The great snack-rifice: Aussies cutting out their favourite treats as cost-of-living crisis surges.
Over 5000 Australian shoppers have had their say and cast votes for their favourite supermarket and everyday products, in the annual Product of the Year Awards (POY) for 2024. The world’s largest consumer-based awards program is now in its 15th year in Australia, recognising product innovation, and serving as a shortcut for shoppers, saving them time and money when finding the right products.
It’s no secret that rising inflation rates are having an impact on Australian households, with 86% of Aussies now employing cost saving techniques to help stretch the grocery budget further in 2024, according to new research conducted by NielsenIQ for POY. The findings have indicated that nearly one in two (45%) Aussies are switching to home brand options in order to make these savings. Alongside this, three in five are making the ultimate “snack-rifice” and removing indulgent foods and snacks like chocolates, desserts and premium nuts from their shopping lists, in order to cut down costs.
Whilst Aussies might be cutting back on these indulgences at home, the expectation now falls to employers to provide these, with half of Australians (48%) believing that workplaces should purchase snacks for staff, with 90% of young working professionals believing this should be mandatory as bosses look to keep morale up and keep people in the office environment.
Aussies are on a mission to save whilst they shop, and how they are doing this is good news for big grocery retailers! For 2024, the leading number of Product of the Year category awards were taken out by supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths for their home-brand, deli and bakery products, with Coles taking 19 of the 44 award wins, and Woolworths taking home an impressive 10 product prizes.
With Aussies feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living more so than ever, this is having a trickle-down effect into the way they make their shopping decisions, with many switching to home brands and lower cost alternatives, as well as opting to do their shopping at a sole retailer, in order to avoid overspending across multiple stores. Other cost-cutting tactics Aussies reported also included switching to cheaper cuts of meat (42%), cutting back on food delivery (40%), consuming more home-cooked meals (40%) and reducing food wastage by eating leftovers (38%).
Product of the Year Director Sarah Connelly says: “The rising cost of living has definitely changed the FMCG landscape, with afford-ability and ease being the leading driver behind the way Aussies shop. The NielsenIQ findings highlight how Australian consumption habits have shifted considerably, with the cost-of-living crisis echoing through many households. Whilst snacks and treats were commonplace in the shopping trolly before living expenses started to increase exponentially, these are now classed as luxury items rather than a need, with many shoppers viewing snacks as a low priority when it comes to feeding the family.
“In addition, the POY winner’s trends are also demonstrating that many Australians have health and sustainability as added priorities, with quality and the source of ingredients ranking high in their consideration set, shown by winners such as the Coles Joyful Protein Bar Range, and Woolworths Macro Pasture Raised Carbon Neutral Eggs, to name a few.”
Shoppers also gave Woolworths the nod as the leading retailer with the best selection of fresh, healthy, and organic products. However, value based supermarket chain ALDI has come out on top as the most affordable.
This year, Product of the Year was thrilled to welcome beloved household brands back into the winner’s pool, including the Zero Gravity Mattress from Emma Sleep, Hydralyte Plus and Aussie home-grown brand Koala Sleep for their Kirribilli Bed Base and Sofa Bed.
In addition, POY is very excited to welcome first-time winners including LeVel Beverages, The Gourmet Entertainer for their Dried Gin Food, and Tassall with the Australian Tiger Prawns and Tassie Salmon.
Shoppers can be confident when buying Product of the Year category winners as they undergo a rigorous testing process. A panel of judges, comprising of various industry experts, first tested the products for quality, credibility, and innovation. The resulting product finalists were then reviewed and voted on by 5000 Australians. The NielsenIQ research that determines the winners involves evaluating these consumer responses by using their six key innovation criteria which include:
- Relevance – Is the product fulfilling a need or addressing a problem?
- Uniqueness – Does is stand out and bring something new to the category?
- Excitement – How excited are they to use the product? Would they spread the word?
- Likeability – Does it deliver what you want?
- Distinctiveness – Does it add something new to its category?
- Innovation – Is it an innovative product?
Key research findings from NielsenIQ 2024 survey
- Price / Affordability remains the key decision factor when deciding to buy a new brand or product, being a key consideration for 88% of Australians. Many Australians are also influenced by the source and quality of the ingredients (74%) and the health credentials of new products (65%).
- Woolworths continues to lead strongly among the supermarkets on most important shopping attributes tested, with ALDI exceeding Woolworths only on being the most affordable – a key territory to own in the current market conditions and one ALDI should keep working on to maintain and attract shoppers.
