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HORMEL LAUNCHES COMMERCIAL RETAIL TEAM

(Austin, Minn.)óThe Specialty Foods group of Hormel Foods is launching its new Commercial Retail team, formerly known as the Corporate Brands team. ďThe new Commercial Retail name really describes what this group is all about,Ē said Mark Nellermoe, General Manager of Specialty Products at Hormel Foods. ďThis team is a fantastic resource to help our partners grow their private label brand strategies. We have many iconic brands at Hormel Foods and our retail partners can profit from our knowledge and experience to help grow their sales.Ē The team is launching a new website at www.hormelcommercialretail.com and can also be accessed at www.hormelspecialtyproducts.com.


MOUNT FRANKLIN FOODS ADDS CANDY PLANT

(El Paso, Texas)óMount  Franklin Foods, LLC, is adding a fifth food manufacturing plant and its first candy making facility to be located in the U.S.. Through an investment expected to total $10 million, the plant will be updated with state-of-the-art equipment, allowing the company to add vitamin gummies and other fortified products as well as organic and natural fruit snack items to its product portfolio. The facility, in Sumter, S.C., which belonged to the former Auísome Candy Company, is on track to be operational by the end of the second quarter of 2017.  Mount Franklin Foods is a North American manufacturer of confections and nut products serving major retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors.


NASSAU CANDY ACQUIRES HOBBS AND DOBBS ASSETS

(Hicksville, N.Y.)óNassau Candy, a supplier of candy and chocolate, said it acquired certain assets of Los Angeles-based Hobbs and Dobbs Inc., a distributor in the specialty candy and novelty markets since 1978. ďThe acquisition is highly synergistic with many of our candy vendors, plus further expands our channels of distribution and product assortment,Ē said Randy Goldbaum, Nassau Candyís Vice President of Confectionery Sales.


COTT ACQUIRES S&D COFFEE &TEA

(Toronto)óCott Corp. has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire S&D Coffee & Tea, a coffee and tea manufacturer and supplier to restaurants and convenience stores, for a purchase price of approximately $355 million on a debt and cash free basis. S&D, based in Concord, N.C., will become a subsidiary of Cott and continue to operate under the S&D Coffee & Tea name. ďThe acquisition of S&D enables us to become a leading player in the coffee and tea categories due to their excellence as a manufacturer and their prominence as an elite supplier in the restaurant and convenience retail segments,Ē said Jerry Fowden, Chief Executive Officer of Cott.


SLIVA NAMED PRESIDENT OF TREEHOUSE FOODS

(Oak Brook, Ill.)óTreeHouse Foods announced that Christopher Sliva was elected President of the company. Most recently, Sliva served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of TreeHouse and President of Bay Valley Foods. In this broadened capacity, he will have operating responsibility for both Bay Valley Foods and TreeHouse Private Brands. Sliva joined TreeHouse in 2012 from Dean Foods where he held various positions. ďChrisí contributions over the last four years have both strengthened and advanced our organization and culture,Ē said Sam Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TreeHouse.


BERNER NAMES MULLANE VP OF PRIVATE LABEL SALES

(Dakota, Ill.)óBerner Food and Beverage LLC, manufacturer of shelf-stable dairy-based food products and beverages, has appointed Todd Mullane Vice President of Private Label Sales. In his new position, Mullane will be responsible for developing annual strategic sales and marketing plans, as well as developing and implementing strategies to expand the existing Berner customer base. He will also be responsible for leading the sales, marketing, customer service and product development teams to accomplish both short- and long-term goals.




PLMA drums up a Store Brands Jamboree to beat the band

Trade show for 2016 was a celebrated of record size and attendance

CHICAGO - PLMAís 2016 Private Label Trade Show is the one industry event where private label producers across every food and nonfoods category offer their manufacturing capabilities and expertise, exhibiting tens of thousands of products that will carry the retailerís brand.

As store brands sales surpassed $118 billion annually according to latest industry data, the PLMA show presented an all-time record total of 2,820 exhibit booths from 1,409 companies, representing growth of about +6% in total exhibitors compared to last yearís event.

Joining manufacturers from across the U.S. on the trade show floor were seventeen international and two regional pavilions featuring exhibitors from Canada, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam among others. Over 56 countries overall were represented throughout the show floor.

In two major exhibition halls companies offered foods and beverages that range from shelf-stable and frozen to chilled and fresh prepared foods Ė including fresh deli, diary & bakery items. A third major exhibition hall was devoted entirely to nonfoods, including health and wellness products, beauty and personal care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, pet care, kitchen and household, paper and plastic, and general merchandise.

The PLMA show year after year draws the largest attendance of store brands buyers in the Western Hemisphere, as the products continue to rack up sales records across the major retail channels. Total visitor registrations were about 5,250 according to show organizers. Their number included buyers and executives from virtually every major supermarket and drug chain, mass merchandiser, club, convenience and specialty retailer, foodservice distributor and wholesaler. Total show attendance exceeded 10,500.

For retailers seeking to expand their private brands to new categories and marketing concepts, PLMA offered special exhibits to help buyers navigate the enormous and diverse assortment of offerings on the trade show floor. PLMAís New Product Expo put a spotlight on the newest submissions from exhibiting companies In addition, 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.

