the forefront of innovation


the forefront of innovation
In association with
of the year
The Product
of the Year logo
tells consumers
that this is a
good product,
not because we
say so, but
consumers chose
that product as
the best in its
RODUCT of the Year South
Africa was launched four
years ago to empower
South African consumers
and challenge manufacturers to
provide innovative and better-quality products to the local market.
Preetesh Sewraj, managing director of Product of the Year South
Africa, says that very often, executives based in Europe or the USA
simply do not understand the South
African market and yet they are
making decisions as to which products are launched in this country.
“Very often the products
launched in South Africa are not
as innovative as those found on the
shelves in developed markets.
“Product of the Year provides
consumers with an ideal vehicle to
encourage manufacturers to bring
out their best products in this
country and to tailor their product
releases to better suit local consumers,” Sewraj says.
Product of the Year is a global
organisation that was established
in France 25 years ago by Christian LeBret and now spans over 30
“His idea was to stimulate innova-
1 April 2011
tion in the French fast moving consumer goods market. He noticed
that while there were many new
products coming to the market
each year, not many of them were
innovative,” Sewraj says. “He started Product of the Year to challenge
companies to be more innovative.”
According to Sewraj, one of
the key benefits of Product of the
Year is that consumers now have
a mark of excellence that reduces the “clutter” on supermarket
shelves, helping consumers to focus on good products that have
been recognised by their peers as
best of breed.
“The Product of the Year logo
tells consumers that this is a good
product, not because we say so, but
because, in an independent survey
of over 5 000 households, consumers chose that product as the best
in its category.
“Manufacturers also win. The
producers that enter Product of the
Year tend to be those who want to
ensure that their products are seen
as being the best available products
in stores. Therefore, they have the
confidence to measure themselves
against their competitors,” Sewraj
Product of the Year provides
manufacturers with reassurance
when they are meeting the needs
of their consumers and a warning
when they are falling short of consumer expectations.
Another distinct element is
that, in other competitive processes, there are usually winners and
losers, whereas there are no losers
in the Product of the Year process.
“While one winner in each category gets to use the Product of the
Year logo, all the other participants
gain remarkable insight into how
they measure up to their competitors. They can use this information
to produce better products that
better suit the needs of local consumers,” Sewraj adds.
Media giant Avusa has been
involved with Product of the Year
South Africa since its arrival in this
Says Enver Groenewald, GM
advertising revenue and strategy
communication: “We feel there is a
natural fit between Avusa and the
Product of the Year programme,
and its process of identifying, acknowledging and celebrating innovation.
“As a player in the media industry, we share a lot in common with
the fast moving consumer goods
(FMCG) sector. Both are hypercompetitive industries, and the
sustainability of our businesses relies on our being at the forefront of
innovation,” Groenewald says.
This year Avusa is also rewarding creative advertising from the
companies participating in Product of the Year. The winner and a
partner will have an all-expensespaid trip to New York to attend the
Product of the Year awards in the
“We will be looking at all the
Product of the Year advertisements that appear in our titles
over the coming year, and the winner will be announced at the next
Product of the Year celebration,”
Groenewald says. “This means
that companies have a whole year
in which to develop the most creative advertisements.”
He adds the competition
Preetesh Sewraj (left), managing director of Product of the
Year South Africa, with Enver Groenewald, GM advertising
revenue and strategy communication at Avusa Media
means that, not only can companies reach around 10 million
consumers via Avusa’s titles, but
they also stand to gain exposure to
global innovation by attending the
event in New York.
According to Groenewald, during the first two years of Product
of the Year South Africa, the focus
was on building the brand among
participating companies. This year
the emphasis has also been on educating the public so that they are
on the lookout for Product of the
Year winners, and are fully aware
of the logo and the value of its association with a winning brand.
The education process will continue in an even more robust fashion over the next 12 months.
“The Product of the Year winners are products that participating consumers have identified as
their favourite brands.
“Consumers want to affirm
their decision to place their money
and trust in particular products,
and all the brands participating in
Product of the Year demonstrate
that they are constantly seeking
to develop compelling propositions
for consumers that provide value
through best of breed products,”
Groenewald says.
2011 - PRODUCT
of the year
HE ability of a product to
win consumers’ hearts,
and thus sales, is the key
factor determining whether products make it on to supermarket shelves, and within that
competitive equation, a manufacturer’s ability to innovate can often
mean the difference between success and failure.
Bronwen Rohland, group marketing executive at Pick n Pay, says
that product innovation plays a key
role in successful fast moving consumer goods.
“There are so many products
available in the market. However,
as retailers, if we have a product
that sets our stores apart from the
competition or that drives a particular segment of our customers, it is
really beneficial to our business,”
she says.