- Woolworths also takes the lead for an overall shopping experience by maintaining a tidy environment, stocking high quality premium brands and having a wide range of fresh, healthy and organic products (+10% points on average clear of Coles), with the major retailers being seen as equally affordable.
- Product of the Year Australia 2022 – Diagnostic Report 2023. NielsenIQ.
2024 Product of the Year winners
|Company Name||Product Name||Category|
|Care Pharmaceuticals||Hydralyte Plus||Vitamins and Supplements|
|Coles||Joyful Protein Bar Range||Healthy Snacking|
|Coles||Coles Gluten Free Ultimate Choc Chip Cookies Baking Mix 500g||Baking Mix|
|Coles||Coles Finest All Butter Puff Pastry Cheese Mini Twists 75g||Savoury Biscuits and Crackers|
|Coles||Coles Dairy Free Chocolate BOM||Breakfast Drinks|
|Coles||Coles Finest Thick & Juicy Beef Burgers 2pk 300g||Burgers|
|Coles||Coles Finest Mini Tart Selection 2pk||Chilled Desserts|
|Coles||Dreams Crumb True Lemon Meringue Cupcake 2pk||Cakes/Cupcakes|
|Coles||Coles Finest Spanish Truffle 3 Month Matured Cheese 140g||Cheese|
|Coles||Coles Finest Belgian Dark Chocolate range||Confectionery|
|Coles||Coles Perform Build Chicken Filled Pasta 360g||Convenience/Ready Meals|
|Coles||Coles Sweet Potato Waffle Fries 500g||Frozen Sides|
|Coles||Coles Ultimate Gluten Free 40% Choc Chip Cookies 252g||Gluten Free Cookies|
|Coles||Koi Hydrating Shampoo Bar Ginger & Lemongrass 100g||Hair Care|
|Coles||Koi Foaming Handwash Starter Kit||Hand Soap|
|Coles||Coles Finest Australian Lamb Shanks with Massaman Curry Sauce||Marinated Meat/Pork|
|Coles||Cucina Matese Triple Cheese Pasta Sauce 550g||Pasta Sauce|
|Coles||Woofin’ Good Peanut Better Flavour Dog Treat Biscuits 800g||Dog Treats|
|Coles||Coles Grilled Burger Sauce 360g||Condiments|
|Coles||Beef with Margaret River Shiraz Sausages 500g||Sausages|
|Coles Express||Coles Express Hot Pocket||Hot Food to Go|
|Emma Sleep Pty Ltd||Emma Zero Gravity Mattress||Mattress over $1.5K|
|Ferrero||Nutella Biscuits||Sweet Biscuits|
|Koala Sleep Pty Ltd||Kirribilli Bed Base||Bedroom Furniture|
|Koala Sleep Pty Ltd||Stunner Sofa Bed||Sofa Bed|
|LeVeL Beverages Pty Ltd||LeVeL Lemonade 300ml Aluminium Can||Beverages|
|Medela||Freestyle™ Hands-free Double Electric Wearable Breast Pump||Baby Product|
|Nestlé Australia||Nescafé Original Choc Mocha Inspired by Tim Tam||Coffee|
|Origin Sleep Australia||Origin Hybrid Mattress||Ones to Watch – Mattress under $1.5K|
|Pharmacare Laboratories||Muscle Protect HMB+D3||Wellbeing Support – Bones and Muscle Health|
|Systane||Systane Complete Preservative-Free Lubricant Eye Drops||Eye Care|
|Tassal||Tropic Co Australian Tiger Prawns 475g||Chilled Packaged Seafood (Prawns)|
|Tassal||Tassal Tassie Salmon Lemon Infusions 300g||Chilled Packaged Seafood Category (Salmon)|
|The Gourmet Entertainer||Drink Food 10g||Dried Fruits|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Greek Pot Set Yoghurt 1kg||Yoghurt|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Chicken Kyiv Bites With Creamy Garlic Filling 400g||Crumbed Poultry|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Thick Cut Beef Eye Fillet 320g||Fresh Meat|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Smokey BBQ Slaw Kit||Fresh Salad Bags|
|Woolworths||Strike Pro Mould Killer Spray 500ml||Household Cleaning|
|Woolworths||Clean Laundry Liquid Tropical Bloom 2lt||Laundy|
|Woolworths||Macro Free Range Chicken Boneless Butterflied Chicken Moroccan||Marinated Poultry|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Lemon & Herb Panko Crumbs 200g||Pantry|
|Woolworths||Macro Pasture Raised Carbon Neutral Eggs||Eggs|
|Woolworths||Woolworths Slow Raised Whole Chicken||Poultry|