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(Grand Rapids, Mich.)—Ranir, a supplier of consumer oral care products, has appointed Scott Huff, former executive vice president of consumables and health and wellness at Wal-Mart, and Richelle Parham, most recently the chief marketing officer for eBay, to the company’s board of directors. “I’m thrilled to welcome two executives to the board who have a wealth of healthcare, marketing and brand expertise,” said Rich Sorota, CEO of Ranir. “We continue to execute on the company’s mission to provide millions of healthy, affordable smiles across the globe, and we look forward to Richelle and Scott joining the team and playing a role in Ranir’s continued evolution.”


(Dakota, Ill.)—Berner Food and Beverage said the 200,000 sq. ft. expansion of its production and warehouse facilities has enabled the company to broaden its product offerings. Berner’s new 290,000-square-foot facility has SQF Level 3 certification. “With triple the space and a turnkey beverage program in place, we are ready to begin work on the industry’s next successful RTD beverage,” said CEO Kurt Seagrist. Berner is a contract manufacturer of shelf-stable beverages, including milk-based RTD coffee, teas and other low-acid beverages. The company also manufactures dips, sauces and aerosol cheese.


(Orangeburg, N.Y.)—Nice-Pak has won the Private Brand Supplier of the Year Award from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart’s Private Brand Supplier of the Year Award is new for Wal-Mart in FYE 2017 and was awarded to Nice-Pak because of its overall collaboration with product innovation, thought leadership and category insights. Nice-Pak was presented with the award at the Wal-Mart Growth Forum Conference in Bentonville, Arkansas.


(New York, N.Y.)—Coffee Holding Co. has acquired Comfort Foods for $2.3 million.  Comfort Foods, North Andover, Mass., is a medium-sized regional roaster, manufacturing both private label branded coffee for retail and food service customers located predominantly in the northeast marketplace. The company had approximately $7.3 million in sales over the past 12 months. Andrew Gordon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coffee Holding, said the acquisition “will increase our overall presence and subsequent economies of scale at many of these current retail accounts in the northeast.”


(Baltimore, Md.)—Tulkoff Food Products has removed partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), trans fats and gluten from all Tulkoff Original Garlic Spreads. The company describes the changes as following necessary trends due to Food & Drug Administration regulations and consumer demands. “FDA regulations have been clear on the removal of PHOs and trans fats for products like our Original Garlic Spread. Our removal of gluten is a response to increasing customer demands for products without wheat,” says Phil Tulkoff, President of Tulkoff Food Products.


(Pennsauken, N.J.) –J&J Snack Foods Corp. has acquired Hill & Valley, a Rock Island, Ill.-based premium bakery with annual sales of more than $45 million. Hill & Valley makes a variety of pre-baked cakes, cookies, pies, muffins and other desserts for retail in-store bakeries. “We are excited to add Hill & Valley to our team,” said Jerry Law, Senior Vice-President of J&J Snack Foods. “This acquisition rounds out our in-store bakery offerings by expanding our capabilities and customer base, and provides us a newly constructed facility that has ample capacity for growth and a nimble production process.” Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Amazon, Lidl expected to boost U.S. store brands growth

Store brands industry & PLMA show expect growth surge as Amazon, Lidl bring major realignment to U.S. retailing

NEW YORK - Amazon’s surprising acquisition of Whole Foods Markets and the long-anticipated rollout of stores by German discounter Lidl are expected to set off far-reaching changes that will boost store brands growth in the U.S. and lead to increased participation for PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show, Nov. 12-14 in Chicago.

With the show taking place at this historic juncture for store brands, and bringing together buyers from all major retail channels and suppliers in every food and nonfoods product category, PLMA is predicting an additional surge of interest in what remains without question the U.S. private label industry’s biggest annual event.

“As is well-known, both Amazon/Whole Foods and Lidl are strongly committed to private label, explains PLMA president Brian Sharoff. “Both are game-changers as they bring entirely new levels of complexity to America’s retail landscape. These are two very powerful entities and they are already challenging established retail leaders across every channel to increase their commitment to private label as well, so there is plenty of reason for optimism among private label manufacturers.

“As an association,” says Sharoff, “it is our responsibility to make sure our member manufacturers and their retailer and wholesaler customers have all the best industry intelligence and expertise at their fingertips to make sense of these ramifications, and access to every resource they will require in order for their store brands to compete amid the changes that are certain to follow.”

