The Retail Red Carpet

CSP prepares for its 11th annual Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest and the second annual Hot 100

By  Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products

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Awards season in Hollywood has come and gone, and now it’s time for our own. A deluge of best-of lists has hit news outlets in the past few weeks, honoring CPG brands for their novelty, consumer perception and sales worth.

Always an intriguing look at what products sizzled, IRI’s New Products Pacesetters list of the best-selling new items of 2013 found Dannon Light & Fit Greek in the top spot across all retail channels (and one of three yogurts on the list). The c-store top 10 was dominated by Monster Energy Ultra in the No. 1 slot followed by Red Bull Total Zero. The multi-outlet list overall leaned toward health, but the c-store ranking was all about flavor and function.

Meanwhile, national awards program Product of the Year announced “the most cutting-edge, must-have consumer products on the market,” chosen through a study of 40,000 U.S. consumers. The top beverage honor went to SK Energy Shots, while Starburst Fruit Flavored Candy Corn took the candy category and El Monterey Nacho Cheese Shell Shocker Taquitos took the Frozen Snacks category.

The National Restaurant Association’s Food and Beverage Innovation Awards indicate that the wellness trends percolating in retail aisles are also found in foodservice kitchens. Nine of the 11 winners have some sort of health benefit (if we’re counting red wine—which of course we are), including Schmacon beef bacon with less fat, sodium and calories than its pork counterpart. 

There are ways to get your own opinion on the best products heard, you know. Nominations are now being taken for CSP’s 11th annual Retailer Choice Best New Product Contest. You can submit your nominations through June 13, and we’ll announce the winners at the 2014 NACS Show.

You can also vote for the most compelling products just by reading this magazine. Separate from our Retailer Choice contest, Convenience Store Products’ annual Hot 100 celebrates the top retailer-requested products of the calendar year. We compile the list by tracking the products that received the most requests for information from our reader service cards—hence the circle numbers on every product in the book. Our second annual Hot 100 will appear in our November/December issue. Last year’s top spot went to The Hershey Co. for its Kit Kat Minis.

Let’s make our own awards season exciting. Visit www.cspnet.com/2014bestnewproduct to nominate a product for our Retailer Choice contest, and vote with your pen every issue for Convenience Store Products’ Hot 100.  

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