Canada’s Innovative New Private Brand Products Selected as Finalists

Canadian Awards

This past week the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) announced the finalists for the 22nd Annual Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards. This prestigious awards program celebrates the best new products in food, non-food and private-label categories, as selected by a 30-member jury. Winners will be announced at the Gala on June 3, 2015 at the Toronto Congress Centre, as part of RCC’s STORE 2015 Conference.

“Our finalists represent the very best in product development, design and brand management,” says Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO, RCC. “We are proud to recognize the teams and brands behind these outstanding new products and new this year, we’ve put a greater focus on innovation when evaluating products, as it’s an important aspect to both consumers and merchants.”

The expert panel judging the awards is comprised of consumers, food journalists, packaging designers, and grocery industry R&D and marketing personnel.  Through a rigorous judging process, the jury grades each entry on five criteria: uniqueness and innovation, product characteristics, presentation and packaging, overall consumer value, and consumer acceptance (household penetration rate of a product).  This year, the evaluation of the judging process was more transparent than ever; juror feedback was provided directly to all participants.

Longtime Jury Chair Marcus Von Albrecht says there was an emphasis on all-natural and fresh products in the food category submissions. He also noted a number of food submissions were geared towards elevated entertaining without the elevated price tag. “These high-quality products allow consumers to create an elegant, unique menu to impress their guests, without spending a fortune on expensive ingredients.”

On the non-food side, he noticed a theme of nostalgia in the submissions. “These products harkened back to consumers’ childhood, tugging at their heartstrings with a vintage quality. Updated packaging and modernized upgrades keep the products relevant while maintaining the familiarity of the product.”

For their test kitchen, the jury evaluated the Food and Private Label products in March at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) in Montreal.  Judges assessed the non-food products in their own homes over six weeks.

This year, after rigorous testing, 91 products became finalists by reaching specific minimum criteria. Additional details on the criteria are found here: To make the judging as impartial as possible, the panel assessed the taste, nutritional value and price of food products “blind”, before they saw the packaging and the manufacturer’s name.

Private Brand finalists include:

Co-Op Gold Cookies
Co-Op Gold Trail Mix

Longo’s Signature Keylime Cheesecake
Longo’s Signature Fully Cooked Pulled Pork

Irresistibles Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt Spread
Irresistibles Dish soap
Irresistibles Flatbread
Irresistibles Gourmet Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Irresistible Greek yogurt cheesecake
Irresistibles Herbal Tea
Irresistibles La Collezione
Irresistibles Life Smart Bread
Irresistibles Life Smart Juice Blend
Irresistibles Quinoa

Vetdiet – Care
Vetdiet Dental Care

Compliments Balance Fruit & Vegetable Bars
Compliments Gluten Free Breads
Compliments presents Jamie Oliver Condiments
Compliments presents Jamie Oliver Sausages

Flattened Chicken

Great Value Paper Towels – Strong and Absorbent (Family Size)
Our Finest Angus Beef Meatballs
Our Finest Luscious Lemon Cookies
Our Finest Luscious Lemon Pie Ice Cream
Our Finest Mini Croissants
Parent’s Choice Infant Formula (For babies sensitive to lactose)

This year’s Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards was open to manufacturers and distributors of all sizes, for products introduced during the 2014 calendar year.  The finalists and winners can use the award logo on their packaging for two years.

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is the Voice of Retail in Canada representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants in general merchandise, grocery and drugs.  Its membership represents over 75% of all retail sales in Canada.  RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information.   @retailcouncil   #RCCGrandPrix

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada

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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.