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41 best products of the past year, according to 40,000 Americans

Shoppers voted on the best products of 2021 in categories like home, personal care, food and beverage and more.
Image: Various products voted \"Product of the Year.\"
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 innovationConsumer Survey of Product Innovation

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.

SKIP AHEAD Best products: Food and drink, home and car, laundry, pets, personal care and ALDI

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

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 Protein Pancake Mix

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

Del Monte Veggieful Pocket Pies

The Pocket Pies are baked in a golden cauliflower crust and filled with vegetables and real cheese.

Best cookies: Keebler

Keebler Chips Deluxe Original Cookies

These Keebler’s chocolate chip cookies are extra thick and packed with real chocolate.

Best fruit: Del Monte

Del Monte Deluxe Canned Gold Pineapple

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

Live Better Apple Cider Vinegar with Ginger & Turmeric

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

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

Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray

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 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray

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

3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hanger

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

H20 e3 Cleaning System

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

Carbona Pro Care Oxy Powered Outdoor Cleaner

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

Bounce Pet Hair and Lint Guard Mega Dryer Sheets

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

All Free Clear Pure

Created for those with sensitive skin, this laundry detergent is made from a 99-percent bio-based, biodegradable formula.

Best laundry enhancer: Snuggle

Snuggle SuperCare Scent Booster

This laundry enhancer protects colors from fading and bleeding.

Best laundry pacs: Tide

Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy Duty 10X Power PODS

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 Intense Scent + Freshness, Spring Rush Scent

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

Tide Hygienic Clean Free & Gentle Liquid Heavy Duty

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

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Cat Food

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

cbdMD Paw CBD 300 mg Peanut-Butter Hard Chews

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

Mucinex Children’s FreeFrom Multi-Symptom Medication

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

Colgate Hum Smart Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

The Hum toothbrush allows you to track the duration, coverage and frequency of your brushing via an app.

Best eye care: Systane

Systane Hydration PF Lubricant Eye Drops Vials

Free from preservatives, the Systane drops are designed to quickly hydrate dry, sensitive eyes.

Best foot care: Lotrimin

Lotrimin Daily Prevention

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

Schwarzkopf Color Boost

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

Remington Pro 1-Inch Multi-Styler with Twist & Curl Technology

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

Claritin Allergy Relief Cool Mint Chewables

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 Whitening Emulsions with Wand Applicator

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

Colgate Keep Replaceable Head Manual Toothbrush

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

Patchology Little Helper Supplement Strips

Patchology sells three types of supplement strips that dissolve on your tongue, each of which are made with ingredients designed to boost either Energy, Sleep or Calm.

Best CBD ingestible: cbdMD

cbdMD CBD Gummies

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

Medterra Pain Cream with CBD

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-exclusive Emporium Selection 1,000 Day Old Gouda and 4 Year Cheddar

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-exclusive Specially Selected Indulgent Greek Yogurt

ALDI’s rich, thick Greek yogurt comes in flavors like Honey, Caramel Apple Donut and Strawberry.

Best chips: ALDI

ALDI-exclusive Simply Nature Bean Chips

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

ALDI-exclusive Friendly Farms Almond Milk Coffee Creamer

100-percent vegan and carrageenan-free, this creamer by Friendly Farms is a popular dairy-free alternative that comes in two flavors: caramel and vanilla.

Best condiment: ALDI

ALDI-exclusive Stonemill Everything Bagel Seasoning

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

ALDI-exclusive Clancy's White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

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.

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