“In today’s highly competitive
retail environment, there are very
few points of difference between
the various retailers. Therefore,
an innovative product which gets
customers excited and on which
you can achieve full margin is ideal
from our perspective.”
According to Rohland, product
lifecycles tend to be shorter than
in the past, and retailers have to be
ahead of the game to ensure they
have the latest, innovative products
on their shelves.
Retailers have become increasingly demanding about the
products they are prepared to
stock, often reducing the number
of lines they are prepared to carry.
However, Roland points out that
the selection of which products
are stocked is determined by customers.
“If it is a quality product pro-
duced by a manufacturer that truly
listens to its customers and markets the product correctly, it will
get the sales – and the space on our
shelves,” she says.
Manufacturers have to realise
that product profitability is critical
for retailers and they simply cannot afford to waste space on slowmoving items, she adds.
Only a very small percentage
of the thousands of line items retailers carry are their real volume
drivers – products that are referred to in the industry as KVIs, or
known value items, such as sugar,
dog food, cooking oil and toilet paper. These are the goods on which
customers are usually very aware
of the pricing, and they will tend to
measure a retailer’s value proposition by the prices of these products.
“As retailers, we have to be
rational and businesslike when selecting the items we stock. At the
same time, the range has to show
depth and not just one or two lines
of a product type.
“Typically, we will stock the
leading brand, two or three alternatives and a house brand where
it plays strongly in the category.
When a new product hits the market, it has to carry its weight and
earn its place on our shelves,” Rohland says.
At the same time, Pick n Pay
is working via a mentorship programme with its supply base to
assist entrepreneurs in expanding
their product offering to customers.
Rohland says that Product of
the Year South Africa has an important role to play in terms of providing an additional recommendation to consumers and, therefore,
retailers. Furthermore, when a
product has been awarded Product
of the Year in its category, it pro-
vides a quality point of differentiation.
“Product of the Year is about
customers saying ‘this is a quality
product that appeals to me’. When
that product is on our shelves and
displaying the red Product of the
Year logo, it gives us an opportunity to increase sales volumes of
that product.
“The fact that a product has
been chosen as a Product of the
Year means that the product can
often carry a premium. As a result, the retailer and the manufacturer are both able to make their
margins,” she says. “In addition,
we are serving our customers because they want us to stock that
She notes that, as the Product
of the Year logo is building equity
among South African consumers,
it helps consumers to cut through
some of the product clutter and distinguish a particular product from
the rest in its category.
“Where there is a ‘wallpaper’
of products and there is no differentiator besides price, the fact that
a product carries the logo could
cause it to jump out on the shelf.
“Product of the Year has been
around for about three years and
suppliers have been a bit slow off
the mark in terms of making full
use of the programme. In the future it is going to play an increasingly important role in customer
choices, and our decision to carry
and promote products.
“In negotiations with suppliers,
we consider the products that they
are promoting and the campaigns
that support such promotions. The
fact that a product is in line to win
a Product of the Year accolade will
influence planning in terms of determining the promotional grid the
product has with us.
“This may mean extra shelf
space and additional promotional
material within the store.”
As consumers gain more exposure to Product of the Year, so the
logo will gather more traction in
the market, Rohland believes.
She points out that in markets
where Product of the Year is established, case studies demonstrate
that products that win the right to
use the Product of the Year logo
have experienced a 20% to 40% increase in sales.
If it is a
quality product
produced by a
that truly
listens to its
it will get the
sales – and the
space on our
“It is an incredible opportunity
to push volume and differentiate
product. And there is nothing stopping retailers from putting forward
their house brands into the process.
“As retailers become more innovative in their product development, so traditional brand manufacturers will find themselves
under increasing pressure, and
there is a real possibility that Pick
n Pay’s house brand will be participating in Product of the Year in the
future,” Rohland adds.
Danone’s success in the
demanding yogurt market is hardly surprising, when it is considered that the
company has 90 years’ experience
in the yogurt industry and it applies this expertise to its formulations.
Nutriday Fruit was voted a
winner in its category in the Product of the Year South Africa 2011.
brand manager at Danone, says
the company’s vision is to deliver health through food to as
many people as possible. Nutriday Fruit, in its present form, is
a totally new product, released to
the South African market only in
May last year.
“The new Nutriday Fruit has
a better taste, it is thicker and it
provides a better eating experience for our consumers. We use
100% real fruit pieces and the
improved texture is creamier,”
Pryke says.
At the same time, replacing a
tried and tested favourite has to be
done with care, as consumers tend
to be very loyal to their brands.
As a result, Danone conducted
extensive consumer taste trials to
ensure that Nutriday Fruit was on
the right track.
