Ten, ground-breaking new garden products have been confirmed as the winners of the coveted Glee New Product Awards 2013. ?Selected from more than 200 entries on the afternoon before Glee opened (15th ? 17th September, NEC Birmingham), the winning products were chosen by an expert panel of judges representing independent and multiple retailers, the media, trade associations and international suppliers.
Entries were submitted into nine key garden retail categories, comprising Garden Care, Garden Leisure, Landscaping & Garden Design, Nursery & Planteria, Garden Machinery, Home, Gift & Clothing, Catering & Speciality Food, Pet, and Retail Support. Relevant entries from each category were also considered for the additional Best of British, and Green awards.
Judges considered each entry on a challenging range of criteria, including innovation, design, quality, environmental credentials, pricing and retail potential ? resulting in some hot debates and close runners-up in a number of categories.
On the judging panel were: Carol Paris, Director General at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and Operations Director at Garden & Leisure Group; Caroline Owen, Managing Director of Scotsdales Garden Centre and President of the HTA; Jane Lancaster, Trading Manager at Morrisons; Simon Moore, Garden Buyer at Wilkinsons; Joanna Wood, Associate Buyer at QVC; Tamsin Westhorpe, Editor at The English Garden magazine; Katie Cleary, Manager at The Old Railway Line Garden Centre; and John Barrett, Director of Sales, Marketing & Development at Canada-based Vesey?s Seeds.
Buyers visiting Glee can see all of the winning and highly commended products, as well as the hundreds of other entries, on convenient display in the ?Visitor Hub? areas of the show from 15th ? 17th September. Entries from Hall 5 exhibitors are located in the Hub in the centre of Hall 5; and entries from Hall 4 exhibitors ? plus large-scale Hall 5 entries ? are in Hall 4?s Hub.
Winners? round-up (in alphabetical order of categories)
Catering & Speciality Food
Winner: Chocolate Slabs, by Bon Bon?s (Wholesale) Ltd
Judges? comments: Caroline Owen said: ?These handcrafted chocolate slabs offer something quite different and should have a lot of appeal at garden centre level. They are well packaged and priced, come in a transparent pack that shows off the colourful product, and offer good sales potential.?
Winner: Rainwater Terrace, by Design 4 Plastics Ltd
Judges? comments: Simon Moore said: ?This is an innovative rainwater collection product that?s both practical and decorative. The idea combines a two- or three-tier container to collect and re-use rainwater, with a decorative, multi-level planter that can be used for plants or grow-your-own. Enabling the plants to feed from the water butt is a great feature; the plants made it attractive enough to place outside your house, and it?s at a good price point.?
Winner: Grass Graffiti, by Johnsons Lawn Seed (DLF Trifolium)
Highly commended: Metal Silhouette Peacock, by Smart Solar
Judges? comments: Carol Paris said: ?The judges unanimously agreed that Grass Graffiti chalk-based, aerosol spray ?paint? is a brilliant, innovative product. We can see a huge range of potential, from having fun with the family during garden games, sports and parties, to making garden design easier by marking out borders and ponds. It washes off without damaging the lawn and is realistically priced too.?
Winner: The Handy Folding Garden Trolley, by Handy Distribution
Highly Commended: Flymo Ultraglide, by Husqvarna UK
Judges? comments: John Barrett said: ?Handy?s convenient, folding garden trolley really is a well-engineered piece of equipment that?s easy to use, store and transport. It could be equally useful for gardeners, campers and festival-goers! We also felt it is well priced.?
Home, Gift & Clothing
Winner: RHS Endorsed Garden Gifts, by Burgon & Ball
Highly Commended: Profession?elle Ladies Gloves, by Briers Ltd
Judges? comments: Tamsin Westhorpe said: ?The RHS Endorsed Garden Gift collection was an obvious winner. Featuring images from the RHS Lindley Library, the packaging was just beautiful, and the quality of the gardening tools inside matched the loveliness of the gift. You?d know that someone loved you if you received it! It?s a good example of an existing, branded item being combined with others to make a highly desirable new gift set. We also thought the Briers Profession?elle Ladies Gloves were funky and fun, with a lovely design and comfortable for hands of any size.?
