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(Marion, Ohio)—Robert Sarlls has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Wyandot, Inc. Mr. Sarlls has been active in the food and beverages for over 20 years, most recently was a consultant to mid-sized food companies and food focused private equity firms with Food Strategies, LLC.  He replaces Nick R. Chilton, CEO, and Rex A. Parrott, President and COO, who announced their retirements earlier in the year. Both will remain on the Board of Directors and Mr. Sarlls will also join the board. “We have experienced significant growth over the last few years and we are confident in Rob’s ability to take Wyandot to the next level,” said Douglas W. Brown, Chairman of the Board.


(Westfield, Mass,)–Prolamina Corp., a leading North American packaging company that serves the food, medical and specialty markets, celebrated breaking ground on a major renovation of its manufacturing facility here. The Westfield facility produces flexible packaging solutions from the most basic to the most technologically advanced multi-layer packaging substrate. Westfield’s 250,000 sq.ft. manufacturing facility has been in operation for over 30 years. Although the building has seen improvements and renovations, until now, a refurbishment of this magnitude has never been done.  


(Fairport, N.Y.)—LiDestri Food & Beverage, has announced the purchase of a high-pressure processing (HPP) asset. LiDestri plans to install and operate a tolling operation at its Greece, N.Y. facility, under the name Finger Lakes Fresh Press. HPP is a method of food and beverage processing under which a product is subjected to elevated pressures to achieve microbial inactivation and to extend shelf life of refrigerated products. HPP can inactivate harmful food and beverage bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and E.coli. For consumers, HPP has advantages over traditional pasteurization processes that use heat. It retains the fresh characteristics of food and beverage products by avoiding thermal degradation, resulting in fresh taste, better nutrient retention and improved texture and appearance. “We are collaborating with various producers to identify food and beverage products that will benefit from HPP. Through this innovative approach, these companies will be able to offer customers great-tasting products and extended shelf life without the use of heat or chemical preservatives," said Frank Cavallaro, Vice President of Research and Development for LiDestri.


(Miami, Fla.)—Transnational Foods Inc., was named 2014 Vendor of the Year by Valu Merchandisers Co.  a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., that offers general merchandising programs to retailers. VMC recognized Transnational Foods for its excellent customer service, expertise in marketing, and breadth of product assortment. “We are honored to receive the Vendor of the Year Award from Valu Merchandisers. The team here at Transnational Foods is particularly pleased we were recognized for our critical role in launching a tremendously successful program that has boosted sales while maintaining a 99% service level with more than 150 fast turning items,” said Marcelo Young, Chief Operating Officer, Transnational Foods.


(Buffalo, N.Y.)—Rosina 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.  Rosina’s gluten free meatballs are offered in a 22 oz. package and include imported Pecorino Romano cheese and spices. “To make the choice easier on individuals who continue to look for different food options that do not contain gluten,” said Russell Corigliano, President and CEO of Rosina Food Products, “we are pleased to offer our gluten free ravioli and our gluten free meatballs.”


(Torrance, Calif.)—Golden 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.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman to keynote PLMA

Beyond limits: PLMA speakers chart a bold vision of where retailing and store brands could go

NEW YORK - Reflecting the show's theme, “Store Brands and Beyond," this year’s seminars and speakers will focus on the industry’s greatest opportunities and challenges in the face of unprecedented changes taking place in retailing, consumer behavior and digital marketing.

At the opening Keynote Breakfast on Monday, November 16, PayPal President & CEO Dan Schulman will examine how a fast-approaching revolution in customer payments will impact on retailers, consumers and marketers. The former CEO of Priceline and of Virgin Mobil USA, Dan Schulman came to PayPal following four years as group president of enterprise growth at American Express, where he was responsible for global strategy to expand alternative mobile and online payment services.

The PLMA Live! Breakfast on Tuesday morning, November 17, will feature a special presentation by retail futurist Howard Saunders on what lies beyond the customer experience of today. As President of Twenty-Second & Fifth, Saunders analyzes the conditions and articulates the strategies that can lead to game-changing retailing, based on more than 25 years’ experience designing stores and retail brands.

A special two-hour seminar on the topic of “Store Brands & Digital Retailing” opens the speaker program for the 2015 PLMA show on November 15. Sooner than many retailers expect, store brands will have to compete for the attention of “connected” consumers. A panel of retailing, manufacturing and digital experts explore the role store brands will play as the industry adapts to digital transformation - among them: Heidi Reale Director of Shopper & Digital Marketing, Price Chopper Supermarkets; Brad Robertson Sr. Vice President, Marketing Services, MYWebGrocer; and Colt Reichart, Director of Digital and Creative Media, Red Gold. Jim Wisner, President of Wisner Marketing Group is the moderator.

Speakers and seminar presentations take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and are open to all registered attendees of PLMA’s 2015 Private Label Trade Show.

