The finalists for the first-ever Hypeworthies awards were just announced. The Hypeworthies recognizes hot new supermarket products that are getting people talking online and generating big sales at the cash register. Seventy-eight new products in 13 categories were nominated by consumers as fan favorites. There are some fantastic new products here including everything from Kleenex Cool Touch to Franks’ RedHot and from Crest’s White Vivid toothpaste to Special K Dark Chocolate. Check out the entire list at www.hypeworthies.com.
Consumers are now voting on the finalists in each category through social media and sharing thoughts on why the product should win. With over 50,000 social votes cast so far, it’s clear that these products can get people excited. At the end of April, an esteemed panel of judges from several top marketing and research firms will review all the entries and announce the winners during a live event on May 3. It’s kinda like American Idol for groceries without creepy comments from Steven Tyler. Got it dawg?
It’s fascinating to see what products are hot in shopping carts across the country right now. A few of these new gems have started generating hype in my household now. But what’s most interesting is what this array of products tells us about the current trends shaping shopper behaviors today. Looking at all the products nominated for the Hypeworthies, the following three shopping trends emerge.
1. Heart Healthy
The most common attribute across all the Hypeworthies finalists is health. We have an entire category just for diet-friendly foods, but skinny, low-fat, light, multigrain and diet show up in almost every category. Some of the personal care products are organic and even our pets are eating like they are training for a marathon.
Decadent treats like Hershey’s Pieces are generating a lot of discussion, but most of the other candy products are Skinny Cow and all natural.
Americans are obsessed with healthy eating. The Food Marketing Institute reports that about half (46%) of food shoppers are very concerned about the nutrient content of their food. This number has risen 5% in the past 2 years. This is especially true among women. According to Mintel, women in all age groups are highly likely to say that living a healthy lifestyle is important to them. As they age, women say the importance of living a healthy lifestyle increases. Makes that Skinnygirl Sangria nominated in the alcoholic beverages category sound even more appealing right now, doesn’t it?
2. Traditional Fruit Flavors
The second most common Hypeworthies trend is fruit flavoring. You might think this is somewhat related to the health point above, but it’s not. This is more about taste. I’m not sure anyone buys Mixed Berry 7-Up, Starburst Morph or Sour Patch Kids Berries for their nutritional value.
Traditional fruit flavors like these are making a big comeback. They are now one of the top flavors in all new food products, and a lot of the growth has come at the expense of “superfruits”. The superfruit rage of a couple years ago has all but dried up. Acai and pomegranate were top 5 flavors in 2009, now they are both down in the 18 to 20 range. Elizabeth Sloan, Contributing Editor of Food Technology, said that superfruits appealed to a very specific type of consumer, and they’ve moved on to other products like herbs like cloves and oregano for a more concentrated antioxidant punch.
Hypeworthies voters must have spring vacations on the brain. Tropical fruit flavors like mangos, coconuts, cherry and banana flavors seem to be everyone’s favorite.
The third most common Hypeworthies theme is portability. We are constantly on the go and we want our products to move as fast as we do. That means they have simple to use and easy to take along with us. Whether its Starbucks Veranda Blend single serve instant coffee packets, Oscar Meyer’s Lunch Combos or the immensely popular Tide detergent pods, consumers want products that give them quality in a small package.
Mintel says this “less is more” thinking is linked to convenience and value. Consumers are buying single use packaged items rather than more costly, larger items. Like the Starbucks, Oscar Meyer and Tide pods products, portions are pre-measured so consumers can take exactly what they need without worrying about waste.
Hypeworthies judging is going on right now, so if you have an idol among these potential superstar products, visit www.hypeworthies.com and tell the judges why your favorites should win.