More than 1,000 attended an opening breakfast, which featured a keynote speech by Chris Wallace, the popular host and anchor of Fox News Sunday and moderator for the third and final presidential debate. Additional speakers and seminars focused attention on the most significant retail trends for 2107, as well as the latest consumer research and emerging store brands opportunities.

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For additional information on the growth of store brands or to schedule an interview with PLMA President Brian Sharoff, contact PLMAís press representative at (212) 972-3131, or email dtwining@plma.com


New PLMA Study: America's Eating Habits Are Changing

Millennials are changing the way America eats, and all-day snacking is just part of the story

NEW YORK Ė How can supermarkets attract the newest generation of grocery shoppers, the much-publicized millennials, and turn them into loyal customers? Thatís probably the biggest strategic question facing retailers today and new research suggests that the answer may be found in the fresh departments along the store perimeter.

A nationwide survey of more than 1,800 shoppers by the Private Label Manufacturers Association reveals that millennials love food but want food done their way. Fresh and healthy foods are at the top of their shopping lists, while prepared and portable foods are also very popular.

These food choices reflect a distinctive way of eating. For millennials, eating is largely unscheduled. They incorporate food consumptionówhether meals, snacks or bitesóinto a range of everyday activities, ranging from work and play to exercise and commuting, according to the research in PLMAís latest report ďHow Americaís Eating Habits Are Changing.Ē

This new way of eating offers a significant opportunity for the supermarketís dairy, deli and bakery departments. While millennials purchase from many different sources, they frequently shop at supermarkets. And once inside the store they often head to these three departments. The study found that three-quarters of shoppers buy deli items in the supermarket where they do their regular grocery shopping, 77% buy dairy items and 59% buy bakery items.

Reflecting their on-the-go eating habits, one third ďalways or frequentlyĒ purchase heat-and-eat food from the supermarket, 29% pick up prepared or ready-to-eat food, and 27% buy grab-and-go prepared food items from a source such as a supermarket or convenience store. Millennials are a generation of nibblers and experimenters, so in-store sampling and demonstrations are popular.

Home or away, meals or snacks, this age group is drawn to all things fresh. On occasions when they eat at home, including meals and snacks, 57% of them ďalways or frequentlyĒ opt for fresh fruits, 35% for fresh baked bread products, 30% for fresh prepared meals and 30% for fresh and chilled deli salads.

The PLMA study indicates there is likely to be a big payoff for supermarkets who successfully adapt to the new eating habits of the millennials. Contrary to expectations, these shoppers are more loyal to their favorite stores than their parents. Nine of 10 do their regular grocery shopping in only one or two stores. This represents a dramatic departure from recent PLMA studies that saw consumers spreading their shopping among a multiplicity of stores.

This loyalty has important implications for store brands. As they select products, millennials are well informed about brands, including store brands, and where foods come from. Nine of 10 say they are aware of the ingredients in the food products they eat and three of four read the nutritional labels on products. Their awareness of store brands and national brands is virtually the same at 84% vs. 86%.

Commenting on these findings, Brian Sharoff, President of PLMA, said, ďStore brands remain the retailerís most potent weapon in developing strategies for this age group. It offers flexibility and opportunities to be creative with product assortment and concept without waiting for national brands. But it requires an understanding of what this age group likes and will buy.Ē

PLMA commissioned Surveylab to conduct a comprehensive, nationwide online survey of 1,839 shoppers (931 women, 908 men) between the ages of 20 and 29, primarily the core group of the Millennial generation. This demographic group represents upwards of 50 million Americans, or about 15% of the total population. In number of participants, this is the largest survey PLMA has ever commissioned in the U.S.

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PLMAís International Salute to Excellence recognizes the best store brands wines

Lidl and Aldi win 5 awards each. Trader Joeís, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart win among U.S wines

NEW YORK - With wine sales worldwide reaching more than $125 billion, supermarkets now account for approximately 25% market share and retailersí own private label has surged to over 50% in major countries like Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy. While the U.S market still represents a fraction of that penetration, the question is which retailers are offering consumers the best quality and best value.

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) decided to find out and opened its annual Salute to Excellence Awards to a competition of reds, whites, roses and sparkling wines. The results were eye-openers, too, for those who believe that only expensive wines please the palate.

More than 250 wines from retailers in 16 countries were tasted and tested. Discounters Lidl and Aldi, two of the most successful retailers in Europe, won five awards apiece. Traditional supermarkets like Carrefour in France and Tesco in the UK also received recognition in popular wine categories. Among U.S retailers, Trader Joeís, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart were honored.

The top vote getter for quality was Aldi from the United Kingdom for Freemanís Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and for value, the top vote getter was Mercadona from Spain for its Arteso Crianza 2013 Rioja DOC.

The winning U. S wines were TJís Grand Reserve Chardonnay Chalk Hill Sonoma County 2014 (best quality in the Chardonnay category); Whole Foodsí Criterian Chianti Classico 2011 (best quality in Chianti category); and Wal-Martís Oak Leaf Shiraz (best value in the Shiraz category).

