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ROSINA FOOD PRODUCTS DEBUTS GLUTEN FREE ITEMS

(Buffalo, N.Y.)óRosina Food Products is introducing two gluten free products. The gluten free ravioli is offered in a 13 oz. package and stuffed with ricotta cheese and gluten free flour imported directly from Italy.  Rosinaís gluten free meatballs are offered in a 22 oz. package and include imported Pecorino Romano cheese and spices. ďTo make the choice easier on individuals who continue to look for different food options that do not contain gluten,Ē said Russell Corigliano, President and CEO of Rosina Food Products, ďwe are pleased to offer our gluten free ravioli and our gluten free meatballs.Ē


GOLDEN BEACH LAUNCHES ASIAN SNACKS

(Torrance, Calif.)óGolden Beach Inc. has launched a line of Asian-inspired snacks in stand-up 3.5 oz. bags.  The range includes dry roasted edamame, dry roasted wasabi edamame, dry roasted chickpeas, wasabi chickpeas, dry roasted peas and wasabi peas. The company also is developing other innovative products, including vacuum-fried veggie chips, which incorporate the crisp texture of traditional fried chips, but with less fat being absorbed into the chips.


RANIR ACQUIRES FRENCH SUPPLIER

(Grand Rapids, Mich.)óRanir is growing its European footprint with the acquisition of Franceís largest supplier of toothbrushes, Oralys Dental. The acquired company specializes in category management, quality and product design in the private label oral and personal care industry.  The acquisition gives Ranir direct access to well-known international retailers, which will expand its current market in northern and western Europe into southern Europe, including France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. ďThe addition of Oralys Dental is another significant step in our international strategy aimed at partnering with key retailers to grow both geographically and in our product assortment,Ē said Ranir CEO Christine Henisee.


QUALITY PASTA OPENS PACKAGING FACILITY

(Charleroi, Pa.) ĖQuality Pasta Company has opened a food packaging facility in Charleroi, Pa. The company has refurbished an existing building and ďinstalled new state-of-the-art equipment,Ē said Paul A. DeStefano, President. The facility makes packaging for retail and food service side dishes. The facility will package side dishes and convenience foods, easy-to-make items that can be prepared in three to 10 minutes with microwave cups. The food products will come from different locations. ďWe are taking the packaging and the product and making them a finished product for retail sales,Ē he said.


PROLAMINA EXPANDS POUCHING CAPACITY

(Neenah, Wis.)óProlamina Corp., a leading North American packaging company that serves the food, medical and specialty markets, took delivery of its newest piece of manufacturing equipment, a custom-built Totani  BH80. Housed in Prolaminaís facility here, this is Prolaminaís second facility to be tooled with Totanis. Matt Conlin, Vice President of Sales at Prolamina, states, ďWe capitalized on our experience with our existing Totani machines and partnered with Totaniís engineers to design a machine with high speed and versatility that will support our growth initiatives in the pouching market.Ē


PARAMOUNT COFFEE MAKES TWO APPOINTMENTS

(Lansing, Mich.)óParamount Coffee has named Steven Weyhing general counsel and Jeff Kolk assistant plant/quality assurance manager for the company. Weyhing has served in both the public and private sectors, in regulatory litigation, environmental, liquor and agricultural law. Kolk was the director of operations at Eastside Deli Supply, Lansing, Mich., where he developed and led the quality assurance, human resources and facilities management departments for the company.




PLMA's Leadership Conference sets forum to "Meet the Retailers" March 19-22

Program will explore retailers' store brands objectives for a strategic meeting of minds

NEW YORK - As major chains across the retail spectrum increasingly place branding at the center of their strategic objectives and plans for growth, PLMAís 2015 Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference will examine the opportunities for increasing store brands sales and bringing new products to market.

In study after study, shoppers have never been more approving of store brands and the conference program to be offered in Scottsdale, Arizona March 19-22, was designed to help manufacturers who are seeking new ways gain advantage in a marketplace that is more competitive than ever.

A presentation by Michael DeCory, Wegmans vice president for grocery, dairy and frozen, will give PLMA members a first-hand perspective on the expanding role of store brands at one of the nationís most innovative and successful retailers.

Chris Hooks, vice president, center store program management for Topco Associates will share views on the strategic role of store brands suppliers at Topco, which has been widely influential in the growth of private label from the earliest days of PLMA.

