The Grocer Own Label Food & Drink Awards 50 Private Brand Standouts

This past month English weekly trade magazine The Grocer presented their annual “The Grocer Own Label Food & Drink Awards.” The 2012 edition was a record-breaking year with over 750 entries. The awards reward the most outstanding UK products in Private Brand. The winners in the fifty categories were a veritable who’s who of British grocery retailing and included: Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury and The Co-operative.

Check out the winners.

The unprecedented Judging Process included consumer research conducted by Cambridge Market Research , an independent market research company. The company has a database of 12,000+ standardized new product evaluations conducted through its Fast Foodfax Market Intelligence service covering more than 100 product categories, which is updated every 6 months.

Check out the rigorous judging process. This is a great standard for competitions.

Each product is tested with a minimum sample of 50 respondents from 6 sampling points across Great Britain. Entrants choose the consumer base most appropriate for their entry from three options: Family, Pre and Post Family, or a range representative GB sample

Tests are conducted in-home under fully controlled conditions and are evaluated individually having been prepared in the normal manner.

After assessing pre-trial interest and visual appearance, the product is tasted and rated on a number of key measures covering Taste, Texture, Packaging, Value For Money and Post-Trial Would-Buy Intention.

Each product was then rated on its level of originality and its relevance to the consumer.

Individual characteristic and overall product ratings out of a maximum of 50 are defined for every product and reviewed in the context of a database of two sets of norm scores:

The ratings achieved by similar products in the previous two years of testing for The Grocer Own Label Excellence Awards and the current Fast Foodfax database of innovations tested in that category of products.

Entries going forward to the 2nd stage expert panel judging were evaluated by an expert panel of judges drawn from a range of disciplines.

Each successful entrant was then evaluated on the following criteria: taste, texture, appearance, packaging, value and clarity of labeling.

Products were prepared in professional kitchens in London, where the judges factor the consumer judging scores together with their own informed opinions select the winner for each category.

A summary report for every entrant 

A one-page report was prepared for each entry incorporating these ratings and a written analysis – including illustrative verbatim consumer feedback – complete with a summary consumer verdict. This was reviewed and used as the basis for defining which products go forward to the stage 2 product evaluation by an expert panel of judges.

After the winners have been announced, all entrants are provided with a copy of this report. Cambridge Market Research is happy to interpret these findings with each entrant, exploring any diagnostic feedback that may help in future product development and optimization.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.