From an illuminating solar-powered device to an eco-friendly cleaning product, the winners of the 2012 FAIRLADY Consumer Awards prove that green is definitely going mainstream, as revealed in the November issue of the magazine.
Editor Suzy Brokensha believes the Consumer Awards play a very important role in assisting today’s busy women with making purchasing decisions. “Consumers are happy to pay for products that work, and if we can help women to navigate their way directly to them, than we are living up to our role of honest, fair and valuable shopping advisors,” said Brokensha. “The FAIRLADY Test House is an institution that South African women know they can rely on.”
The Consol Solar Jar was the clear and shining victor, with wins in two categories: Best South African Product (Household) and Best Small Electrical Appliance. The innovative solar-charged LED light in the nostalgic Consol 1-litre glass jar provides light for up to nine hours. Proving that cleaning products can be green and effective, the winner of the Best Cleaning Products (Liquids, Soaps and Gels) category was Clicks My Earth Eco Friendly All Purpose Cleaner.
This year’s awards have mushroomed, with a 164% increase in the number of entrants in a growing number of categories, as diverse as Best Lunchbox Snacks and Treats for adults and kids, Best Pink Cap Classique and Best Healthy Drink. New to the Awards were two Best Toys categories – one for Babies and Toddlers, and one for Kids Three Years and Up — which is a direct response to a shift in the FAIRLADY target market, according to Brokensha.
“With so many mums reading FAIRLADY, we felt we could better serve them by introducing new kid-friendly categories, with useful products to make their lives easier and their children’s days filled with fun and stimulation,” added Sally Kramer, FAIRLADY Test House editor. Taking top honours for Babies and Toddlers was Tiny Love Soothe & Groove Mobile, and for the bigger tots, the LeapFrog Leap Pad was a hands-down winner.
“Another trend we’ve observed is that there were more small appliances entered this year than ever before, with some of them having very innovative features,” said Kramer. Besides the popular Consol Solar Jar, Kramer singled out entries with useful extra features, such as the Oral B Electric Toothbrush, which has a separate timer indicating brush time for each of four mouth quadrants and the AEG pressure cooker, which browns as well as simmers.
The panel of FAIRLADY Test House judges tasked with the tough job of rigorously trying, tasting and selecting the finalists includes FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha and FAIRLADY speciality editors Elizabeth Atmore (health), Justine Kiggen (food), Sally Kramer and Tasneem Larney (consumer). In addition, each category had at least two to four speciality judges chaired by the relevant FAIRLADY editor.
“As a foodie, it has been especially exciting to see the influx of Food and Drink entries this year, particularly in the area of wine, sparkling and other beverages,” said Kiggen, FAIRLADY Food Editor. “In addition, on top of old favourites like Pringles and All-Bran Flakes that keep winning because they are consistently great products , there were new small producers, whose entries added extra spice and variety to the mix. I’m particularly pleased to see more edible and drinkable products that are child-friendly, from rooibos tea and other fruity concoctions to Woolworths Private Label Playful Cheese Penguins, the adorable and tasty treat which won Best Lunchbox Snack and Treat for Kids.”
Once again, FAIRLADY invited readers to vote for their favourite products. Participating readers stamped their mark of approval on many local products with Five Roses Long Leaf Tea Infusions taking top honours in the Best Healthy Drinks (non-perishable) category. Proving that some old favourites continue to reign supreme, Freshpak Rooibos Tea was a winner in the Best South African Product (health) category, Kellogg’s All-Bran Flakes reigned supreme amongst Breakfast Cereals and Royal Baking Powder the top product in the category of Best Kitchen Cupboard Item under R20.