In addition, the conference will offer the latest market research and insights by Todd Hale, one of the industryís top analysts for consumer buying trends as the former SVP for Neilsen global & shopping insights. A workshop by Jeff Dorman, president, JDA International, will identify ďTen Telltale Signs You Are Not Getting Enough From Your Sales EffortĒ and the transformations that need to take place for companies to reap long-term benefits from private labelís success.

PLMAís Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference provides an opportunity for private label executives from manufacturing companies to come together with their industry peers and trade partners for the purpose of examining the latest trends and exploring strategies for achieving store brand success. The location for this yearís event will be the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch in Scottdale. The conference is open to PLMA member manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, brokers and suppliers.

For additional information or to register, click here to download the conference brochure, or inquire by email to conferences@plma.com

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PLMAís 2014 Private Label Trade Show was biggest ever

size and attendance reflect store brands reality of growth and expansion

CHICAGO - Private label buyers and sellers arrived here, Nov 16-18, for PLMAís Store Brands Reality Trade Show and were greeted by the largest show in the associationís 34-year history.

The show offered a total of 2,750 exhibit booths throughout three major halls at Chicagoís Rosemont Convention Center, as 1,335 exhibitors competed to get their store brands products in front of buyers and executives from Americaís leading supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, convenience and specialty retailers.

At the show opening, organizers were predicting another record year for attendance as well, with pre-registrations by retail buyers, wholesalers and other visitors exceeding 4,250, or nearly 10% ahead of last yearís numbers.

Store brands suppliers presented tens of thousands of products across virtually every food and beverage category Ė including prepared foods, frozen and refrigerated, ingredients, snacks, gourmet and specialty Ė while non-foods offerings included health and beauty care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, vitamins & nutrition, household, kitchen and cleaning products, DIY and general merchandise.

Among the showís special features, PLMAís New Product Expo turned a spotlight on the newest products being offered by exhibitors on the trade show floor, while PLMAís popular Idea Supermarketģ showcased store brands programs, products and packaging from more than 50 leading retailers across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Increasingly, the growth of store brands at Americaís largest retail chains is attracting attention from international manufacturers, who seek to build a market for their products in the U.S. The Show floor presented international pavilions from Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, South Africa, Turkey, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Mauritius, as well as from Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Argentina.

PLMAís own World of Private Label pavilion and international exhibitors taking individual spaces extended global representation at the show to include Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Israel, Thailand, India, Australia, Colombia, Chile and Brazil, among others.

Year after year across the U.S, private labelís growth continues to outpace the national brands, reaching new heights for consumer sales and retail market share. According the latest industry sales data compiled by The Nielsen Company, private label unit market share in supermarkets has reached 23.4% and dollar market share is now at 19.4%. Total private label sales in the U.S. last year surpassed $112 billion.

Store brands continue to grow in 2014. In the third quarter ending September 27, store brand sales increased +2.8% across all outlets combined Ė a rate of growth three times that of national brands, which were ahead +0.9%, per Nielsen.

Editors: To arrange an interview with PLMA President Brian Sharoff, contact PLMAís press representative at (212) 972-3131.


Martha Stewart delivers opening keynote for record breaking PLMA show

Lifestyle icon and business leader headlines PLMA's 2014 speaker program

CHICAGO - One of the most successful and recognizable embodiments of a private brand in American Retailing, Martha Stewart presented the keynote address at PLMA's record setting 2014 private label trade show here at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare.

Introducing Stewart to a capacity audience of nearly 900 retail buyers and store brands manufacturing executives, PLMA President Brian Sharoff described her as "a remarkable businesswoman, innovator and icon in the realms of cooking, decorating, gardening, entertaining, publishing, and not least, of branding."

Stewart offered personal perspectives on how she was able to build, expand and manage a private brand that is currently represented by more than 8,500 unique products under her own name, which are distributed and sold via exclusive partnerships with retailers like Macy's, Home Depot, Michael's and PetSmart. Their success has expanded the concept of store brands, opening up new possibilities for the private label industry.

Among the keys to building a successful brand, according to Stewart, is an ability to build a relationship between your customer and the brand; one that is based on giving consumers what they want, what they need, and making sure that new products and new ideas are affordable.

