PLAY’s 2023 product picks: innovation, indulgence and automation

by: Becky Mead

As we reach the end of 2023, the team at PLAY looked back on the innovative products we’ve discovered this year.

From miniature snacks to ready-made margaritas, we've got an eclectic lineup to share with you.

Our top product picks for 2023 reflect some of the latest consumer trends and show the way we think about indulgence, innovation, and even a bit of automation in the FMCG world.

Susie White | Frosty Fruits Fruit Stack

A playful twist on the classic icy treat, the Frosty Fruits Fruit Stack is Susie’s pick for a summer favourite

“This joyful addition to the Frosty Fruits brand caught my eye in the freezer aisle and made me appreciate the willingness of this long-established brand to innovate beyond its classic square icy pole shape. I imagine that what seems so simple to us consumers would have instigated a major fight between innovation and manufacturing from its moment of ideation – you want how many flavours? In different sections? In a whole new mould? Are you serious!?!” says Susie.

"While I can appreciate the development behind it, my two kids simply enjoy the soft, refreshing sorbet texture and fun ‘fruit kebab’ shape of the new Frosty Fruits Fruit Stack. With its combination of strawberry, orange and green apple flavours, and at just 53 calories per serve, it’s our ‘go-to’ summertime treat this year and one that I don’t feel guilty saying yes to!”


Emma | The trends in her cupboard

It wasn’t just one product that stood out for Emma but rather the trends her family have jumped on board with this year. For Emma’s family, it’s about convenience, affordable treats and miniatures!

  1. Subscriptions that tick ALL the boxes

"In an effort to streamline my life, we’ve signed up for a couple of subscriptions that have actually stuck. Urban Brew coffee pods (seriously good coffee!) and Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. They’re great products that are cost-effective and have environmental credentials," says Emma.

  1. Occasion cakes and sweet treats

“Coles and Woolworth's cakes are no longer limited to the good ‘ol mud cake, sponge or pav. They’ve moved into rainbow cakes, celebration smash cakes and really indulgent cheesecakes or fudge cakes – at a great price. Super quick and easy...especially when organising a party last minute!”

  1. Miniature anything

“Healthy options or treats that are fun for the kids in smaller sizes for lunch boxes or snacks. Top picks are mini cucumbers, mini carrots, mini hummus packs, mini biscuits or mini ice creams.”

Jessica | FUNDAY Sweets – Cola Flavoured Bottles

Jessica discovered FUNDAY Sweets. They bring a healthier twist to the sugar-filled jelly lollies so many of us grew up with. Think gluten-free snakes, cola bottles, red frogs, gummy bears with no sugar added, and prebiotic fibre.

"It’s a delicious, guilt-free treat that also helps with digestion…what more can I ask for? So there’s nothing wrong with having a bag of FUNDAY or two," says Jessica.


Helen | My Soda Australia – Lime Drenched Coconuts Body Wash

Helen loved My Soda Australia’s body wash as a way to bring holiday vibes to every shower.  It’s made sustainably in Australia with plant-based ingredients and a refill option.

"Shower time is a few uninterrupted minutes to myself (I have five kids and two nosey dogs!)…when I pop the lid on the lime-drenched coconuts, it gives me that holiday-like moment of joy. The scent is AMAZING! It feels a little more special and upmarket than the other supermarket body washes. My husband even switched from his ‘male scented’ body wash!" says Helen.


Taryn | Altos ready-to-drink margarita

As a massive cocktail and margarita fan, Taryn’s top pick was Altos’s ready-to-drink margaritas.

“Altos ready-to-drink margaritas taste just like the real thing (even mimicking the salty rim!) and are super convenient. Not your common bevvie at the soccer, so it was a great find at the FIFA Women’s World Cup! A nice change from beer or wine!” says Taryn.


Katherine | Boodles Boosted Chocolate Speckle

Katherine was excited to discover Boodles Boosted Chocolate Speckle, a chocolate lover's dream.

“Boodles are very on trend and actually really yummy. The speckle tastes like real chocolate and is a real treat! I have no idea whether it’s filling me up more than a regular chocolate snack, but psychologically, I feel like I’m making a smarter choice,” says Katherine.


Becky | Gluten-Free Tim Tams

Gluten-free Tim Tams have become a household favourite for Becky.

"This year's standout for me has been a game-changer for my husband. He has recently had to navigate the world of gluten-free living. Arnotts has hit the mark with their gluten-free Tim Tams – they're delicious! I'm enjoying a few myself, and the best part? Paul doesn't feel like he's missing out on anything."

Untitled_design__30_Ed | ProPud Banana Caramel Milkshake

Ed found the ProPud Banana Caramel Milkshake while studying in Sweden.

“The banana caramel shake was my top pick, as I love all things banana. These shakes were a great find, ideal for post-workout or as something to drink with dinner to pad out a meal when I was on a student budget.”

caramel-glazed-bananas-propud-milkshakeWe hope these picks delight you, too. We'd love to hear what's been catching your eye – what are your top finds for 2023?

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about the author

Becky Mead

Becky has spent the last 18 years getting curious about understanding consumers so FMCG manufacturers can create products they truly want. Becky’s favourite part of the job is helping businesses leverage the consumer perspective to grow - fast! She believes in the benefits of working in partnership with her clients across the entire innovation process and focuses on consumer-first, agile approaches.

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