Winning products of 2019 announced

Over 14,000 Australian consumers have voted for their favourite products of the year, with a surprising number of new categories that recognise innovations in healthy and gluten free product lines. 10 wins out of a total of 50 went to new products offering healthy and allergy free alternatives to everyday food and beverage items.

Despite rising obesity, with an estimated 28% of children and adolescents in Australia deemed overweight or obese*, the Product of the Year (POY) winners are bucking this trend, responding to rising consumer demands for health conscious and dietary specific foods. One category that has become more and more popular amongst consumers is gluten free, with two categories being created this year for general and kid friendly specific products.

Product of the Year Director, Sarah Connelly said, “I’m thrilled at the increase in innovative healthy-option products that are being made available on shelf and being entered into the Awards. It’s a trend that we’ve not seen much of before in the history of the Awards and it signals increasing consumer demand for manufacturers to innovate in these areas. These options are becoming far more mainstream and more affordable than they have ever been before.”

“A category that we have seen consistent growth in each year is ‘convenience foods’ but this year we are seeing more vegetarian easy-option foods, which simply haven’t been available before. It’s wonderful to see these dietary requirements being met by brands, showcasing their leadership in this space.”

Now in its tenth year in Australia, Product of the Year has announced its 2019 winners, with Coles scooping an incredible 11 awards, Metcash scoring 10 and ALDI an impressive 9 awards. New to the awards this year, Mars Foods were awarded three wins, as were fellow newcomers Freedom Foods, with two wins under their belt.

In its biggest year yet, the awards recognise product innovation and span across a wide range of categories including house and home; skincare, hair and beauty; home cooking and pantry; snacks and entertaining; kids; indulgence; healthy options and gluten free; and everyday staples.

Source: Product of The Year

Chiva-Som has reopened following completion of third stage of renovations

 Internationally renowned wellness destination Chiva-Som has reopened after a 6-month closure to complete the third of four stages of the resort’s first major renovation since its inauguration 23 years ago. Further enhancing the Chiva-Som offering, which has already seen all of its Ocean Rooms and many of its facilities transformed, today sees additions to the wellness experience with a new specialist golf retreat. 

The latest aesthetic and hardware developments comprise a complete overhaul of the Thai Pavilions, Emerald Room, Orchid Lounge, Library, Fitness Centre and Niranlada Medi-Spa. In line with the resort master plan, the hallmarks of which are contemporary and supremely comfortable interiors, the new look is realised with materials such as local sustainable teak, silk and bamboo. Keeping their quintessential Thai spirit intact, the Thai Pavilions are brighter, lighter and more spacious, creating a serene, calming space which reflects the tranquility of the resort. A new room category, the Thai Pavilion Suite features an outdoor pantry and its own outdoor private glass-walled sala, a private space for around six guests set amidst the tranquil gardens and is suitable for private meals, meditation or just for relaxing.

The addition of a glass wall in the Emerald Room has created a fresh, contemporary and relaxing space, flooded with natural light, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. To celebrate the brand new Emerald Room design, Chiva-Som is delighted to welcome their first guest chef, Keisuke Matsushima who will be visiting the resort for a second time, this time the award-winning chef will be in residence serving up his renowned French- Japanese fusion dishes with a wellness twist. In addition, guests have the opportunity to cook with the Chevalier of the L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and L’Ordre du Merite Agricole awarded Chef and learn his techniques in an exclusive cooking class available only for in-house guests of Chiva-Som. Chef Matsushima’s residency is from 8th to 11th December.

The Orchid Lounge has undergone a complete makeover to become an inviting and sociable spot in which guests can enjoy afternoon-tea, interact, welcoming also a piano, pond-side seating and an open juice bar. The Library has also become airier and the new home of the retail shop, whilst the Guest Relations Desk has moved to a more private and discreet part of the resort.

The Fitness Centre has increased in size to incorporate a larger gym area and a separate stretching space with an array of new cardio equipment, functional and non-functional training equipment as well as a private training room and two fully renovated Dance and Pilates Studio’s.

The Kinesis Room has been renamed the Re-functional Studio, home to a private Neurac Room, Functional Assessment room and boasting brand new equipment including a BIODEX 4 PRO Isokinetic Dynamometer to help with rehabilitation, leg mobility and balance, as well as preparing the body for more strenuous exercise. Further additions are the highly versatile and space-efficient Queenax functional training equipment; a unique suspended body weight training system and an Electrical Muscle Stimulation system (Vision Body) to help reduce exercise-induced joint damage and aid recovery.

