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What is Product of the Year?

Product of the Year is the largest consumer voted award for product innovation. Product of the Year was created to champion new product innovation and give shoppers a shortcut to the very best new products on the market. It’s not only an internationally recognized award, but a proven ROI tool.

How is Product of the Year different from other awards?

TRUSTED: Over 30 years of operation working with leaders like Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, Kimberly Clark and many more.

GLOBAL: 45 countries operating under the same goal: guide consumers to the most innovative products on the market. The seal is used by winners around the globe. This means that it is recognizable to the newest Canadians.

FOCUS ON INNOVATION: Product of the Year exists to help guide shoppers to new innovative products, as determined by consumers just like them. For winning products, this is not only an acknowledgement for innovation in the eyes of the industry, but a powerful sales tool proven to increase product trial, awareness and quality.

100% CONSUMER VOTED: Products are voted on entirely by a nationally representative sample of Canadian consumers. With thousands of Canadians voting on products, Product of the Year Canada conducts a category-specific consumer product survey on innovation.

BACKED BY ENSEMBLEIQ: EnsembleIQ is the premier business intelligence resource company in Canada offering promotional support to raise awareness for Product of the Year Canada.

What products qualify?

For the 2025 awards, we accept entries for products launched since January 1st, 2023. Products must have national distribution and demonstrate meaningful consumer innovation in one of the following areas: function, design, packaging, ingredients. If you’re not sure if your product qualifies, please reach out to us, and we can help figure out if your product should be entering.

How do you define innovation?

We accept entries from products that demonstrate innovation in their function, design, packaging, or ingredients. This could be a completely new type of product or a useful innovation to an older product or brand, such a new ingredient, redesigned shape or size, new formula (eg. less sugar) or new packaging (eg., user-friendly or “green”). Remember, it does not have to be revolutionary as long as it makes consumers’ lives better/easier. Please contact us directly if you have questions about your product.

How are the winners determined?

We partner with the leading global research company Kantar, to survey a nationally representative sample of 4,000 Canadian shoppers. The survey is designed to evaluate product innovation on several criteria, including product appeal, satisfaction, advocacy, purchase interest, uniqueness, relevance and excitement.

Who conducts the consumer research?

We partner with Kantar on behalf of EnsembleIQ to survey a nationally representative sample of thousands of Canadian shoppers. The survey is designed to evaluate product innovation on several criteria. The Product Innovation Index Score (PIIS) was determined by incorporating four distinct variables.

  • Product Satisfaction
  • Product Innovation
  • Product Appeal
  • Intent to Purchase

Products are reviewed based on product descriptions and images; Canadian consumers evaluate each based on their knowledge of, expectations for, and past experiences with the product.

Can more than one product enter?

Yes, there is no limit on how many products from one brand can be entered, as long as they meet the criteria above.

When can I enter?

Product of the Year Canada opens for entries March 2024.

What are the categories?

The general broad categories of product entries we accept include Food and Beverage, Health and Beauty, Personal Care, Household Products, Pet Supplies, Pharmaceuticals, Small Appliances and Electronics, etc. The exact category names are determined by Kantar after all entries are received. Because this is an award for innovation, the categories are often driven by innovation trends of the preceding year.

We work with the Kantar on behalf of EnsembleIQ to make sure only comparable products compete with each other and there are never less than 2 or more than 6 products in a category.

How much does it cost?

  • Entry to Product of the Year Canada is free.
  • If your product is selected to be a part of the consumer survey, there is a finalist fee of $4,020
  • If consumers vote your product “Product of the Year Canada,” there is a one-time winner fee of $12,995 that allows promoting the win and using our logo in any type of media for two full years. All winners are part of Product of the Year Canada media and PR campaign across EnsembleIQ Media properties to raise program awareness and drive consumers to the Product of the Year Canada website. Campaign may include print, television, digital, editorial, broadcast, and PR exposure.

Can I opt out once I enter?

Products cannot opt out once submitted. By submitting your product, you are providing full commitment to the program and any fees that may apply if your product is voted a finalist or winner of Product of the Year Canada.

What are the benefits of winning?

Winners have found numerous ways to benefit from POY over the past 30 years, but here are a few of the key benefits we’ve observed. All winners are guaranteed the following:

  • Inclusion in the Product of the Year Canada media and PR campaign across B2B and B2C segments to raise program awareness and drive consumers and retailers to the Product of the Year Canada website.
  • Winners receive access to incentive-priced media opportunities to promote your Product of the Year Canada win across EnsembleIQ media brands, including print and digital properties.
  • A detailed consumer research report with category-specific results and shopper insights conducted by Kantar on behalf of EnsembleIQ.
  • Most importantly, winners receive a two-year licensing term on unlimited usage of the Product of the Year Canada seal on all marketing material.

What is the jury day?

Once all products have been submitted, a panel of industry professionals are invited to review the submitted products to ensure that the innovation criteria are met before they go on to the consumer research.

When was Product of the Year founded?

Product of the Year was founded in 1987 in France by former L’OREAL executive, Christian LeBret.

Does Product of the Year exist in other countries?

Product of the Year currently exists in over 40 countries, making its most recent debut in Turkey, Luxembourg, Kuwait, and Lebanon.

Who can I contact for additional information?

You may contact us with any questions by email at [email protected] or call Andrea Phills: 437-889-0541