Interview with Christian Le Bret – President and founder of Products of the Year

The CNE moves on December 18th, 2015, our new address:
Dec 2015
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Mar 2016

Interview with Christian Le Bret – President and founder of Products of the Year

Christian Le BretCould you present Products of the Year in a few words?

Products of the Year was created in 1987. It now exists in over 45 countries and over 3.5 billion people are familiar with it the world over (Brazil, Europe, India, the Middle East, the USA, etc.).

The “Voted Product of the Year” logo was created first and foremost to give consumers the opportunity to voice their opinions. They are the only true consumer goods experts. This logo also allows consumers to single out new products in stores while giving an additional guarantee since 10,000 consumers like themselves have assessed the products using several criteria:

– Perceived innovation – Attractiveness – Satisfaction

Regarding the satisfaction criterion, only panellist consumers who use the products are allowed to vote. Beyond these 3 voting criteria, consumers are asked to elaborate on the reasons for their choices as well as their intention of buying the product again or not.

In France, over 50 new products are rewarded with this logo each year.

The CNE (French National Packaging Association) and Products of the Year have been working together for a few years now. Could you please tell us about the results this cooperation has yielded?

From the start, Products of the Year made the choice of having an Ethics Committee in order to ensure the transparency of their approach as well as their ethics and methodology. This Ethics Committee is composed of trade unions, professional organisations and associations in commerce, marketing and communication. Its role is to state whether the applications are valid and to ensure that manufacturers meet all competition eligibility criteria. A partnership with the CNE seemed to be an obvious choice as they are experts in packaging, which is key in launching a new product successfully.

Of POY’s selection criteria, to what extent does packaging performance play a role in the jury’s decision?

POY’s market survey takes every aspect of the Marketing Mix into consideration, including packaging, as it is crucial to a product’s success. On average, a consumer takes 10 seconds to choose a product of the shelves and while their choice is often influenced by prices, packaging is also a factor.

  • It showcases the product, it conveys the product’s promise and advantages
  • It can incite the customer to buy.


What are a few products whose packaging has been decisive in winning the logo since the creation of Products of the Year?

We can consider:

  • Packaging breakthrough innovation with colour: Badoit Bold Sparkling, Badoit ‘Rouge’, Colgate MaxWhite One
  • Packaging technological innovation: Fusion Manual Razor with 5 blades or Nivea foaming cleansers’ pump bottles.
  • Packaging revolutionary innovation: transparent sugar bags (marketed in France by a company called Daddy) and 100% recycled plastic dustbin bags with handles (marketed in France by a company called Handy Bag).