11 Brands Honored in 2018 Best New Product Awards

best new products brandspark

Snacks, juices and items to boost energy were key among the winners of BrandSpark International’s 2018 Best New Product Awards.

Now in its 10th year, the survey combines real-world consumer insight with marketing credentials and services. Brands competed across product types and in four major consumer product categories: food and beverage, beauty and personal care, household, and kid-friendly brands. More than 11,000 respondents contributed to this year’s survey as winners were culled from comprehensive shopper trends and behavior surveys.

According to a companion survey, the American Shopper Study, the average new consumer packaged goods (CPG) product is recognized by fewer than one in three category shoppers—true even when that product boasts a major innovation that’s been on shelves for almost an entire year.

“This truth underscores how important it is for new products to stand out and get noticed in stores and online,” said Robert Levy, president and CEO of Toronto-based BrandSpark International and founder of the Best New Product Awards. “Even the most innovative new products need help getting that initial attention and recognition from consumers.”

Click through for highlights from the consumer study, as well as 11 brands cited for innovation this year, including three private-label brands that were singled out.

Chocolate milk

fairlife chocolate milk

Fairlife’s SuperKids Chocolate ultra-filtered milk was recognized in the chocolate-milk segment. It contains half the sugar of ordinary chocolate milk and 50% more protein, the company says.

Survey Highlight

The BrandSpark survey confirmed that “Americans embrace innovation, as seven in 10 Americans say they like trying new products,” Levy said. “This number has remained steady since we started the Best New Product Awards.”


cliff bars

Clif Bar's Peanut Butter Banana With Dark Chocolate was named the top new energy bar. It is made from bananas and creamy organic peanut butter that is blended with dark chocolate and crunchy peanut pieces. Meanwhile, Larabar's Fruits + Greens Pineapple Kale Cashew Bar was recognized as a top new vegan snack.

Survey Highlight

Sifting for quality is a bit of a crapshoot for consumers as countless new product launches challenge them to determine what to buy, according to the survey. “While shoppers are interested in new products, it can be hard for them to determine what new innovations are worth their money,” Levy said. “The study reveals that three in five shoppers say they will pay more for a new product if they believe it is going to be better.”

Energy drink

monster energy

Monster Energy Ultra Violet was recognized in the energy-drink category.

Survey Highlight

The BrandSpark American Shopper Study reveals that seven in 10 Americans try new products from brands they consider among their most trusted. At the same time, two in five say they are less brand loyal than they were a few years ago, while just one in five are more brand loyal.


simply peach

Coca-Cola Co.’s Simply Peach Juice Drink was honored as the top fruit juice, while Ocean Spray’s Organic 100% Juice Cranberry Apple earned accolades as the best organic juice.

Survey Highlight

One category that resonates with shoppers is natural food products, as three in four shoppers place value on natural food claims, including products that are free of hormones, antibiotics and have no artificial flavors.

Meat snacks

slim jim

Slim Jim's Premium Smoked Meat Sticks were recognized in the meat-snack segment.

Survey Highlight

According to the American Shopper Study, 65% of consumers say they generally trust consumer reviews to help guide their purchasing decisions, while almost 70% trust consumer-voted awards to help them identify the best products to try.


activia dailies

Dannon Activia Dailies Probiotic Drink was named the best new yogurt product. The drinks are available in four flavors: Strawberry, Vanilla, Strawberry/Blueberry and Blueberry/Cherry.

Survey Highlight

With consumers pressed for time, two in three shoppers said they look for new products that will make their lives easier.

Private-label wine

california roots

California Roots' Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine was recognized as a private-label wine. The product is sold exclusively at Target.

Survey Highlight

“Peer reviews” are the new word-of-mouth helping Americans make better purchase decisions, according to the awards discovery process. “Shoppers are increasingly looking to the endorsement of consumers to determine which products are best,” said Levy.

Private-label bars and smoothies

aldi elevation

Aldi’s Elevation by Millville bars earned honors in the protein-bar category. The discount grocer’s VitaLife Smoothies also were recognized in the dairy and dairy-alternative drinks category.

Survey Highlight

Seventy-five percent of people agree that taste remains the most important factor in their food purchase decisions.

Click here to see BrandSpark’s complete list of winning products.