PLMA’s speakers and seminars at the show will examine what the likely implications are from realignment of the online and bricks-and-mortar retailing spheres, as well as the new battle for retailing dominance from the value end of the market.

Keynoting the PLMA Opening Breakfast on Monday, Nov. 13, Judith Spires, chairman & CEO, Kings & Balducci’s Supermarkets, will address the important role that independent chains continue to play in U.S. grocery retailing, store brands strategies and what it takes to win the fight for shopper loyalty. The Retail Trends breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 14, will feature Mike Paglia, director of retail insights for Kantar. One of the industry’s leading experts on Lidl, Aldi and the discount sector will analyze the business strategy of Lidl, Europe’s largest grocery retailer, and its plans to expand across the U.S.

The topics for PLMA’s Opening Seminars on Sunday, Nov. 12, are “Consumers: Gen-X vs the Millennials,” with Brad Edmondson, the former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine, and “The Amazon Revolution,” with Bill Bishop, veteran industry analyst and founder of Brick Meets Click. Concurrent Workshops follow on “Packaging and Design,” “Marketing and Merchandising” and “Housewares and Kitchenware.” To download the complete speakers & seminars program for this year’s show, click here.

The PLMA show itself will fill three huge exhibit halls in Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center and will feature more than 2,700 exhibit booths from the best store brands manufacturers in virtually every product category imaginable. Tens of thousands of products will include shelf stable, fresh, frozen and refrigerated food and beverages; grocery non-foods, cleaning, and general merchandise; health and beauty, personal care, OTC and more.

Over 5,000 visitors are expected at the show, including buyers and executives from virtually every major U.S. supermarket and drug chain, mass merchandiser, club, limited assortment, convenience and dollar store, in addition to food and non-foods specialty retailers, foodservice distributors and wholesalers.

For information on attending or exhibiting at PLMA's Private Label Trade Show, contact PLMA (212) 972-3131 or email


PLMA announces exhibition for kitchenware, housewares in Chicago

Special showcase for 2017:
In products for kitchen and home, retailers’ brands are cooking and cleaning up

NEW YORK - With consumers spending more than ever on durables for cooking, kitchen and the home, retailers across every channel are increasing the range of kitchenware and housewares sold under their own private label brands.

To turn the spotlight on growing opportunities in the category for retailers and store brands manufacturers, PLMA is launching a special exhibition of private label housewares, kitchen and home products from a wide range of U.S. and international retailers, and offering this occasion for manufacturers to exhibit at its 2017 Private Label Trade Show in Chicago, Nov. 12-14.

For the first time, PLMA’s housewares showcase will open up the annual PLMA event into a destination where kitchenware and housewares manufacturers can meet a wide representation of private label buyers and see all in one place the extent to which retailers are expanding their private label lines in the categories.

The popularity of private label housewares has been rising, aided by increasing numbers of well-informed purchasers of kitchenware, cookware, small appliances, bakeware, tableware, housewares and other home products. These are mainstream shoppers who recognize the high quality and value in these exclusive product lines at major retail chains like Target (Threshold, Room Essentials), Walmart (Mainstays, Better Homes and Gardens), Costco (Kirkland Signature), Walgreens (Living Solutions), H-E-B (Chefstyle), Giant/Stop & Shop (Smart Living), Williams Sonoma (Open Kitchen), Sur La Table (Sur La Table), Ace (Grill Mark, Living Accents), Meijer (Katie Brown), Bed Bath & Beyond (Real Simple), among many others.

The PLMA show will feature an extensive exhibit of private label product lines in housewares: In addition to retailers from the most important classes of trade across the U.S., retailers in Europe have long been putting their brands on kitchen and housewares products and these will likewise be among those to be showcased.

Housewares in the U.S. and Canada are estimated to account for more than one quarter of global category sales of $346.9 billion. According to the most recent industry data, U.S. spending for housewares grew +9.4%, a rate that’s nearly twice the sales growth for the category as a whole globally.

The industry trade journal, HomeWorld Business, annually publishes a list of the Top 100 Housewares Retailers in the U.S. In their latest report, these chains were estimated to have $97 billion in combined annual housewares sales. Large format retailers in the top 100 – including Walmart, Costco and Target – made up 52.4% of the total. Home specialty stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond and William-Sonoma accounted for 16.5%, while home improvement, hardware and department stores accounted for a combined 12.4%.