All the preparation has
served Danone well, as its relaunched Nutriday range has
been very well received, with a
sharp increase in sales the month
after the launch.
“The brand was also given an
entirely new visual identity to give
our products a more modern appeal.
“In-store promotions played
a key role in getting out our message to consumers. We took Nutriday to our customers so they
could try it for themselves,” Pryke
RINGING Product of the
Year to South Africa was a
natural step for sales and
marketing solutions company The Creative Counsel as, in
one way or another, the company
represents about 60% of the fast
moving consumer goods (FMCG)
brands in South Africa.
Gil Oved, co-CEO of The Creative Counsel, says: “We cover
the full value chain of solutions in
sales and marketing, ranging from
field marketing to creative strategy
design. Therefore, as we are very
active in the FMCG industry, we
want to encourage innovation and
excellence in the sector. Our business grows as the FMCG brands
Oved says it is innovation that
promotes growth in the FMCG sec-
tor, and helps manufacturers to improve their margins and differentiate their products in the market.
“Product of the Year is a global
company and the concept of promoting innovation in the FMCG
sector is one with which we obviously identify. As a result, we
formed a joint venture with the
global organisation to bring Product of the Year to South Africa,” he
The success of Product of the
Year has been a pleasant surprise,
as the company expected the adoption of the programme by the industry to take longer than it has.
“Initiatives in other South African
industries have not taken off as
quickly, but the FMCG sector has
literally embraced Product of the
Year,” Oved says.
Given the highly competitive
nature of the FMCG industry, it is
perhaps not surprising, with the
benefit of hindsight, that brand
managers and manufacturers have
taken to a concept that helps them
to differentiate themselves in the
eyes of consumers.
In addition, consumers are
looking for ways to identify brands
that share their values and that
stand out in terms of delivering
performance. “There is so much
clutter in the market and consumers want to be able to cut through
the sales hype.
“Through independent research, Product of the Year provides a vehicle for consumers to
give their votes to their favoured
products and thus share them with
their peers,” Oved says.
of the year - 2011
RODUCT performance has
proved to be the winning
ingredient for the Sunsilk
Co-Creations Damage Reconstruction haircare range in its
category in this year’s Product of
the Year South Africa.
Seokhee Won, vice-president:
brand building – home and personal care at Unilever South Africa,
says that while the Sunsilk Caucasian brand was launched in 2004,
it demonstrates that an effectively
managed brand can remain fresh
and relevant over some years.
“As technology improves, so it
is incorporated into the product,
and this is the foundation of the
success that Sunsilk has enjoyed
over the years.
“As a marketer you can change
the packaging, the shape of the
bottle, the cap, make the label more
interesting, but the contents of the
bottle and the results consumers
achieve remain the most important,” Won says.
He adds that a benefit of having a long-established brand is the
interaction that develops between
the brand and its consumers. As a
result, the Sunsilk team is able to
select the best formulations based
on consumer feedback.
“Women, in particular, measure the performance of their haircare products by running their fingers through their hair and feeling
the softness of the hair fibres after
the hair has been washed and conditioned.
“Unilever owns the patent on
the silicon system used in Sunsilk
Co-Creations Damage Reconstruction, and this differentiates the
range from other brands, as women can really feel the difference.”
At the same time, a winning
formula in one market is not necessarily a success in another, particularly when it comes to haircare
Every nation’s women have
their own measure of what makes
for the right feel for their hair, and
this means that the formulation
must be adjusted and tailored to
each market, usually on the basis
of different hair types and washing
With a winning product formulation, marketing then focuses on
conveying a truthful message to
consumers as to the value the product offers. “You have to focus on
the product and its performance,
not gimmicks or flashy packaging,”
Won says.
Confident that the Sunsilk formulation would win over consumers, Unilever introduced a small,
very low-cost 50ml trial package.
“There was no point in spending huge amounts of money on advertising when we really needed to
get people to try the product and
see for themselves.
“The latest Sunsilk products
were only introduced last year and
the response was overwhelming, so
much so that we had trouble meeting demand, as the product is imported. This is now resolved,” Won
As technology
improves, so it
is incorporated
into the product,
and this is the
foundation of
Sunsilk’s success
2011 - PRODUCT
of the year
Schick Extreme 3 Hawaiian Tropic
Female Razors
Extreme 3 Hawaiian Tropic is infused with a coconut scent that
will indulge your senses while
shaving. Product improvements to
the Schick Extreme 3, a three-blade
disposable razor with a flexible
blade, include a new gender-specific handle for improved control, ergonomically designed for the way
women shave; a lubrication strip
containing aloe, vitamin E and jojoba; and fresher, more youthful
Kiwi and Coral coloured handles to
appeal to younger women.
