All right, so it wasn?t exactly raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but there were plenty of brown paper packages (few tied up with string, of course) received by Progressive Grocer for the nonfoods division of its annual Editors? Picks competition, and many of them turned out to contain our favorite new products of the year.
As always, innovation, functionality and value played big roles in our decisionmaking. (Read our further observations at Progressivegrocer.com/EdPicksNonfoods). CPG companies have a standing invitation to send us the products that are destined to become our next new favorites. We can?t wait to experience them.
American Greetings Blown Away
Each card in this innovative collection features a three-tiered pop-up cake with layers of festive decorations. When the recipient makes a wish by blowing on the illuminated ?candle,? he or she is treated to a dazzling light and sound show. If anything can lure consumers away from e-cards, it?s this.
Blu eCigs Rechargeable Kit
The Blu eCigs Rechargeable Kit occupies a unique niche between disposable singles and premium rechargeable packs. Once its Rechargeable Pack, which does double duty as a carrying case and as an anywhere charger, is fully charged, it can recharge the included batteries two to three times before it needs to be plugged back in. It can hold three replaceable flavor cartridges, and is available in tobacco, menthol or a variety pack of flavors. And all of this functionality comes in a super-portable design as tall a cigarette pack and as slim as a smartphone.
CDN Economy Timer/Clock
Offering high durability, accuracy and ease of use, this dual-function timer counts up or down, up to 100 minutes by seconds, with stop and restart controls and last-count recall. The large digits and long alarm keep the home chef informed, while the magnet, stand and hang mounting options provide versatile placement. As its name implies, the timer also functions as a clock. Particularly noteworthy is the combination of sleek design and affordability.
Healthy Mama Boost It Up!
Exhausted expectant moms can get an all-natural lift with Boost It Up!, an expert-developed energy and antinausea drink rich in protein, B vitamins, ginger, fiber and electrolytes. The hydrating beverage is lightly sweetened to be refreshing. A pregnant PG staffer (now a new mom) confirmed that the price is pretty sweet, too.
Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. Six Star Pro Nutrition 100% Whey Isolate Protein Gel
Despite a heavy-duty name that sounds more at home in a vitamin and supplement store, Six Star 100% Whey Isolate Protein Gel boasts packaging that wouldn?t look out of place in the fruit purée snack aisle, while still delivering the purest form of whey protein isolates on the market. The fast-absorbing, easy-to-take, great-tasting gel contains 20 grams of whey protein with zero carbs and zero fat per serving, plus no artificial colors.
Kuhn Rikon Dual Graters
The handy, efficient Dual Grater Fine/Medium and Dual Grater Coarse/Ribbon enable home chefs to prepare food more quickly and easily. Both dishwasher-safe implements feature two ultra-sharp stainless steel graters, textured handles for a secure grip, and blades that slide into the base of the handle for compact and safe storage. The choice of cheery red or green for either tool is a nice touch as well.
Loving Pets Bella Spill-Proof Dog Mats
Designed to contain spills and splashes, this generously sized, bone-shaped, undeniably cute food and water dish mat can accommodate two bowls up to 8 inches in diameter. Available in two sizes (small and large) and two colors (tan and black), the nontoxic, BPA-free mat includes raised edges for maximum spill capacity, a slip-resistant surface to keep feeding dishes steady and an anti-skid feed to keep the mat in place. And when it gets dirty, just rinse it with water and it?s good to go.
Loving Pets Milano Bowls
Each bowl in the Milano Collection has a BPA-free ABS plastic shell with a removable bacteria-resistant stainless steel bowl interior for dishwasher-safe cleaning, while a removable skid-free rubber base resists slips and spills. The bowls come in small, medium and large sizes, and a growing variety of distinctive designs. Owners of pampered pets won?t be able to pass these by.
