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Guiding shoppers toward the best new items on the market, Product of the Year USA — which describes itself as the largest consumer-voted award for product innovation — just announced its 2021 award winners. To determine those winners, 40,000 shoppers voted on product finalists in a national survey from data insights outfit Kantar. This year, winning products fell into categories like food and beverage, personal care items, household care and more.
For the 2021 awards, brands were able to submit consumer packaged goods that launched after Jan. 1, 2019, were distributed nationally and demonstrated a certain level of innovation. Industry professionals reviewed items to make sure they met the required criteria, subsequently turning them over for consumers to vote on. Winning items are able to display the Product of the Year seal in their marketing for two years.
From the best cheese to the best electric toothbrush, here are the winning products featured in this year's Product of the Year Awards.
Best products: Food and drink
Best alcohol: Uptown Cocktails
Made with only natural ingredients (no corn syrup or artificial flavors), these premixed wine cocktails come in Lime Margarita, Mango Margarita, Strawberry Margarita, Chocolatini, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Lemon Tea.
Best breakfast food: Aunt Maple
Aunt Maple’s mix is protein-rich and free from preservatives and artificial flavors. The mix is also available in pumpkin spice.
Best convenience meal: Del Monte
The Pocket Pies are baked in a golden cauliflower crust and filled with vegetables and real cheese.
Best cookies: Keebler
These Keebler’s chocolate chip cookies are extra thick and packed with real chocolate.
Best fruit: Del Monte
Whether you’re looking to bake a pineapple dessert or enjoy it on its own, Del Monte’s Deluxe Gold Pineapple promises no added sugar and twice the vitamin C as regular canned pineapple.
Best functional beverage: Live Better
Made from a blend of ginger and turmeric, Live Better’s Apple Cider Vinegar delivers all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, including lowering blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Best sports nutrition: Powerade
Powerade Ultra helps replenish four electrolytes lost in sweat —sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium — and it comes in four flavors: Strawberry Lemonade, White Cherry, Mixed Berry and Citrus Blast.
Best products: Home and car
Best car care: Rain-X
Rain-X Glass Water-Repellent
Rain-X’s award winning water repellant spray is only available for in store pickup through Advance Auto Parts. However, if you’re unable to pick up there, the previous version repels rain, sleet and snow on car windows to enhance driving visibility and is available from multiple retailers.
Best dish care: Dawn
By spraying on Dawn’s dish spray, the soap loosens caked-on messes and eliminates the need for soaking dishes.
Best hard surface cleaning: Microban
Microban’s 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray sanitizes and disinfects surfaces while eliminating odors, and can be applied to items like door handles and garbage cans.
Best home improvement: 3M
These picture hangers — which are made with built-in spot markers — are made from hardened steel and designed to hold up to 25 pounds.
Best natural cleaning system: H2O e3
This nine-piece cleaning system uses water and salt to create an all-natural, multi-purpose sanitizing solution, and it comes with items like a mop, a spray mop dock, window squeegee and more.
Best outdoor cleaning: Carbona
Made for getting stains out of outdoor rugs, patio furniture, umbrellas and more, this cleaner comes with an attached brush applicator to help scrub surfaces.
Best tableware: Hefty
Hefty ECOSAVE tableware — featuring items like disposable cups, plates and utensils — is made from plant-based materials and is compostable.
Best dryer sheet: Bounce
With three times more pet hair fighting ingredients than normal Bounce dryer sheets, these dryer sheets are designed to repel excess pet fur, reduce wrinkles and static and add softness.
Best green laundry: All
Created for those with sensitive skin, this laundry detergent is made from a 99-percent bio-based, biodegradable formula.
Best laundry enhancer: Snuggle
This laundry enhancer protects colors from fading and bleeding.
Best laundry pacs: Tide
One Tide Power POD has an even greater cleaning capacity than two Original Tide PODS, and can handle large loads of laundry.
Best liquid fabric conditioner: Downy
Downy’s liquid fabric softener protects clothes from stretching, fading and static, as well as adds a floral scent to a load of laundry.
Best liquid laundry: Tide
While working to remove dirt and odors from clothes, this laundry detergent provides a deep but gentle clean since it’s made without dyes and perfumes.
Best products: Pets
Best cat care: Purina
LiveClear is the first and only cat food shown to safely and effectively reduce allergens in cat hair and dander by using a key protein from eggs, according to Purina.
Best CBD products for pets: cbdMD
These hard chew dog treats are made from flour, oats, honey and cbdMD’s classic hemp extract.
Best products: Personal care
Best Children's Wellness product: Mucinex
Appropriate for children 4 years of age and older, this medication (free from high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and alcohol) helps alleviate your child’s cold and stuffy nose symptoms.
Best electric toothbrush: Colgate
The Hum toothbrush allows you to track the duration, coverage and frequency of your brushing via an app.
Best eye care: Systane
Free from preservatives, the Systane drops are designed to quickly hydrate dry, sensitive eyes.
Best foot care: Lotrimin
Lotrimin’s medicated products will keep your feet dry and help prevent most athlete’s foot and fight foot odor when applied before a workout or work shift.
Best hair color: Schwarzkopf
Available in shades like Red, Brown and Cool Blonde, add a few drops of this product to your conditioner to increase the intensity of your hair color between sessions of fully dying it at home or at the salon.
Best hair styling: Remington
This hair straightener-and-curler-in-one features twisted plates that makes it easy to produce curls, waves or straight styles.
Best health and wellness: Claritin
These chewable tablets provide relief from indoor and outdoor allergies, and help decrease symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose.
Best oral care: Crest
Crest’s whitening emulsions can be easily applied to teeth with the included wand and its formula includes active peroxide droplets to brighten the color of teeth, as well as help remove and prevent stains.
Best oral hygiene: Colgate
Eliminating plastic and waste, this toothbrush features replaceable heads that you can swap out after a few months instead of throwing out the entire item.
Best pain relief: Aleve
Aleve’s award winner AleveX, a topical pain-relieving lotion and spray, won’t be available to buy until June. If you’re itching for the iconic brand’s goods regardless, the basic Aleve is designed to reduce pain and fevers for up to 12 hours and is widely available right now.
Best VMS: Patchology
Best CBD ingestible: cbdMD
These cbdMD gummies are made from pure, hemp-based CBD extract that helps manage daily stress and enhances exercise recovery.
Best CBD for personal care: Medterra
Formulated with peppermint oil, jojoba oil, aloe and 500 milligrams of CBD, this cream will provide you relief from sore backs and stiff necks.
Best products: ALDI
A few of this year’s winning products are specific to the ALDI brand, which you can’t shop online but may want to consider on your next trip to the store.
Best cheese: ALDI
ALDI’s Gouda is aged for 1,000 days and the cheddar is aged for four years while in the care of a master cheesemaker.
Best yogurt: ALDI
ALDI’s rich, thick Greek yogurt comes in flavors like Honey, Caramel Apple Donut and Strawberry.
Best chips: ALDI
Made from whole beans and rice, these chips are gluten-free, high in fiber and contain 5 grams of plant-based protein in each serving.
Best coffee: ALDI
Best condiment: ALDI
Blended with sesame seeds, garlic, onion, poppy seeds and salt, this seasoning from ALDI is a great addition to sprinkle a little flavor on avocado toasts and eggs.
Best healthy snack: ALDI
This cheddar-flavored popcorn is made from whole grain ingredients and is gluten free.
CORRECTION (Feb. 24, 2021, 16:00 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article mislabeled Aleve’s award-winning product for pain relief. It is AleveX, not Aleve.