are still delivering excellent value for money, with an increase of 11% compared to the average in terms of the percentage of Good/Excellent ratings. However, all own label prices have got more competitive, with the average price across all entries down from £2.66 in 2006 to £2.45 this year. Gold winning entries cost even less: £2.15 in 2015.
To register your interest in The Grocer Own Label Food & Drink Awards 2016, please click here.