There’s more to the 2014 FAIRLADY Consumer Awards this year than ever before, with the introduction of a slew of new categories that reflect South Africa’s growing sophistication as both a food and beverage consumer and a producer market. Last year, the panel of FAIRLADY Test House judges, which included popular food personality Jenny Morris, selected 27 finalists from over 402 entries, which was an increase of 35% from 2012. This year, FAIRLADY editor Suzy Brokensha expects even more entries, particularly with so many new categories added. These include: Organic Spices and Condiments, South African Craft Beer, South African Olive Oil, Ceylon Tea, Instant Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Herbal Tea, Feta Cheese, Cider and Ready to Drink, and Non-edible Pet Product.
“The new categories reflect how much more sophisticated South Africa is becoming when it comes to food, but they also underscore our greater awareness that ‘local is lekker’ and that South Africa produces world-class products,” says Brokensha.
“And they tie into the international trend to support and buy from local producers and farmers’ markets, and allow us to showcase our smaller producers,” adds Justine Kiggen, FAIRLADY food editor.
But while food and beverages feature prominently in the Consumer Awards, there are a host of other health, household and pet products that are also saluted. All the winning products are entitled to use the FAIRLADY Consumer Award 2014 Winner sticker – a definite eye-catching prestige booster in the crowded retail environment – as well as extensive coverage in the magazine and on testhouse.fairlady.com.
The Best Food Blogger category, introduced in 2013, is voted for online by FAIRLADY readers, so it reflects the public’s as well as the magazine’s endorsement of the blog. ‘Food bloggers are playing an increasingly important role in inspiring and guiding home cooks,’ says Kiggen.
The awards are open to all FMCG products and entries will be processed through the www.testhouse.fairlady.com online hub. The easily accessible one-stop hub provides users with a cyber warehouse where they can access all the information they need with regard to consumer reviews, tips, information and trusted ratings on all things consumer.
“We also have a reader competition attached to the voting process for the Readers’ Favourites Survey. The awards wouldn’t be the same without input from our readers: that’s who the Consumer Awards are all about, after all. The competition acknowledges the critical value of word-of-mouth, which plays a major role in consumer decision-making,” Brokensha says.
So if you would like to endorse your cuppa of choice as the Best Ceylon Tea, or want to share your favourite cleaning gadget or that must-have chocolate that is part of your evening ritual, go to www.testhouse.fairlady.com, where you may nominate a product, producer or supplier by filling out the nomination forms online.