Chiva-Som’s ‘Total Golf Enhancement’ retreat has launched as well, aimed at developing guests’ overall game. This new retreat is suitable for players of all levels and provides expertise in specialist areas, such as Golf Fitness Training and Golf Biomechanics. In addition to golf-specific inclusions, guests will also enjoy related treatments in essential areas, such as post-game muscle recovery, relaxation and skincare. Improvement will be assessed by the included round(s) of golf with one of the in-house accredited professionals, played at one of Hua Hin’s leading courses.

The Niranlada Medi-Spa has evolved from its original clinical design to become warm and tranquil. The consultation room will provide greater privacy during body assessments and a brand new makeup room has been added for guests requiring a little further indulgence.

This highly anticipated refurbishment is being overseen by Chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Mr. Krip Rojanastien, who together with Designrealization Siam co. ltd, one of the worlds’s most respected architecture forms, has developed a modern and fresh take on Asia’s much loved classic. A trailblazer since its inception in 1995, Chiva-Som International Health Resort will continue to provide an unprecedented approach to health and wellbeing for many years to come.

Reservations are available to book throughout 1 November 2018 – 30 April 2019.

For Chiva-Som bookings in Australia contact your travel agent or a Chiva-Som Specialist on 1300 857 437.

Source: Chiva Som

Victoria Beckham and Cruz Beckham Spotted at Barry's Australia

Victoria Beckham and Cruz Beckham have visited Barry’s newly launched Surry Hills studio for a workout in the signature Red Room.

Renowned for its global, cult-like following, Barry’s attracts world’s most high-profile celebrities and influential names in entertainment, through to top athletes, captains of industry, editors and sports enthusiasts worldwide and launched into the Australian market last month.

Offering the 55-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout in the signature Red Room for an immersive and motivating experience that burns up-to 1000 calories.

Berlei break stigma around breast sexualisation

A staggering 40% of Australian women don’t wear a sports bra while exercising, a recent survey* has uncovered. With 54% of women expressing concern about their breasts sagging later in life, the importance of educating women on investing in a supportive sports bra is more prevalent than ever.


Berlei have launched their Spring Summer 18’ Sport collection with a provocative TVC demonstrating the impact different sports have on women’s breasts when they are not wearing a supportive sports bra. Aiming to empower women to care for and invest in themselves by choosing the right sports bra for their chosen sport or favourite type of exercise, Berlei hope to get women thinking about their sports bra like an essential piece of sports equipment.

Most women don’t realise the impact that active movement can have on their sensitive breast tissue. It’s been reported that an astounding 43% of women are unaware that not wearing a supportive sports bra while exercising can contribute to breast tissue damage that can cause breast-sagging later in life.

Working with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and their biomechanics team for over 20 years, Berlei have finessed the fine art of ensuring their bras provide the correct support for whichever sport women choose to undertake, whilst still looking stylish. Designing their bras with compression and an encapsulation support system, the technology separates the breasts and supports each one individually within its own cup.

Head Designer for Berlei Innovation, Adele Kershaw said, ‘Most women are conscious about how their breasts feel during exercise because they can bounce around, feel uncomfortable and painful, however they are often unaware of the damage that can happen below the surface to the soft tissue and delicate Coopers ligaments inside their breasts if they don’t have the correct support. Women are aware of the need for different equipment such as footwear and clothing for different sports, but they need to be aware of the importance of wearing the right sports bra for different sports to prevent this damage.’

Adele continued, ‘Our research shows that breasts move differently depending on the sport or activity women are doing, however an astounding 76% of women admit to wearing the exact same sports bra no matter what the activity is. We hope through this campaign we bring to light the importance of wearing the correct sports bra during different exercise activity and encourage women to prioritise their breasts by choosing the correct support when it comes to sport.’

Berlei are the only bra brand in Australia that is tested, endorsed and approved by the AIS, delivering bras that reduce breast bounce by up to 60%. The Support Factor Rating system created with the AIS helps women choose the right sports bra for their sport from low impact to extreme impact activity.

Berlei’s Spring Summer 18’ Sport campaign aims to empower women to invest in themselves. The new TVC dramatises the impact playing different sports can have on breasts by drawing a correlation between the impact that’s seen on soccer, basketball and tennis balls on slow motion replay. The dramatisation urges women to stop their breasts playing their own game.

