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Under the theme of “Store Brands and Beyond,” the show presented retailers and wholesalers in attendance Nov. 15-17 with a total of 2,774 exhibit booths. It was PLMA’s 36th annual event and its largest assemblage ever of store brands manufacturing expertise and capabilities, showcasing 1,339 companies from more 45 countries around the world.
Visitors to the 2015 PLMA show exceeded 4,700 – a record participation that included buyers and executives from all major channels – food, drug, mass, club, limited assortment, convenience, dollar, specialty, online, military – as well as wholesalers, distributors, importers/exporters and brokers. Retailer and wholesaler registrations were up +2.5% over last year’s figures and total registrations saw an increase of +4.2%, resulting in over-all participation in the show by more than 10,500. The total includes all exhibitor personnel, as well as non-exhibiting manufacturers and suppliers, licensing, product development, retail consultants, financial services and others.
The PLMA show has seen significant expansion in recent years as it continues to reflect the growth of the store brands industry. In the last two years alone, PLMA added nearly 250 exhibit booths and expanded by 10% the overall exhibit space to total more than a million square feet within all three halls of the Rosemont Convention Center.
Food and beverage exhibitors – including shelf stable, frozen and refrigerated foods, gourmet and specialty foods, organic and natural, fresh prepared foods and snack foods – accounted for more than 1,700 booths for 2015, with another 700 booths representing exhibitors across all non-foods categories. Additional numbers of both food and non-foods exhibitors were also to be found among 15 national pavilions located throughout the show floor, plus PLMA’s own “World of Private Label” international pavilion.
By percentages, food and beverages were offered by 70% of exhibitors, with another 21% offering non-foods and another 9% comprised of trade suppliers that serve the private label industry – including packaging, design, printing and labeling, ingredients and flavorings, marketing, research, software, logistics and more.
A series of industry speakers and workshops addressed ongoing societal changes, consumer trends, store brands marketing and major industry challenges.
Delivering the keynote address was PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman, who warned that digital commerce is inexorably leading to fundamental changes for the store brands industry as a whole and for how companies go to market. Retail futurist Howard Saunders, president of Twenty Second & Fifth addressed attendees and pointed toward ever-increasing expectations among shoppers for transparency from purveyors of the products they buy and a bespoke customer experience. The program also included a Sunday afternoon seminar on digital retailing strategies, moderated by Jim Wisner, Wisner Marketing Group. The panelists included Heidi Reale of Price Chopper Supermarkets, Brad Robertson of MYWebGrocer, and Colt Reichart, Red Gold.
PLMA launched a multi-year initiative in conjunction with the 2015 trade show, with the goal of increasing representation among store brands suppliers of products for the fast-growing grocery perimeter departments – particularly in fresh deli, dairy and bakery. Another seminar was dedicated to examining the trends driving store brands growth in these departments. The panel, moderated by Robert Vosburgh, news director of PLMA Live!, featured presentations by Paula Summers and Heath Osburn of Food Lion/Delhaize Group, and Lee Smith of Deli Business magazine.
Exhibits that were offered at the trade show included:
Sales of store brands year over year continue on a strong upward trend according to industry statistics, and their growth shows no sign of abating. In a recent study, half of all shoppers aged 25-45 – the key years for building households and careers – say they buy store brands frequently or always when they shop for groceries. In addition, half said they tried store brands recently in categories where they had previously only purchased a national brand.
To request an interview with PLMA President Brian Sharoff on the growth of store store brand, contact PLMA's press representative (212) 972-3131 or email email@example.com.
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 www.plmawinners.com.
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%.
“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.”
NEW YORK ― If you want to know what is happening in retailing and private label in Europe, then www.plmalive.eu 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.
Follow links below to view PLMA Live Europe in your language of choice.
“The creation of plmalive.eu 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 www.plmalive.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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