Rama Spread for Bread
Medium Fat Brick
Rama Spread for Bread follows the
launch of Rama Everyday (2008)
and completes the Rama range
promise of “More Rama. Less
Rands”. Now consumers need only
pay for the margarine benefits
they need. Full-fat Rama Original
remains the product of choice for
those wanting a versatile cooking,
baking and spreading margarine,
while medium-fat Spread for Bread
is the most affordable Rama, recommended for spreading only.
Sunsilk Co-Creations Damage
Reconstruction System
Hair Care
Sunsilk knows that women love
styling their hair, but wish they
had haircare products to repair the
damage that styling causes. The
new Sunsilk Co-Creations Damage
Reconstruction System includes
a shampoo, conditioner and treatment, repairing damaged hair in
just five washes. The system has
been co-created with London’s
Tom Taw, famous for repairing the
tresses of the hottest celebrity clientele.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Skin Protection
Vaseline has always been an iconic
brand in skincare, with most of its
expertise leveraged off Vaseline
Petroleum Jelly. Vaseline now offers a new, triple-purified formulation which will better protect and
heal skin, while keeping it feeling
moisturised and nourished. To the
existing range of Original, Vitamin
E and Baby Soft have been added a
Cocoa Butter and Aloe Fresh variant, a lighter, thinner, more easily
absorbed formulation.
Shield Happy and Sexy
Female Deodorant
Shield For Women understands
that looking fabulous is just as important as being protected from
underarm wetness and odour.
Shield Happy and Sexy roll-on provides Shield’s renowned underarm
protection with the added benefit
of fine fragrances. Delicate floral
notes of jasmine, rose, magnolia
and amber have been added to
Shield’s 24-hour antiperspirant to
meet the needs of active and feminine women.
NutriDay Fruit
The NutriDay Fruit formulation
has been upgraded and improved,
both in recipe and packaging. The
packaging relaunch focused on creating a stronger brand, with clearly identifiable variants, better appetite appeal and overall stronger
on-shelf dominance and impact. A
new cup shape was also introduced
for the larger formats. The recipe
was improved by adding additional
fruit pieces to improve the sensory
Air Wick Aqua Essences Fresh Mist
Air Freshener
Air Wick has developed new Aqua
Essences Fresh Mist, a unique air
freshener with nature-inspired fragrances to make your home smell
naturally fresh and welcoming. Unlike traditional aerosols, new Air
Wick Aqua Essences Fresh Mist
has a propellant-free trigger spray
system, which creates the performance of an aerosol with a fresher,
more natural mist for fragrancing
everywhere in the home.
Rainbow Simply Chicken
Saucy Steaklets
Quick Meal
Rainbow Simply Chicken Saucy
Steaklets are available in three
variants: Garlic and Cheese, Pepper and Mushroom, and Mixed Veg
and Cheese. Made from chicken
breast meat topped with a creamy
sauce, with real vegetables and
natural flavours, they contain no
preservatives, no artificial flavours, no added MSG, pork or soya,
and are halaal-certified.
Vaseline Cocoa Butter Cream
Vaseline Cocoa Butter is the first
product range from Vaseline specifically formulated to meet the requirements of black skin. Vaseline
launched Cocoa Butter lotions in
2008 and has now followed up with
creams. Vaseline Cocoa Butter
Cream, with cocoa and shea butter,
penetrates the skin to eliminate
dryness, leaving skin soft and supple while igniting the skin’s natural
Dettol Natural Soothing Hand Wash
New Dettol Natural Soothing Hand
Wash combines trusted Dettol protection with the natural goodness
of calming calendula and chamomile extracts, to gently cleanse and
hydrate your skin. Other variants
include Caring, with nourishing
aloe vera and botanical extracts,
and Invigorating, with uplifting
and refreshing eucalyptus and
ginseng extracts. Also available in
soaps and shower gels.
Honey Cheerios
Nestlé is passionate about wholegrain, and has now made it easier
for SA families to get their recommended daily wholegrain intake.
New Honey Cheerios are made
with four wholegrains (corn, oats,
rice and wheat), combined with the
irresistible taste of golden honey.
Honey Cheerios provide 12,5g of
wholegrain per serving, and are a
nutritious, delicious breakfast for
the whole family.
Schick Skinprotect Sensitive
Male Grooming
Schick Skinprotect Sensitive is an
anti-irritation shaving preparation
with aloe and vitamin E, specially
developed for men with sensitive
skin. Skinprotect Sensitive shave
gel has an extra-gentle formula to
help soften the beard and soothe
the skin. It is fragrance-free and
dermatologically tested, and is
ideal for overseas travel as it complies with airline LAG regulations
(100ml restriction).