At the keynote breakfast, opening remarks by PLMA Chairman Howard Kirschenbaum of Trinity Plastics also called on suppliers to listen more intently to customers, noting that ďno one is closer to the consumer than the retailer, whose one-to-one interaction with shoppers on a day-to-day basis gives them the key that both retailer and supplier need to unlock the future of store brands.Ē

In addition to Stewartís keynote on Monday, PLMA presented a speech by Stephen Mader of Kantar Retail on how disruptive digital platforms are leading to a convergence between traditional retailers Walmart and Tesco, and leading technology-based companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook.

In a presentation entitled ďStore Brands for Everybody,Ē Christopher Durham, founder of the influential My Private Brand website, chronicled the multichannel growth and expansion of retailer-owned brands. The series of PLMA talks and seminars also included representatives from Walgreens, Samís Club, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Chain Drug Consortium, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Valu Merchandisers, Sunopta and Bay Valley Foods, among others.

The thirty-fourth annual PLMA trade show presented a total of 2,750 exhibit booths throughout three major halls at Chicagoís Rosemont Convention Center, as 1,335 exhibitors competed to get their store brands products in front of buyers and executives from Americaís leading supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, convenience and specialty retailers. Show organizers were predicting another record year for attendance as well, with pre-registrations by retail buyers, wholesalers and other visitors exceeding 4,250, or nearly 10% ahead of last yearís numbers.


Value tops list of millennialsí shopping priorities, says PLMA study.

Consumer research looks at what moves America's newest primary shoppers

NEW YORK - A new nationwide study from PLMA for the first time casts significant light on the grocery shopping patterns of the Millennials, the 100 million Americans born between 1980 and 2000.

Millennials represent a multi-trillion dollar marketing opportunity. By 2016, they will become the countryís most powerful consumer bloc and, over time, will become the most economically impactful generation in U.S. history, outspending even the Baby Boomer generation. They already account for $1.3 trillion in overall direct annual spending and it is predicted they will buy $60 billion in consumer packaged goods over the next decade. But little is known of their shopping mindset and grocery retailers have generally ignored them.

Millennials like to describe themselves as unique in their attitudes and how they conduct their lives. While that may well be true in terms of their overwhelming use of smart phones, social networks and the internet, the first wide-ranging study of Millennials who identify themselves as primary grocery shoppers for their household reveals that, when it comes to buying food and non-food necessities, value is the key to their purchasing behavior.

According to the PLMA study, Millennials shop for groceries often and widely, and supermarkets are the most popular choice. Lead factors in what they choose to buy include previous experience with the product, their shopping list and coupons. Seven in ten belong to a loyalty program. In choosing a store or product, they seek out affordability, value and lowest price. They are also regular purchasers of store brands, think highly of the products, and give them high marks vs. national brands.

The PLMA study was conducted by Surveylab, a leading online opinion consultant. It consisted of more than sixty questions aimed at determining what moves Millennials. Completing the survey were nearly 1,600 men and women from 18 to 33 years old who identified themselves as the primary grocery shopper for their household.

Further highlights from the study include:

ē Millennials overwhelmingly see their generation as different from previous ones and are optimistic about their future. But many express resignation about their status. Half say their generation is financially less well off than previous ones and one in five say their life is worse than that of their parents. They expect big changes in the future: Half believe say stores will look nothing like they do now and a third believe many of todayís national brands will no longer be around.

ē Brand loyalty is not a major pull for Millennials. When a national brand they wish to buy is not available at the shelf, four in ten choose the store brand, one third pick a different national brand and one in eight look elsewhere for the national brand they initially wanted.

ē Millennials are universally familiar with store brands and buy them regularly.Almost four in ten said they buy store brands frequently, the highest rate offeredin the study. Seventy-one percent said value is the main reason they purchase the store brand product as opposed to the national brand. Product quality improvements and a good prior experience will drive their future store brand purchase.

ďMillennials have revolutionized the way we communicate,Ē says Brian Sharoff, PLMA president. ďThey have created a world of Ďlikesí and Ďfriendsí larger than all television audiences combined. But who are they? For those who run supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers, they are still enigmatic. Hopefully, this study will help clarify how they shop and what they want.Ē

To request a free copy of PLMAís new consumer research study, ďThe Millennials Are Coming,Ē email research@plma.com.

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