5,000 Celebrated the Industry’s First In-Person Show Since 2019
PLMA's sold-out 2022 Private Label Trade Show drew large crowds from across the board with retail executives eagerly walking the million square feet of exhibit space knowing they were at the best single place to source quality and on-trend products.
Near record attendance of more than 5,000 and their overwhelmingly positive response to the event confirmed that PLMA’s show is truly the source at the end of the innovation pipeline in today’s thriving store brands industry.
With 1,400 companies and 2,300 exhibition booths the excitement and energy from the show floor could be experienced down the aisles, on social media and from press coverage of the event.
See below what participants and the trade media had to say about the Show.
What the Trade Press is Saying
Winsight Grocery Business editors hunted for trends, with reporting by Heather Lalley, Jeniece Drake and Diane Adam. "With increasing sales of private label brands and 83% of retailers saying they plan to boost their investments in the segment, according to FMI, it’s no wonder the Show was sold out. If we played a drinking game and took a shot every time a grocery executive mentioned surging sales of private label items in recent months, well, we wouldn’t be coherent enough to write this article. 'With rising costs, sticker shock forced consumers to prioritize value over brand name more than ever before,' said Michael Della Penna, chief strategy officer for consumer-intelligence firm InMarket. Trends we spotted: Plant-based items. Honey. Pasta. Wines and spirits. Sustainability."
Getting Back to Business. PLMA's return reminds us of the importance of face-to-face interactions, wrote Greg Sleter, editor of Store Brands. "We’re back! When last the private label industry gathered in Chicago, could anyone have imagined it would be three years before we would be back together? Well, that is indeed the past, and now retailers and suppliers alike are focused on next year as 2022 comes to a close. By now, many of us have likely walked at least one trade show floor this year, and there was something special and familiar about meeting companies at their booth, sampling new products and just enjoying the human interaction that went away temporarily as a result of the pandemic."
From Chris Durham of Velocity Institute: "An excited crowd of private label manufacturers returned to exhibit at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, while the industry walked the aisles of the long-running traditional trade show happy to return to the normalcy of the familiar event. The theme, Consumers Are Back in Charge, is a recognition of the evolving demands of post-pandemic shoppers. Congratulations to PLMA President Peggy Davies and the entire team for weathering the trials and tribulations of the last few years and the return of the Show."
HAPPI reported on The Best of Private Label Cosmetics, Personal Care, OTC and Home Care Products. "A 3-in-1 lip, eye and cheek color from CVS and a biodegradable household cleaner from Sprouts Farmers Market are among PLMA’s 2022 Salute to Excellence award winners for store brand innovation. They join nearly 100 other winners announced at the Show. The awards recognize outstanding food and nonfood products introduced within the last year at supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers and other retailers. More than 725 products from 50 North American retailers were submitted."
Progressive Grocer spotlighted the frozen category, by Lynn Petrak , Senior Editor. Why the Frozen Veg Shelf Set Still Works. Lakeside Foods found that shoppers tend to – and like to shop – by brand at the freezer case. 'We wanted to get a better understanding of the market – how consumers are looking at frozen vegetables and how we can maximize what we offer,' said Becky Logan, of Lakeside, in an interview during the Show. Lakeside determined consumers are sticking to the basics at the point of sale. 'We found that the main purchase drivers are vegetable type and price, and brand falls pretty far down the line. Nearly three-quarters cited vegetable type as an important attribute, followed by price at 45%, package size at 37% and brand at 24%. Only 9% listed organic as their top buying impetus.'
Among international press, Editor 3 reported on nine Guatemalan companies participating for the first time as a pavilion at the Show; El Diario wrote about 13 Colombian agri-food, chemical and science companies at the event supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and ProColombia; Ekapijasaid18 Serbian companies from the food industry sector will present at the National Stand of Serbia at the Show, the first time Serbian companies, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Development Agency of Serbia, are exhibiting at this prestigious world show; and The Olive Press said Junta de Andalucía organized a commercial meeting at the Show in which a hundred B2B meetings were held between eight Andalusian companies and potential US buyers to strengthen the Andalusian agri-food industry in the North American market.
What Attendees are Saying
“…making connections, being able to offer private label options within our production capabilities and understanding consumer buying trends within the industry was pivotal at the show!” Manufacturer
“Plant-based, international, and convenient. That’s how I’d sum up what’s ahead in private brands based on the last few days spent at the PLMA Show.” Wholesaler
“It is a great show to both meet with new vendors and current vendors and see any upcoming innovation.” Retailer
“PLMA’s Trade Show was an amazing event! Our team enjoyed connecting with partners, friends, and meeting new people…” Supplier
“If I find something I like, I ensure my team stops at the booth to have a conversation about the supplier’s capabilities. The Show affords us this unique opportunity to identify new suppliers that have capacity." Wholesaler