All companies that manufacture beer and other alcoholic beverages are being encouraged to take an opportunity to recognised and rewarded for innovation by Product of the Year for the first time in Australia.

Participation in the awards will give beer companies the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by putting their products up to be judged by thousands of consumers and industry experts nationwide.

The awards themselves seek to rewards the most innovative products to hit the shelves each year. Now in its fourth year, the awards are voted on by more than 10,700 shoppers making it the largest independent survey of its kind in the country.

To enter, products must have launched between January 2011 and August 2012 and must either be a completely new product or a new, useful innovation on an existing product.

Sarah Connelly, Director of Product of the Year Australia, said the program is a valuable marketing tool. “Previous winners have used Product of the Year to stand out from the crowd with research finding 64 per cent of Australian shoppers already aware of the awards would be likely to buy a new product that has won,” she says.

All entrants will be judged and vetted by a jury of industry experts to determine whether the product meets the criteria of the program. Selected products will then proceed to the survey by global research giant Nielsen.

Entries received before 6 July 2012 will receive an early bird discount of $500 if the product makes it through the jury stage.

To enter visit productoftheyear.com.au.

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