Yardley Oatmeal Spot Clear
Skin Care
Yardley Oatmeal is launching a
new skin regime specifically for
the treatment of acne. The formula
consists of AC.NET, which has
been clinically proven to reduce
the over-secretion of sebum/oils,
hyperkeratosis, bacterial growth
that causes acne, and inflammation. It also contains tea tree oil and
oats protein to be more natural and
earth-friendly. Yardley also makes
use of FSC-approved cartons.
Duracell Rechargeable Longer
Stay Charged
Rechargeable Battery
Duracell Rechargeable Longer
Stay Charged stays charged for up
to five times longer than ordinary
alkaline batteries. Pre-charged
and ready to use straight out of
the pack, Duracell Rechargeable
Longer Stay Charged retains up
to 80% of charge for up to one year
while not in use. Available in AA
(200mAh) and AAA (800mAh).
Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms
Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms, a
premium water-based enamel, contains a unique micro-shield which
inhibits microbial growth. Silver
Protect is known for its broadspectrum antimicrobial properties,
and it has the following additional
benefits: it is 10 times more washable than conventional waterbased paint, it has excellent stain,
steam and chip resistance, and it
has a beautiful matt finish.
Duracell Pre-Charged Mini Charger
Battery Charger
Duracell Pre-Charged Mini Charger charges two rechargeable
batteries in six to eight hours. It
charges both AA and AAA rechargeable batteries, and comes
with two AA Duracell Active
Charge rechargeable batteries. Duracell Pre-Charged Mini Charger
is sleek and lightweight in design,
and has a single cell charging capability. It is available in three colours: blue, pink and green.
of the year - 2011
Axe Twist Deodorant
Male Deodorant
New Axe Twist is a fragrance that
changes throughout the day, evolving from fresh citrus and fruity
notes to smooth woody notes. The
fragrance is designed to entice
girls into loving the way their guys
smell, with a hidden “twist” that
continues to keep them interested.
It is available in deodorant body
spray, antiperspirant aerosol deodorant and roll-on formats.
Lifebuoy Bar
Bar Soaps
New Lifebuoy Bar helps fights
germs that cause body odour, and
protects the skin from germs for
up to 12 hours, providing better allround health for those who use it.
Lifebuoy Bar has four variants: Total, Care, Herbal and Deofresh. The
new shape across all variants is designed to improve product performance, ensuring a rich lather, no
mush and a longer-lasting bar.
Colgate Total
Colgate Total is an everyday toothpaste with 12-hour anti-germ activity. It contains a patented combination of triclosan, an anti-germ
agent and copolymer. After the
plaque has been disrupted through
effective brushing, triclosan is retained on the tooth surface by the
copolymer, where it can help prevent plaque from reforming for up
to 12 hours.
Gillette Cool White
Male Razors
Gillette Fusion’s five-blade technology is the most advanced currently
available from Gillette. Because
the blades of the shaving surface
are fitted closely together, and are
coated with an anti-friction layer,
the shaving force is distributed
across the blades, resulting in reduced pressure and less feeling of
Norton 360
Antivirus Software
Norton 360T offers ultimate protection, performance and peace of
mind against digital dangers. It defends against viruses, spyware and
other online threats, while safeguarding against online identity
theft. Plus it automatically backs
up important files and tunes up
your PC to keep it running at peak
Kotex Ultrasorb Tampons
Feminine Protection
New Ultrasorb Tampons are the
latest innovation from Kotex, designed with an extra zone of protection right where it’s needed
most. Each tampon has a blue safety zone at the base, made of special
Ultrasorb material, which quickly
draws in potential leaks and locks
them away. In addition, Kotex
Ultrasorb Tampons have smooth,
silky covers for easier insertion.
Sunlight Paradise Sensations
2 in 1 Auto
Auto Washing Powder
New Sunlight 2 in 1 Paradise Sensations Auto Washing Powder is
the latest addition to the laundry
category. With an exotic, tropical
fragrance that will lift your mood
and excite your senses, and added
fabric softener, it will leave your
clothes wonderfully clean, noticeably softer, and keep them fresher
for longer.
Handy Andy Potpourri
Power Cleaners
Handy Andy has launched a new
cream fragrance: Handy Andy Potpourri. The unique floral fragrance
with petal notes will leave your
home smelling as fresh and clean
as it looks. In a bright-pink bottle,
it is packed full of cleaning power
and millions of micro particles to
remove even the toughest dirt easily.
Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid Refills
Dishwashing Liquid
Everyday necessities can be so expensive in today’s tough times. So
Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid has
launched a refill pouch that is available in two sizes. Now you can get
the superior grease removal performance of Sunlight Dishwashing
Liquid, which you have loved for
years, at a more affordable price.