For additional industry information and insight coming direct from the trade show floor via online video streaming, PLMA will offer special morning and afternoon editions of PLMA Live! With twice-daily reports on Monday, Nov. 16 and Tuesday, Nov. 17, PLMA’s year-round video service at takes you wherever the action is, providing up-to-the-minute news, interviews, analysis, product reviews and more.


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

PLMA sets sights on Store Brands and Beyond, Nov. 15-17 in Chicago

PLMA invites retailers to search out and explore the next frontier for store brands

NEW YORK - “PLMA's 2015 U.S. Private Label Trade Show opens 15-17 November in Chicago's Rosemont Convention Center with more than 2,700 exhibit booths and buyers from major U.S. and Canadian supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers.

The show's theme is “Store Brands and Beyond," focusing on the changes taking place in retailing, consumer behavior and digital marketing.

The PLMA show marks thirty-five years of industry growth and organizers are predicting that this will be their biggest and best-attended event ever for the U.S. The show will utilize a million square feet and all available exhibit space in Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center.

Over 4,500 visitors to the show each year include buyers and executives from virtually all the major supermarket and drug chains, mass merchandisers, club, convenience and specialty retailers, foodservice distributors and wholesalers.

Exhibiting companies will offer up tens of thousands of products – including shelf stable, fresh, frozen and refrigerated food and beverages, as well as health and beauty, OTC, household, cleaning, and general merchandise. Alongside leading American manufacturers, an ever-increasing number of international exhibitors and pavilions will also offer products from Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Turkey, Israel, India, South Korea, Vietnam, China and Taiwan, as well as from Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, Chile and Brazil.

To help buyers navigate the diverse assortment of product offerings, PLMA’s New Product Expo turns a spotlight on the newest products being featured by exhibitors on the trade show floor. In addition, PLMA’s popular Idea Supermarket® showcases store brands programs, products and packaging from more than 50 leading retailers across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Industry statistics year over year show store brands on a strong upward trend throughout the U.S., as sales continue to hit new highs and the growth rate vs manufacturers’ brands continues to widen. Close to one in four products sold in a U.S. supermarket last year was the retailer’s brand and dollar market share reached nearly 20%, while total private label sales for all outlets surpassed US$ 115 billion.

Moreover, the growth and success of U.S. store brands shows no sign of abating. In a recent study of American shoppers, half of those aged 25-45 – the key years for building households and careers – say they buy store brands “always/almost always/frequently” when they shop for groceries. Half again said they recently tried store brands for the first time in categories where they previously only purchased a manufacturer’s brand, and 90% compared the retailers’ brands favorably or “very favorably” to their previous choices.

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


Winners announced for PLMA's Salute to Excellence

Awards for 2015 recognize thirty retail chains and wholesalers
for store brands products in fifty-four categories

NEW YORK - Outstanding store brands products can now be found everywhere across the country and just about anywhere across the retailing spectrum – a reality that is clearly underscored by the winners of PLMA’s Salute to Excellence award for 2015.

The Private Label Manufacturers Association has announced that 30 retail chains and wholesalers throughout the U.S. were selected as the winners of this year’s Salute to Excellence Awards. They ranged from national and regional grocery chains and wholesalers to iconic food and non-food specialty operators; from deep discount stores, convenience stores, and drug stores to operators with strong but less well-known store brand programs. Foodservice and online retail also made the list.

The annual PLMA awards give recognition to new store brands products that exemplify the high quality, innovation and value to consumers that are driving private label sales to new highs year after year.

(Click here to download the complete list of PLMA's Salute to Excellence Winners for 2015)

More than 500 individual product nominations were submitted by supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers and wholesalers from all regions of the country. Products were then subjected to evaluations and judging over a two-day period by eight jury panels consisting of industry professionals as well as consumers. The criteria for the judging include product concept, taste, texture & smell (for food items), packaging & presentation, and value for money.

“Great store brands products and programs have expanded well beyond the exclusive province of traditional grocery chains,” said Brian Sharoff, PLMA. “Retailers and wholesalers of all kinds, in foods and non-foods alike, have embraced store brands as fundamental to their competitive strategy. What we are seeing now is chains having built their store brand programs over the past few years are bolstering them with greater innovation, variety and the infusion of product ingredients of the highest quality. Our list of 2015 winners bears this out.”

Among individual store brands food products cited by PLMA were: Salt & Pepper Cashews; Organic Peanut Butter Dots; Kitchen Sink Cookies; Greek Yogurt Cheesecake, and Cheesecake Caramels. Also, Eggplant Parmigiana Polenta; Thick Cut Barbecue Chips; Yogurt Drizzled Bar, and Roasted Pine Nut Hummus. In non-foods, winners included a Digital Pacifier Thermometer; Express Dry Shampoo; Vanilla Amber Dry Skin Hand Cream, and a Digital Glass Scale.

