It was the year the Davids won against grocery's Goliaths as a Filipino food company, soy company and a small egg producer all took home awards.
On Wednesday night, the grocery industry feted the innovative products of 2012 at the Retail Council of Canada's annual Grand Prix New Product Awards.
Pulo Philippine Cuisine by 7000 Islands Food Corp. won in the best condiments and sauces category. In the dessert category, Sunrise Soya Foods' Super Squeezies Dessert Tubes got top honours.
Vitala Foods' Vita-D Sunshine Eggs won in the deli, egg, meat and seafood category. It also picked up the Healthy Innovation award.
Plenty of big consumer packaged goods companies took home hardware, too.
The big winner of the night was Procter & Gamble. It won three awards for Tide Pods (in the household products category and two special awards: Innovation and Originality and Innovative Packaging) and one award for Tampax Radiant Tampons (personal-care category).
Weston Bakeries Limited was also a multiple winner, picking up awards in the bakery category, as well as the All-Canadian award for its Country Harvest 100% Whole Grain Bread.
The 2012 Consumer Acceptance Award went to Ultima Foods' Iogo Nano drinkable yogurt.
In private label, Safeway Canada picked up three awards and Metro Richelieu got two. Sobeys and Loblaw took one award each.
Many winning products touted health and freshness. Dare Foods' RealFruit Gummies picked up the confectionery award, while Happy Planet Foods won in the frozen/refrigerated prepared food and entrees category for its Fresh Soup.
In Dairy, Liberté won for its Froúto Greek Yogurt, while Old Dutch Foods won in the snack category for its Northern Choice Chickpea Tortilla Chips.
The Grand Prix Awards recognize excellence and innovation in the Canadian grocery industry and are handed out annually by the Retail Council of Canada.
To be eligible for an award, a product had to be introduced during 2012.
"The growth of the consumer products industry depends on new product development and innovation, said Diana Brisebois, president and CEO of RCC.
This was the 20th year the awards were handed out.
A 32-member jury made up of consumers, food editors, journalists, and people working in grocery selected the 26 winners from 127 finalist products that achieved at least 70% in judging. Judges met in Montreal in March to evaluated food and private label products. They also tested non-food products in their homes over a six-week period.
Products were graded on five criteria: uniqueness and innovation; product characteristics; presentation and packaging; overall consumer value; and consumer acceptance (the household penetration rate of the product).
“The type of innovation that the Grand Prix honours drives category, brand and retailer growth,” Brisebois said.
Here is a complete list of the winners (all finalists were featured in the May 2013 issue of Canadian Grocer and online at CanadianGrocer.com):
All Canadian: Country Harvest 100% Whole Grain Bread, Weston Bakeries
Consumer Acceptance: Iogo Nano drinkable yogurt, Ultima Foods
Canadian Grand Prix Healthy Innovation New Product Award: Vita-D Sunshine Eggs, Vitala Foods
Innovation and Originality: Tide Pods, P&G
Innovative Packaging: Tide Pods, P&G
Bakery: Country Harvest 100% Whole Grain Bread, Weston Bakeries
Beverages: Nabob Bold, Kraft Canada
Condiments & Sauces: Pulo Philippine Cuisine, 7000 Islands Food Corp.
Confectionery: RealFruit Gummies, Dare Foods
Dairy Products: Liberté Froúto Greek Yogurt, Liberté
Deli, Egg, Meat & Seafood: Vita-D Sunshine Eggs, Vitala Foods
Dessert: Sunrise Super Squeezies Dessert Tubes, Sunrise Soya Foods
Frozen or Refrigerated Prepared Food & Entrees: Happy Planet Fresh Soup, Happy Planet Foods
Fruits, Vegetables & Produce: Gardein, Garden Protein International
Shelf Stable Prepared Food & Entrees: St-Hubert Chicken Broths, Best Brands
Snack: Northern Choice Chickpea Tortilla Chips, Old Dutch Foods
Baby Care: Squoosh, Baby Gourmet Foods
General Merchandise: Off! Clip-on, S.C. Johnson and Son
Health Care: Tums Freshers Antacid, Glaxosmithkline
Household Products: Tide Pods, P&G
Paper, Plastic & Foil: Ziploc Brand Perfect Portions, S.C. Johnson and Son
Personal Care: Tampax Radiant Tampons, P&G
Pet Needs: Milk-Bone Healthy Favorites, DLM Foods Canada
Bakery: Fresh 2 Go Toscana Focaccia, Metro Richelieu
Beverages: Edwards Coffee, Canada Safeway
Condiments & Sauces: Sensations by Compliments Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3L, Sobeys
Confectionery, Snack & Dessert: Irresistibles Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels with sea salt, Metro Richelieu
Dairy, Eggs, Meat & Seafood: PC Free From Angus Beef Burgers, Loblaw Brands
Non-food: Debi Lilly Savoy Candle, Canada Safeway
Prepared Food & Entrees: Safeway Tuna, Canada Safeway