Loving Pets Pure Piggy Dog Treats
Loving Pets? all-natural Pure Piggy Dog Chews satisfy a dog?s natural desire to chew. Selected for their savory taste and chewy bite, the pork treats also provide long-lasting mental stimulation and effective teeth and gum maintenance. PG?s resident pup, Têtou, couldn?t get enough of the ham bone.
Natracare Organic Cleansing Make-Up Removal Wipes
Natracare?s COSMOS-certified (developed by five of Europe?s biggest standard bodies) organic wipes proved to be a great hit with one of PG?s editors, who found them gentle ? they?re formulated for sensitive skin ? effective, attractively packaged and overall a great value for everything that they offer. Your shoppers will, too.
Nivea A Kiss of Care & Color
A Kiss of Care & Color combines Nivea?s moisture benefits with sheer color. The product deploys exclusive vitamin-enhanced Nivea Moisture Core Technology, formulated with shea butter, in a choice of five shades to do battle against chapped lips and flaky lip color, resulting in a smooth, soft ? dare we say kissable? ? kisser.
Nivea Crème Moisture Body Wash
Nivea Crème Moisture Body Wash was developed with the brand?s exclusive Hydra IQ Skin Technology to give skin intense, long-lasting moisturization with no greasiness. Even vigorous towel drying won?t roughen skin after a shower or bath using this product.
Nivea Men Sensitive Face Wash
A new formula designed to thoroughly cleanse skin without drying it out, soap-, dye- and alcohol-free Nivea Men Sensitive Face Wash gently removes impurities, dirt and excess oils, leaving skin clean and healthy-looking. Containing natural, soothing chamomile and witch hazel extracts, the product even offers a light fragrance to bring out the softer side of just about any guy.
Pharmavite Nature Made VitaMelts Hair, Skin and Nails (100 Tablets)
Nature Made VitaMelts Hair, Skin and Nails is formulated with biotin, which may help support healthy hair, skin and nails, and antioxidant vitamin C to support collagen production. It also dissolves smoothly in the mouth without water, so it can be taken anytime, anywhere. The pleasant strawberry lemonade flavor is an obvious bonus.
PIC Pest Free Living Citronella Plus Lanterns
These DEET-free, U.S. laboratory-tested, family-friendly lanterns feature an all-natural oils-infused scent that lasts for up to 48 hours. They add a decorative touch to outdoor events, too.
PIC Pest Free Living Homeplus Ant Killer 6 Pack Metal Cans
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, Homeplus Ant Killer uses four food sources to kill a wide variety of ants. The product is formulated with the insecticide Abamectin, as well as proteins, oils and carbs. What?s more, the bait stations are child-resistant, to which we say ?Bravo.?
Pic Pest Free Living Mosquito Killer
The first device on the retail market to specifically target Chikungunya virus-carrying mosquitoes, PIC?s Mosquito Killer also traps and kills mosquitos that may carry West Nile virus or dengue fever. The disposable, child-resistant, outdoor-only product makes use of advanced U.S. military technology to lure female mosquitoes, and remains effective for up to 45 days. What could be cooler?
Prophase Labs Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy Plus Natural Immune Support QuickMelts
Formulated with zinc gluconate, the same active ingredient found in its Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy lozenges, Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy Plus Natural Immune Support QuickMelts also contain rose hips and echinacea. The unique formula aims to lessen the duration of the common cold, promote immune health and antioxidant support, and restore energy naturally. Further, the QuickMelts dissolve quickly in the mouth without water, making them easy to take on the go.
Rose America Hyper Squawkers
From Hyper Pet, a division of Rose America Corp., Hyper Squawkers are durable multitexture toys that make fun noises and occupy dogs for hours, as PG?s favorite furry friend amply demonstrated when given one to play with. The patent-pending toys come in three designs: Bone, Ball and Jack.