A special display of the winning products will have prime placement in the lobby of PLMA’s 2015 Private Label Trade Show, November 15-17 in Chicago. PLMA’s Salute to Excellence Awards program also has its own showcase online. For a closer look at all the products and the trends, head to


New PLMA study finds fresh opportunities in grocery perimeter

Store brands expected to grow
as supermarket shoppers want more fresh options in deli, dairy & bakery.

NEW YORK ― A new, nationwide study of buying behavior and consumer preferences in deli, dairy and fresh bakery departments shows that shoppers want more fresh food options and less work in the kitchen. Commissioned by the Private Label Manufacturers Association, the study was conducted by Surveylab, a specialist in online market research, and covered attitudes of 800 primary grocery shoppers in the U.S.

One big beneficiary of the trend, according to the results, would be store brands. More than half of respondents say that they buy more private label now than they did five years ago, and 44% of the survey say that they currently buy store brands either always or frequently. Frequency of buying is even higher in deli, dairy and bakery where it reached 47%.

(Click Store Brands Deli, Dairy & Bakery to download survey highlights)

“Consumers are making it clear they want convenience and speed in meal preparation,” explained PLMA President Brian Sharoff. “and this is creating highly profitable opportunities for retailers to respond with their own brands.”

In the PLMA study, shoppers for deli, dairy and bakery were asked “Which products would you like to see more of?”

• In deli, convenience was the number-one demand, with four in ten respondents opting for “more items that can save me time at home.” Following closely, were “more restaurant quality items” and “heart healthy items, such as low sodium.”

• In the dairy department, a better assortment topped shoppers’ desires, with 35% of survey respondents wanting to see more variety in general, and 38% saying they would like greater variety of cheeses in particular.

• When it came to the bakery, shoppers had an eye on freshness and health issues foremost, with 31% saying they would like more items baked on-site and 31% likewise opting for products containing “less fructose, sugar, corn syrup and bad fats.” With one in four shoppers, more nutritional and freshness information, greater variety of portions, and more emphasis on healthy ingredients were also in demand.

Among improvements shoppers would most like to see at the supermarket perimeter, product sampling and demonstrations ranked high across all three departments. In the deli, faster service and more nutritional information about deli products were wanted improvements.

The study is part of PLMA’s plan to spotlight store brands deli, dairy and bakery at this year’s Private Label Trade Show, to be held November 15-17 in Chicago.

“Deli, dairy and bakery are among the fastest growing sections at the annual show,” said PLMA’s Sharoff. “We are seeing more companies in these categories who are interested in exhibiting than ever before. One thing we have learned from past shows, is that when companies want to exhibit, it usually means growth in the categories at retail.”


PLMA launches
PLMA Live in Europe.

Video news and information for the international private label industry
will be available in five languages.

NEW YORK ― If you want to know what is happening in retailing and private label in Europe, then should be your first stop.

The program, entitled “The World of Private Label Today,” is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The online video news program is written and produced in Amsterdam and edited in New York. The series is hosted by Judith Kolenburg and Edgar Elzerman, and will be distributed monthly.

Edgar Elzerman, a retail and private brand consultant, was formerly vice president for Ahold own brands, having served with the company from 1994 through 2013, including positions as director of business development and as senior director for global projects. Judith Kolenburg was formerly director for PLMA International offices in Amsterdam before becoming PLMA administrator for special projects, where she continues to lead research services.

PLMA’s World of Private Label Today focuses on major industry headlines, such as the merger of retailers Ahold and Delhaize Group. Another regular feature is analysis of markets across Europe where private label may be poised to grow.

     Editors' note:      Follow links below to view PLMA Live Europe in your language of choice.

“The creation of reflects important trends taking place in retailing in Europe,” explained PLMA president Brian Sharoff. “We are seeing many well-known supermarkets joining together in buying alliances. We are seeing significant cross-border expansion by discounters, like Aldi and Lidl. At the same time, we are seeing large retailers withdrawing from emerging markets and concentrating their efforts inside their home countries. It is a dynamic situation which will have its impact sooner or later on U.S. retailing.”

PLMA Live was started in the U.S. in 2011 to offer industry news programming online via video streaming at The monthly content includes the main Newsdesk, as well as individual reports by industry commentators like Brad Edmondson, former editor of American Demographics; Christopher Durham, founder of My Private Brand, and Dr. Kantha Shelke, who covers science and technology.

The staff includes Robert Vosburgh, formerly with Supermarket News, who is PLMA Live News Director. Len Lewis, Roy White and David Merrefield are contributing editors. Tim Simmons, Vice President/Communications at PLMA, hosts his own monthly interview program and oversees content and production. Sonia Petrocelli is the series producer. Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff are co-anchors of the U.S. Newsdesk.


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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