StaSoft Smart Pack
Fabric Softener
StaSoft Smart Pack offers the same
StaSoft quality, but in an affordable
and innovative 500ml pack. Now
with Fabri-care – a unique conditioning agent that slows down the
ageing of clothing – StaSoft will
leave clothes baby-soft, static-free,
easy-to-iron and fragrantly fresh
for up to two weeks.
Lux Beauty Body Wash
Body Wash
Lux Beauty Body Wash is more
than a soap. The range, with a
unique conditioning cream, is enriched with smoochable strawberries, juicy peach and yummy macadamia, promising soft and smooth
skin from the very first bathing
Pampers Premium Care Nappies
Pampers Premium Care is a premium tapped nappy that offers
the best protection for your baby’s
delicate skin. The nappy absorbs
not only urine, but also runny
mess, through its unique honeycomb layer, while keeping your
baby dry for up to 12 hours.
Energizer Key Ring Light
It’s annoying that you never seem
to have a torch when you lose
something important in the dark.
Now the new Energizer Key Ring
Light ensures that a handy light is
always within your reach. No more
lost cellphones in cars and no more
struggling to see coins in the dark.
Wagner Wall Perfect
The Wagner Wall Perfect W665
wall paint spraying system makes
it possible for even unpractised
home handymen to work professionally on walls and ceilings, and
quite easily – without wasting time
and effort painting with rollers and
paint brushes.
Colgate 360˚ Actiflex
New Colgate 360˚ Actiflex, an innovative brush with a flexible head,
a cheek and tongue cleaner, is designed to clean in all directions – to
remove bacteria from your teeth,
tongue, cheeks and gums, for a
healthier whole-mouth clean.
Cherubs Eco-Buds
Baby Care
The Cherubs Eco-Bud is currently
the only earbud on the market in
this country that is biodegradable
and flushable, because the stalk is
made from paper and not plastic.
As a result, the product is environmentally friendly.
Surf Superblue
Hand Washing Powder
New Surf with Super Whitening
Granules removes the yellowness
caused by repeated wear and washing, delivering superior whiteness
on cottons and synthetic fabrics in
just seven washes.
Playboy Energy Drink
Energy Drink
Playboy, a brand trusted the world
over to provide a good time, now
forays into the energy drink market. Consumers can be sure that
new Playboy Energy Drink will
help make every event even better.
Energizer Max Power Seal
Energizer Max, with Power Seal
Technology, is a trusted product
from the innovators at Energizer.
Through improved battery cell
construction, these new batteries
lock in power, which results in improved storage life and minimised
power reduction during storage.
Pampers Sensitive Wipes
Baby Wipes
Pampers Sensitive Wipes are recommended for use on newborn
babies and babies with sensitive
skin. With urine causing ammonia which irritates a baby’s skin,
Pampers Sensitive Wipes contain a
PH buffering system to return the
skin’s PH levels to normal.
2011 - PRODUCT
of the year
ESPITE being a very new
entrant into the South
African market, Nestlé’s
Honey Cheerios has already made a name for itself
among local consumers, who voted
the product into top spot in its category in this year’s Product of the
Year South Africa.
Vanessa Adams, category marketing manager at Cereal Partners
Worldwide (a joint venture between
Nestlé and General Mills), says that
despite the range of choice available
to consumers in the cereal category,
the company launched two new
products into the South African
cereal market in March 2009: Milo
Cereal and Cheerios.
The company’s success prompted the addition of Honey Cheerios
to its range last year.
“We believe that our products
have points of differentiation, particularly in terms of health and
nutrition. Our cereals have the
wholegrain advantage, and this is
proving particularly popular with
increasingly health-conscious parents who want to encourage their
children to lead healthy lifestyles.
“In addition, Cheerios is both
multigrain and wholegrain,” Adams says.
Not that South African youngsters were necessarily thinking of
their health when they took to the
new cereals; understandably they
were ruled by the taste. “Taste is
king for kids. Having a healthy cereal that tastes great helps to make
the parents’ job a lot easier,” Adams says.
She notes that mothers are usually the gatekeepers to the household and winning their support is
crucial. “The children’s cereal market was fairly flat before our entry,
and it has been in a growth phase
for the past two years,” Adams says.
The cereals are all imported
at present, but Nestlé recently
started construction on a plant in
South Africa and this is expected
to be in production by the middle of
2012. At the same time, a degree of
tailoring is required to meet local
requirements, such as the fact that
the cereals have added vitamins
and minerals, and the levels have
to meet South African standards to
support the manufacturer’s claims
on its packaging.