Landscaping & Garden Design
Winner: Nash Storage Chest and Nash Garden Workstation, by M&M Timber Ltd
Highly Commended: Bloom Glasshouses, by Rhino Greenhouses
Judges? comments: Katie Cleary said: ?This was a very closely fought category, covering an enormous span of product types. But we liked the fact that M&M?s Nash Storage Chest and Garden Workstation are both appealing retail products, with practical, robust construction, an easy-clean recycled plastic top, attractive design, and a competitive price point. Coming a close second place, we also thought that the Bloom Glasshouses by Rhino ? designed by the former chief designer at Lotus cars ? offer great quality and stylish design.?
Winner: Ultra Plush Snuggle Bed, by Westwoods Global Ltd
Highly Commended: Pixie Piggie House, by Cheeky Chicks Ltd
Judges? comments: Jane Lancaster said: ?The Ultra Plush Snuggle Bed really caught our eye. It?s an easy-clean, top quality product offering luxury and comfort for the family pet – and as it?s elevated, it offers draught-free sleeping.?
Winner: Beehive 3D Point of Sale, by Floramedia UK Ltd
Judges? comments: Caroline Owen said: ?This is a really impressive POS idea. It successfully brings beekeeping to life at the point of sale, without the need for retailers to install a real beehive ? an excellent display product.?
Nursery & Planteria
Winner: Culinary Herb Collection, by Gardeners Kitchen
Highly Commended: Miltonia candida x binottii hybrid orchid, by Javado UK
Comments: Joanna Wood said: ?We liked Gardeners Kitchen?s well-presented pack of six culinary herbs. They make an ideal starter option for the garden, or to grow indoors on a windowsill. They also come with a handy trug and are attractively priced.?
Best of British
Winner: RHS Endorsed Garden Gifts, by Burgon & Ball
Highly commended: Rainwater Terrace, by Design 4 Plastics Ltd
Judges? comments: Carol Paris said: ?This was the category that divided the judges the most, with both the winner and the highly commended products highly praised by the judges. However, overall we felt that Burgon & Ball?s RHS Endorsed Garden Gift collection was the ?Best of British? product, benefiting from great, British-designed quality, attractive presentation and the RHS branding. It also appeals to female customers in particular, who make 70% of the purchases in garden centres. We also liked the Rainwater Terrace, which cleverly combines both a water butt and planter; offering good looks with solving a practical gardening need.?
Winner: Biostretch, by Biostretch.com
Highly commended: All-in-one Propagator and Pot, by Ashortwalk
Judges? comments: Caroline Owen said: ?Biostretch is an innovative, biodegradable twine that the judges felt is a truly eco-friendly product. It offers a soft, stretchy, yet strong garden tie that rots into the ground after two years outside. It?s the ideal way of supporting a plant as it grows, and should have mass market appeal. We also liked the integrated Propagator and Pot by Ashortwalk. Made from recycled yoghurt pots, it?s a clean, long-lasting, clutter- free way of propagating, with zero waste, and zero landfill.?
One further award ? the Retailers Choice Award ? will be announced on the second day of Glee. Retailers visiting the Glee New Product displays in Glee?s Halls 4 and 5 are invited to vote for their favourite product after viewing the entries on display at the two Hubs. Voting is open from Sunday 15th September until Monday 16th September at midday, with the winner announced at Glee?s exhibitor drinks evening from 6:00pm on Monday.
i2i?s Matthew Mein, Glee event manager confirmed: ?We were delighted that so many superb, new products were entered for this year?s Glee New Products, and offer many congratulations to the worthy winners. Our thanks also go to the judges who so kindly lent their valuable time and expertise.?
Organised by i2i Events Group, Glee is the UK?s leading garden trade buying event, currently in its 39th successful year. 2014 is set to mark a new chapter for the exhibition, as it moves to a new location within the NEC?s Halls 17 ? 20; creating fresh exhibiting, feature and visitor opportunities. In the last five years alone Glee has welcomed over 66,000 visitors from more than 60 countries, bringing them together with thousands of suppliers across the garden retail spectrum.