Supermarkets and the leading drug chains accounted for 25 of the top 100 housewares retailers and for nearly 10% of their total housewares sales. Other important channels for the category include online and television (i.e. Amazon, QVC/HSN, Wayfair and, and non-home specialty retailers such as The Container Store, Sally Beauty, Yankee Candle and Best Buy.

There should be little doubt that private label is well-positioned to benefit from the growing interest in housewares among U.S. retailers and consumers. According to Nielsen data for all outlets combined, private label already outsells most if not all of the leading national brands in categories that range from cookware and kitchen gadgets to small appliances; and from bathroom accessories to storage and space management.

For information on attending or exhibiting at PLMA's Private Label Trade Show, contact PLMA (212) 972-3131 or email


PLMA country pavilions promote international fare and wares

An expanding range of country pavilions offer unique global sourcing opportunities for U.S. retailers

NEW YORK - The expansion of international pavilions at PLMA’s Chicago trade show has been an ongoing trend for several years running, according to the show’s organizers, and that expansion will continue in 2017 as ever more international suppliers and products pour into the U.S. private label marketplace.

In light of steady growth in online and mobile commerce, U.S. retailers are seeking new ways to differentiate themselves and adding greater diversity to their store brands offerings. Now in addition to the best new private label products from U.S. manufacturers, plus imports from Canada, Mexico, and Latin American specialties and ethnic items, retailers who visit PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show can find opportunities to source for their store brands programs from more than a dozen country pavilions from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

From Italian frozen gelato to condiments from France, from Austrian baked goods to cured meats from Spain, salmon from Denmark and exotic treats from Turkey; international imports are helping retailers to enhance the customer’s experience with unique items that are welcomed by North American consumers who perceive them as upscale and gourmet.

There is growth too in imports at the commodity/value end of the market – in coffee, olive oil, cocoa, dried fruits and nuts, shelf-stable vegetables, dry pastas and more – as well as in non-foods, with kitchenware, plastics, household goods and general merchandise from Korea, China, Taiwan and Vietnam, among others.

Among various trade groups venturing to support their private label exports are organizers who enjoy a strong and successful presence at PLMA's World of Private Label in Amsterdam, and they look to PLMA’s Chicago trade fair to help grow their exports to North America. Taking into account the increasing number of country pavilions located throughout the show floor, together with international companies entering the show independently, products from more than 50 countries will be on exhibit November 12-14 at PLMA’s 2017 Private Label Trade Show.


Store brands gaining share in fast-growing U.S. retail channels

Latest Nielsen data show strong gains in Mass, Club, Dollar

NEW YORK - Nielsen has released its latest sales and market share statistics and it shows that store brands are gaining market share against the big national brands in America’s fastest growing retail channels.

For the 52 week period that ended 12/24/2016, retailers’ brands strongly outperformed the national brands in the rapidly-growing mass merchandisers segment of Nielsen’s total outlets database, which includes national retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, as well as some warehouse clubs and dollar store chains.

Private label dollar volume in the mass merchandisers/club/ dollar store segment climbed +4.4% to $49.6 billion, resulting in a +0.5 point market share gain to 16.6%. A similar pattern emerged in regard to units, with private label advancing +4.2% compared to only +0.2% for the brands. As a result, private label’s market share moved up +0.6 of a point to 19.7%.

These gains are especially important because the total channel sales for mass merchandisers, clubs and dollar stores are climbing at a much greater rate than in the supermarket channel. Dollar volume sales for Nielsen’s all retail outlets combined segment, which also includes drug chains, outpaced the supermarkets-only measure, increasing +0.8% compared to barely +0.1% growth for supermarkets.

Store brands’ market share declined in the slow-growth supermarket channel – measured at 18.4% dollar share and 22.3% unit share – as well as in Nielsen’s all outlets combined sector, but the data clearly indicate that, separate from the adverse impact of supermarket numbers dragging down the overall private label results, market shares for retailer brands in the other outlets have experienced solid gains at the expense of national brands.

Private label’s success in mass merchandisers and other non-supermarket channels is also an important factor when estimating the total size of the private label market in the U.S.

While Nielsen reports total private label sales for 2016 at $118 billion, these results do not include sales from some of the biggest and best store brands retailers in the country, such as Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s. Estimates of their private label sales would add $35 billion to the total and push the total U.S. private label market to more than $150 billion.


For additional information on the growth of store brands or to schedule an interview with PLMA President Brian Sharoff, contact PLMA’s press representative at (212) 972-3131, or email


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