“Cheerios is available in many
markets around the globe and
its taste has achieved popularity
across a broad range of consumers.
Milo, on the other hand, is available
in fewer markets and we made adjustments to achieve the right level
of sweetness for South African consumers,” Adams says.
ETTER performance, a
simpler buying process
and product innovation are
serving to distinguish Plascon in the market.
Alex Coggins, marketing director at Plascon, says that paint tends
to be confusing for most consumers.
“When you walk into a paint
store, you are confronted by many
brands and products for different
applications. Therefore, we decided to make the shopping decisions
simpler for consumers and to differentiate ourselves from a product performance perspective,” he
Making packaging simpler and
easier to understand has been a focus for the company over the past
few years. In this way, consumers
are easily able to choose the right
products from the shelves.
Plascon has just won Product of
the Year in the paint category for
its Kitchens & Bathrooms product.
The first point of differentiation
is that the range’s name states
upfront the areas of the home in
which the product is designed to
be used.
“There is no confusion about
where people need to use this product. This premium-quality product
was designed especially for these
“Bathrooms are often wet and
steamy, which can lead to issues
such as mould growth near the
shower. Therefore, Kitchens &
Bathrooms is washable and very
durable, so people can use detergents and quite harsh soaps.
“In addition, we use a silver
technology that inhibits microbial growth, so that mould will not
grow, and independent tests show
that the paint will also inhibit several types of bacteria that are commonly found in bathrooms and
kitchens. You still need to clean,
but the paint really slows bacterial
growth,” Coggins says.
The Kitchens & Bathrooms
range arose out of customer feedback that suggested people were
very concerned about the challenges of keeping these areas clean and
hygienic. The products can also be
used in other areas of the home that
may face similar challenges, such as
rooms used by young children that
may require more cleaning.
Another area of confusion occurs when people want to paint
metal and they face an array of
primers, cleaning products and top
coats, usually spread across the
“We have pulled all our metal
products together into our comprehensive Metalcare range, which
provides consumers with a stepby-step process, and all our packs
are colour-coordinated to make it
easier to understand the process,”
Coggins says.
Both product ranges were
launched at the end of October last
The Kitchens & Bathrooms
range has been introduced to over
600 stores, and the distribution
footprint is still growing, but feedback from customers is already
proving very positive.
Plascon’s Metalcare range provides the best insight into the success of the programme, as it con-
sists of existing products that have
been rebranded, as well as four
new products.
“Our volumes are up more than
20% and this proves our view that
you have to have clear communication with your customers in a complex category,” Coggins says.
He adds that environmental
concerns have a direct influence
on the paint market, as paints are
manufactured using many chemicals, some of which may be harmful. Plascon is a member of the
Green Building Council, which has
put guidelines in place to develop
green buildings.
“We have developed a product
called Evolution, which has no solvents and no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As paint dries,
chemicals are released into the
atmosphere and they can be harmful to human health and to indoor
air quality. Evolution cuts out the
harmful fumes,” Coggins says.
Both Plascon’s Double Velvet
and Cashmere have also been reformulated with breathe-easy lowVOC formulas.
range of Norton products has been employed by computer
users for many years to protect
their precious data and enhance
PC performance, it is Norton 360
that has found particular favour
among South African consumers.
Kara Rawden, senior marketing
manager for Middle East and Africa
at Symantec, says the major appeal
of Norton 360 lies in the fact that it
provides users with a comprehensive, all-in-one security suite.
“It does everything for the
user, working quietly in the background and making decisions on
the user’s behalf. It is very easy
to use the product, and it is ideal
for people who are non-technical
and just want to be protected from
the increasing level of threats that
there are out on the web today,”
Rawden says.
In addition to providing core security, Norton 360 includes identity
protection, automatic backup and
PC tune-up features to give computer users comprehensive, automated
protection for their PC in a simple
set-it-and-forget-it package.
According to Rawden, not only
has Norton 360 just won Product of
the Year in its category, but it has
also won many other awards, giving users additional reassurance.
“This product continues to win
awards,” she says.
The concern shown by consumers as to the level of protection
afforded their increasingly mission-critical computers is easily
understood when the rising threat
level is considered.
Rawden points out that two
out of every three internet users
have been victims of some form of
cybercrime. Symantec, across all
its products, identified 3,2 billion
attacks last year, and the number
of attacks is increasing every year.
“The latest trend to take off
around the world has been the
greater use of social networking,
with sites such as Facebook gaining millions of users. As might be
expected, this has brought with it
additional threats and we are seeing more attacks as a consequence.