Smith?s Consumer Products Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener
Lightweight, portable, and easy to use on either a flat surface or the edge of countertop or table, The Edge Grip 2-Stage Knife Sharpener has carbide blades and crossed ceramic rods with pre-set sharpening angles that provide the proper sharpening angle every time. The item comes with nonslip rubber feet and a soft-grip rubber handle for comfort and steadiness when sharpening, and a patented V-Grip bottom permits additional stability and comfort when using the sharpener on a countertop or table edge. PG?s verdict: This one?s really cutting-edge.
St. Ives Even & Bright Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange Body Wash and Scrub
$2.99/body wash; $3.99/scrub
Both of these paraben-free products feature exfoliates to help even skin tone. The dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic body wash polishes away small imperfections for radiant skin, while the medium-strength scrub goes to work on dry patches and dark surface cells. By the way, the scent isn?t there just to delight users? olfactory sense ? pink lemon and mandarin orange are both sources of vitamin C, a known skin tone evener.
St. Ives Fresh Hydration Lotions
These fragrant lotions restore tired skin. Naturally Energizing Citrus & Vitamin C leaves skin feeling energized and refreshed, Naturally Indulgent Coconut Milk & Orchid results in silky smooth skin, and Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter is formulated specifically for dry skin. Add all of that to a kicky, light-as-a-feather spray-on delivery system, and you?ve got a winner on your hands ? not to mention any other area of skin.
Unilever Degree Men Adrenaline Series with Motionsense Overtime
Triggered by even the slightest body movement, Degree?s Motionsense technology allows microcapsules to break on the surface of skin, releasing extra bursts of freshness for 48 hours of sweat and odor protection. Further, the brand?s recent limited-edition U.S. Soccer-themed Adrenaline Series Overtime cannily leveraged American interest in the World Cup, while promoting its product for active males. In response, PG can only shout: ?Gooool!?
Unilever Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant/Deodorant
The only antiperspirant/deodorant formulated with NutriumMoisture, Dove Advanced Care moisturizes underarm skin, promising to provide softer, smoother armpits in just three days. The product also offers 48-hour odor and wetness protection in a wide variety of signature fragrances. This choice was no sweat ? literally.
Unilever Dove Men+Care Fresh Awake
Part of the Dove Men+Care line ? billed as the first antiperspirant and deodorant collection specifically designed for men that provides powerful protection while caring for skin ? Fresh Awake offers an energizing scent, along with 48-hour odor and wetness protection and moisturizing technology in a nonirritating formula. As a kind of male counterpart to Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant/Deodorant (see above), this product definitely delivers the goods.
Unilever Dove Purely Pampering Pistachio Cream With Magnolia Body Wash
Its name may be something of a mouthful to pronounce, but the relaxing spell cast by Dove Purely Pampering Pistachio Cream with Magnolia Body Wash, the newest addition to the brand?s Purely Pampering product line, couldn?t be simpler in its appeal to consumers. The body wash replenishes lipids lost during cleansing and helps skin remain hydrated, strengthening its moisture barrier.
Welcome Home Brands Party Collection Oven-Safe Paper Bakeware
With its recent gingham and polka dot patterns, and a trendy 2-inch Mini Ruffled Baking Cup great for sweet or savory recipes, Welcome Home Brands? oven- and freezer-safe Party Paper Bakeware Collection drives year-round sales through convenience, color and style. The decorative disposable molds can bake, serve and store baked goods in one form, without pre-greasing or messy cleanup. Home bakers just pour batter into the molds and place them directly in the oven. Let?s face it: Everything looks brighter when you?re presented with treats in cheerfully colored bakeware.
Zoku LLC Slush & Shake Maker
Homemade slushies and milkshakes just became easier with the BPA- and phthalate-free, easy-clean Slush & Shake Maker, which enables users to make customized frozen beverages in as little as seven minutes, without electricity. All they need to do place the frozen inner core into the outer sleeve, pour in the ingredients, and mix and scrape the cup with the included spoon every few minutes; the slushy will start to freeze as soon as the mixing starts. The attractive design and vibrant color palette are further incentives to join this slush pile.