The IAW Trendseller Product Awards were presented on 27th February at the 27th International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) in Cologne. The ceremony was moderated by Ralf Kühler, a celebrity of German TV shopping channels and one of the judges on the panel. His enthusiastic assessment was: “Firstly, we have here a colourful mix of international companies; secondly, we have some winning products and exhibitors with great ideas for everyday life.”
First place in the IAW Trendseller Product Award competition went to Cutlope GmbH from Teltow, Germany, for its Kids Travel & Play Case. At first glance the case looks like a large toy car. At present there are only two versions – the bat mobile and the Mercedes G63 SUV – however the company has plans for other licensed models. The car is transformed into a 20 litre capacity trolley case simply by pulling out a telescopic bar at the front. Inside the case a separate compartment provides space for stowing sufficient toys and clothes for a weekend visit to the grandparents. Business consultant Ulrich Eggert remarked: “This product stood out from the other exhibits due to its unusual, child-friendly design and high-quality manufacture and finishing. Good design and quality is exactly what’s needed in order for us to award first prize.”
There is always keen demand for all kinds of kitchen aids. Not surprisingly, second place was awarded to a range of highly practical, multi-purpose scissors sold under the brand name Progress and produced by Ultimate Products in Chadderton, England. The clever design of the Progress scissors saves the user time and money by reducing time spent on washing the scissors and doubling as a cutting device, bottle opener and peeler. One model in this range features five blades and is perfect for cutting herbs, obviating the need to use a chopping board. The Progress 6-in-1 scissors function effectively as scissors, peeler, nut cracker, tin opener, bottle opener and fish descaler. “This product line is manufactured to the highest standard and the multi-purpose products are useful in completing various tasks in the kitchen so the award is certainly deserved”, explained Jörg Hamel from the trade association of North Rhine Westphalia (Handelsverband Nordrhein-Westfalen).
The Dutch company StayHold in De Meern was awarded third place for its Sidekick Cargo Holder. This is a rectangular prop made of polymer designed to keep items in the boot of the car in place. Whether it’s a shopping bag, tool box or flower vase, the holder is simply pushed under the item, a bit like a bookend, to prevent the contents of the boot from flying around. Small hooks underneath the Cargo Holder ensure that it does not slide around. Martina Schimmel, German manager of zentrada Europe, evaluated the gadget from the consumer’s standpoint: “We all know how annoying it is when the contents of a shopping bag spill out or objects shift around. I can well imagine buying this product myself.”
The IAW Trendseller Product Awards are traditionally presented on the first day of the International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports in Cologne. The award is bestowed by a panel of experts on products that are seen as outstanding by virtue of their excellent design, commercial potential. quality, functionality, innovativeness, packaging and price-benefit properties. The panel consists of chairman Ulrich Eggert, Martina Schimmel, Jörg Hamel, Ralf Kühler, Philip Reichardt (head of commerce and city marketing at the Cologne Chamber of Trade and Commerce) and IAW boss Ulrich Zimmermann.
The IAW, Europe’s biggest fair for trade orders, takes place in the Cologne exhibition halls 11.1 and 11.2 and will be open to the trade until 1st March