“Norton Safe Web for Facebook is built into Norton 360, and
the technology scans and protects
your ‘wall’,” she adds.
of the year - 2011
ARDLEY’S Oatmeal Spot
Clear is winning fans
among the demanding
South African teenage
market by providing a solution to
one of the most annoying teenage
issues: facial spots.
Marius Knoetzen, product
manager for Yardley Skincare,
says the company’s Oatmeal range
has been on the market for over
20 years, and just over two years
ago Yardley decided to extend the
range in an entirely new direction.
“We realised that there was
a gap in the market for a product
that could help clear the spots that
seem to plague people in the 12-21
age bracket.
“There were already a number
of products aggressively marketing
themselves to teenagers. However,
many teenagers were complaining
that these often aggressive interventions were too harsh, dried out
their skin and left unsightly red
marks,” Knoetzen says. Teenagers
wanted a skin solution that would
be effective, but without the harmful side effects.
Oatmeal has a strong heritage
as a natural skin healing treatment, and this provided Yardley
with a base that was both effective
and sent consumers the right message. “The result is a preparation
that works and leaves your skin
smoother and softer, without the
drying effect often associated with
treating teenage spots,” Knoetzen
Not only has the product been
endorsed by a dermatologist, but
it has also been through extensive
clinical trials. However, the proof
of the product is in the reaction by
consumers, who have voted Yardley Oatmeal Spot Clear Product of
the Year in its category.
Further, consumers are putting their money where their vote
is. “Since the launch in September
last year, this specific range has
moved ahead and now outsells
both our oily and combination-skin
Oatmeal ranges, despite the fact
they have been on the market for
over 20 years,” Knoetzen says.
He adds that young people are
often more prepared to try new
products. However, they are very
demanding and their brands have
to perform or they are soon discarded.
“The fact that our sales are
continuing to grow demonstrates
that the Yardley Oatmeal Spot
Clear range is working for our customers,” Knoetzen says.
wanted a skin
solution that
would be
effective, but
without the
harmful side
EVELOPING sustainable,
winning products requires innovation, a clear
understanding of consumer needs and the ability to create
products that deliver.
Seokhee Won, vice-president:
brand building – home and personal care at Unilever South Africa,
says that product performance is
the key to success in the fast moving consumer goods arena.
“Nothing matters more to consumers than their products’ performance, and this is at the heart of
Unilever’s approach to its brands.
“At the end of the day, when one
of our products wins a category
award in the Product of the Year,
we know it won because it delivered superior quality, meeting and
even exceeding our consumers’ expectations,” Won says.
“Consumers are very discerning. You may be able to tempt consumers briefly with promotions or
price, but consumers will always
turn to the product that performs
best for their needs.”
He adds that reputable manufacturers are in business for the
long haul; they will not be tempted
into cutting corners for a shortterm gain that will end up damaging their brands’ future growth.
“What matters is that consumers keep buying our products for
years, and it is the product’s performance that keeps them coming
back to the brand.”
Won points out that this is why
Unilever, for example, conducts
extensive consumer testing before
the company introduces any new
products or variations on existing
brands into the market.
In addition, while multinational
companies such as Unilever trade
around the world, they have to develop focused solutions for specific
markets. “From our perspective,
there are no global consumers,
only local ones in each of our markets.
“For example, in South Africa,
we focus only on South African
consumers. We have to look at our
consumers in each market and
ensure that our products work for
“We have to take into account
our consumers’ differences and
similarities. In this way we can use
our global research and development capability to full effect while
tailoring our products to meet particular consumer needs,” he adds.
This long-term approach becomes particularly significant during tough economic conditions,
such as the recent global recession.
In line with the need to preserve
the product’s long-term value, at
no time should the manufacturer
even consider cutting corners and
losing quality, Won says.
“Unilever will still be in the
market when the recession is over.
Therefore, in the short term, margins will be squeezed, but we will
not sacrifice the quality of our
He adds that marketing may
also shift somewhat during an economic downturn, with a greater focus on essentials rather than more
luxury brands.
Another change taking place
around the world is a greater emphasis on the environment, developing products that are more environmentally friendly and ensuring
that manufacturing processes and
all company operations have less
impact on the planet.
With these needs in mind,
Unilever introduced its Unilever
Sustainable Living Plan. The plan
is designed to reduce Unilever’s
impact across the whole lifecycle
You may be
able to tempt
briefly with
promotions or
price, but they
will always turn
to the product
that performs
best for their
of its products, particularly important when it is considered that,
around the world, people use the
company’s products around two
billion times a day.
“We are making significant
changes in everything we do.
Therefore, the entire chain, from
sourcing raw materials to the packaging we use, is being reviewed in
line with the commitments made
in the Unilever Sustainable Living
Plan,” Won says.