Source: Berlei

Kerri-anne Kennerley To Promote Eye Health Month

Australians are putting their sight needlessly at risk as new research reveals as many as 2 in 3 people over the age of 40 are currently experiencing a problem with their eyes but failing to get their eyes checked by an optometrist.

With uncorrected vision problems being the number one cause of vision loss in Australia2, experts are warning that if Australians don’t get serious about their eye health, and start taking preventative measures to look after their eyesight, the number of people over the age of 40 with vision loss will rise exponentially over the coming years as our population ages.

Specsavers Head of Optometry, Ben Ashby, says “In this day and age we shouldn’t be seeing people unnecessarily losing their vision but we are because eye health is just not a priority in the same way other health conditions like heart disease and cancer are. There is a worldwide issue with people not understanding the crucial importance of preventive eye care.”

Currently over 420,000 Australians over the age of 40 are experiencing vision loss as a result of uncorrected vision problems with another 300,000 as a result of eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic eye disease2. These numbers are expected to rise by as much as 9% by 20202 if people continue to ignore their eye health.

“From the age of 40 our eyes start to change and by the age of 65 almost all of us will need to wear glasses to correct a vision problem and as many as 1 in 4 will live with an eye disease. Vision problems and eye diseases can affect anyone so just because you might have had good vision when you were younger doesn’t mean you are not at risk.

Often vision deterioration can be gradual and eye diseases can have no symptoms early on which is why we encourage people over the age of 40 to have their eyes tested by an optometrist every two years,” Ben said.

New research from Specsavers shows as many as 1 in 5 (21%) can’t see things in the distance as well as they used to, a big concern for safety on our roads, whilst a third (30%) reported keeping concerns to themselves about not being able to see things as well close up. Other common concerns being experienced include bright lights dazzling more than they used to (18%), glasses or contact lenses not seeming strong enough anymore (16%) and black spots or lines floating around their vision (16%).

To get the nation to prioritise their eye health this Eye Health Month, Specsavers has teamed up with TV icon Kerri-Anne Kennerley. No stranger to eye health herself, having previously had lens replacement surgery to correct her vision and now living with astigmatism, Kerri-Anne has also been by her mum’s side as she has experienced vision loss from both macular degeneration and cataracts.

Explaining her stance on eye health Kerri-Anne explains, “For me, it’s all about prevention. I’ve always been aware of the importance of eye health, not only because of the issues I’ve had with my own eyes but also because I’ve seen how eye diseases can affect your life. That’s why I’m a huge advocate for having regular eye tests.

“My mum has macular degeneration and cataracts so I’ve seen the effects of these diseases first-hand. Seeing how they have affected her quality of life has been extremely difficult, and I know that if detected sooner, a lot of her vision loss could have been prevented.”

Genetics can play a big part in eye health. Some diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma are hereditary so people with a direct family history have a much higher chance (25%-50%)3 of developing the disease and yet more than half of Australians over 40 (54%) admit they haven’t had a conversation about their family’s eye health1. Because of this, Specsavers also encourages Australians to be aware of their family’s medical history.

“It’s really important for everyone to be aware of their family’s medical history. We tend to know if we have a family history of diabetes or cancer, but we should also know if we have a family history of eye disease… so we would encourage families to have those conversations,” Ben said.

Given her family history of eye health, Kerri-Anne is aware that she has a high chance of developing a sight threatening eye disease adding, “For me, having a history of vision problems and eye disease in my family means I’ll always have regular eye tests. It shocks me that people underestimate the importance of regular eye tests, with so many of these conditions having no symptoms. Whether you wear glasses or have perfect vision, everyone should get a check-up every couple of years because early detection and treatment can mean the difference between keeping and losing your sight.”

Specsavers’ Head of Optometry, Ben Ashby, adds, “It is very concerning to see the number of people over the age of 40 that aren’t getting their eyes tested regularly. In the past two years 4 million Australians over the age of 45 have had a comprehensive eye test through Medicare4, meaning as many as 58% are not following the industry recommendation of having their eyes tested at least every two years.”

“By getting your eyes tested every two years we able to compare your scans and map any changes to your eye health over time which helps to detect eye diseases early. But eye tests can also help detect other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even brain tumours. We want people to stop underestimating the importance of eye tests and start including them as part of their general health checks. And at Specsavers comprehensive eye checks are bulk billed*,” Ben concluded.

For more information or to book an eye test online, visit

Source: Specsavers