American shoppers are more willing to pay for improved performance, taste and convenience in response to COVID-19, says BrandSpark International, which recently announced the winners of its 2021 Best New Product Awards (BNPA) in conjunction with Newsweek magazine. More than 14,500 Americans participated in the 13th annual national survey to pick the 81 winning products for the latest food and beverage, beauty, health and personal care, and household products.
“With so many new products launched each year, it is hard for consumers to know what to buy and challenging for brands to break through the clutter,” said Robert Levy, president of BrandSpark International and founder of the Best New Product Awards, in a statement. “The BNPA seal and claim drive strong ROI for the winners by helping products stand out from the competition. Year after year, we see brands boost sales by leveraging their win across traditional and digital media channels.”
The winning products were determined solely by the votes and opinions of American consumers who participated in the nationwide survey conducted by marketing research firm BrandSpark, says the company.
From bagels to beer, feta to marinated mozzarella and deli refrigerated macaroni and cheese to slow cooked soup, Aldi slayed the competition, winning in 18 out of 42 food and beverage categories. (Aldi also swept in the 2021 Product of the Year Awards.)
Click here to see the full list of Best New Product Award winners.
In addition to new product winners, BrandSpark’s annual survey further explored the latest shopping trends. “American shoppers sought one-stop shopping during the pandemic,” said BrandSpark, which found that51% of survey respondents valued the convenience of one-stop shopping even more than the lowest prices, up 12 percentage points from 39% in the past year.
The pandemic has also meant that fewer shoppers are willing to visit multiple stores in search of discounts. Only 41% of survey respondents said they go to multiple stores to get the best deals, down from 58% a year ago.
And as Americans look to reduce their trips to the store, they have been willing to pay a little more, BrandSpark said, a behavior that has positively impacted brand loyalty. One year ago, 45% of shoppers said they were less loyal to brands than previously, but that number fell to just 35% at the start of 2021.
With COVID and stay-at-home measures forcing a certain day-in-and-day-out sameness, new product trial helps break the monotony. BrandSpark reports that 7 in 10 American shoppers “like trying new products” as they search for new experiences and superior performance, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the range of their shopping trips.
But while 50% of shoppers said they “actively look through stores for products that are new and different,” this percentage of exploratory shoppers decreased 7 percentage points in the past year, as shoppers are less comfortable in-store during the pandemic. Shoppers have also moved to e-commerce, noted BrandSpark, with 33% having ordered groceries online in the past year, up from 20% one year ago. This trend spotlights the need to support new product introduction online.
On the positive side for brands, shoppers are now less price sensitive and more brand loyal, notes BrandSpark, which found that seven in 10 shoppers say they try new products from the brands they trust.
When it comes to innovation, shoppers are increasingly turning to private label brands. While 46% of BrandSpark’s survey respondents said they believe the best new product innovations usually come from brand-name products, this figure is down from 52% a year ago. “We can see this reflected in Aldi’s 18 winning products among this year’s award winners,” added BrandSpark.
“We’ve got fresh produce and everyday essentials at the low prices you need,” says the Aldi website announcing its Arizona debut with two stores in suburban Phoenix—one in Goodyear and the other in Chandler. WGB was on the scene for the Nov. 5 opening of the Goodyear store at 845 N. Estrella Parkway. The new stores are part of the fast-growing discounter’s aggressive expansion plans, which include at least two more Phoenix-area stores by the end of the year, officials say.
The Batavia, Ill.-based hard discounter, which took the industry by storm with the introduction of a wine version of its wildly popular advent calendars in 2018, is taking the Phoenix market by storm with its well-priced and interesting wine selection.
A sleek refrigerated aisle offers more astounding deals, such as a dozen Grade AA eggs for 79 cents. Adding to the excitement is Aldi’s in-store flyer touting a slew of discounted items, which many customers—at least from WGB’s observations of Goodyear on opening day—use as a guide to shop the store.
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