Wines were judged on the basis of traditional criteria such as appearance, taste, smell, and general impression. Points were also awarded for packaging and shelf appeal. Wines were divided into the following categories. Red wines were: Merlot, CŰtes du RhŰne, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Chianti, Barolo, Rioja, and Shiraz. Whites were Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, GrŁner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Chablis and Rosť. Sparkling were Champagne and Prosecco.

Judges for the awards were selected from professionals in the wine industry as well as retail industry specialists. Each panel was led by a Wine Master. Panel 1 was led by Cees van Casteren of The Netherlands who has written ten books and more than 500 articles on wine and food. Panel 2 was led by Sarah Abbott of the U.K., who has been active in the wine trade for more than 20 years and serves as a judge in several wine competitions. Michel Polderman, formerly in charge of wine purchasing at Albert Heijn, author and wine competition organizer, supervised the workings of both panels.

Other judges included Jose Luis Murcia Garcia of Spain, Jakub Prybil of Czech Republic, Helmut Knall of Austria, Alma Torretta of Italy, Sigi Hiss of Germany, Beverly Blanning of the U.K., Jean-Pierre Bonvallet of France, Wojciech Bonkowski of Poland, Rene van Heusden of The Netherlands, and Alain Bloeykens of Belgium. American judges included Phil Russo, Edward Salzano, and Laurence Markowitz.

The wine panels were part of PLMAís annual International Salute to Excellence Awards, in which retailers submit new and innovative private label products for industry recognition. More than 370 food, home and health products from 63 retailers in 23 countries were considered for awards in addition to the wine competition.

PLMAís Salute to Excellence Awards were established in 2006. The International Awards were started in 2014. Wines selected for the judging were purchased off the shelves of retailers as would be available to typical consumers. Judging took place in Amsterdam on April 6-7.

(Click here for the complete listing of wine categories and winning retailers for quality and value)

Commenting on the wine competition, Brian Sharoff, president of PLMA, said: ďThe role of supermarkets in the marketing of wine is growing more important as shoppers seek good quality and good price. The retailerís private label has given consumers the confidence that they can select top wines without paying a premium for branding. This yearís Salute to Excellence gives recognition to those retailers who are doing an excellence job with their wines and encourages other retailers to match or exceed those standards.Ē

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Store brands growth continues says PLMA 2016 Yearbook

Store brands set new mark for sales in combined channels according to Nielsen

NEW YORK - Store brands sales reached $118.4 billion in 2015, an all-time record and an increase of +$2.2 billion over the previous year. In the past two years alone, annual sales are up +5%, or +$5.4 billion, in the major retail channels, according to PLMAís 2016 Private Label Yearbook.

Store brands dollar share came to 17.7%, also the highest mark ever. Across all outlets combined store brands sales grew +2%, a performance that equaled that of national brands, which also rose +2%.

In unit sales, both store brands and national brands were off fractionally, less than a half percentage point each. Unit sales of store brands were almost 44 billion, nominally on par with last year. As a result, store brand unit share held at 21.1%.

The PLMA Private Label Yearbook compiles sales data provided by Nielsen for the 52 weeks ending December 26, 2015. The industry annual has become the benchmarking standard for retailers and suppliers. Nielsen sales and market share statistics are reported for more than 700 food and nonfood product categories.

Looking at supermarkets, total sales of store brands were $62.5 billion, roughly even with the prior year. Over a two-year period, sales are up in the supermarket channel by +2%, or $1.1 billion. With unit share at 22.9%, nearly one of every four items sold in the countryís supermarkets last year was a store brand. As for drug chains, store brand dollar sales rose nearly a percentage point to $8.4 billion last year, while national brands fell about a point.

Figures for all outlets come from total U.S. supermarkets with annual sales over $2 million, drug chains with annual sales over $1 million, mass merchandisers, club and dollar store channels, and military exchanges.

Looking beyond these traditional outlets and the data available from Nielsen, a more comprehensive figure for annual store brand sales in food and non-food consumables would include an estimated $20 billion or more in revenues from chains that range from no-frills discounters like Aldi and Save-A-Lot, to specialty chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joeís, as well as convenience stores. If counted, these outlets would produce a grand total approaching $140 billion in sales.

Even that total does not take into consideration store brand products sold by chains specializing in office supplies; hardware, tools and do-it-yourself; home improvement, home decor and domestic goods; consumer electronics, baby care, pet care, toys, personal care and sporting goods. These are just a few of the non-grocery retail channels that are marketing a growing variety of store brand items.

Store brands continue to represent outstanding value for consumers. Shoppers could save an estimated $44 billion a year by buying store brand products over national brands, according to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, while market basket research by PLMA consistently reveals that shoppers can save about one-third on basic food and household items in a typical supermarket by opting for the store brand over national brands.

The yearbook is published exclusively online, and access is free to PLMA member manufacturers, brokers and suppliers. Retailers and wholesalers can gain free access to the data and analysis, including new updates every quarter, by logging in at www.askplma.com and following the prompts for Private Label Yearbook. PLMA members can access the online yearbook via PLMA's member services website at www.plma.org.

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