Jen Klise, group manager of corporate innovation at Target Corp., has been named jury chair for the inaugural Product of the Year Awards  in the U.S.
Klise will lead industry leaders on Sept. 18 as they review hundreds of brands sold in supermarkets and drugstores vying for the honor of displaying the Product of the Year symbol.
"An award like Product of the Year that focuses on high quality and innovation is a critical element in our saturated consumer marketplace," Klise said in a statement.
The consumer-voted awards have existed in Europe for more than 20 years, with companies such as PepsiCo, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble competing in categories including skincare, pet food, cereal, haircare, beverage, oral hygiene and household cleaners. This is the first time products in the U.S. will be considered for the title.
Once the jury concludes its review on Sept. 18, the finalists will be reviewed by 100,000 U.S. consumers to determine which products are awarded Product of the Year designations. The winners will be revealed in January.
Colleen Kelly, executive director of Product of the Year, said: "We are extremely happy that Jen will be working with us on this first stage of the Product of the Year award process. She is a noteworthy expert on product innovation, and her keen eye and years of experience will be a valuable asset to determining the very best products available to U.S. consumers."
In addition, Peter Mills and John Greeniaus have been named to the awards' North American board of directors. Mills is a former president and COO of BBDO North America and John Greeniaus is a former chairman and CEO of Nabisco, and a director of Interpublic Group.