Exhibitors Profile and Product Trends

Exhibitors for PLMA’s 2021 Annual Private Label Trade Show are private label experts supplying store brands products to leading retail and wholesaling companies across the U.S.  Literally thousands of product categories are represented across every food and nonfoods department—from center store groceries and beverages to fresh, frozen and refrigerated, as well as personal care and cosmetics, OTC, baby care, health and wellness, household and kitchen products, pet care, housewares, outdoor and leisure, and more.

In three large exhibit halls separated by food and nonfood, exhibitors range from large, multi-million-dollar U.S. manufacturers to major mid-size and smaller, regional, craft and specialty producers, including exhibitors in national and regional pavilions from countries around the world. They are the companies supplying products for virtually every major retailer’s private brands in the supermarket, mass merchandiser, wholesale club, dollar, drug chain, convenience, specialty, housewares, DIY and online channels.

Spotlight on Hot Product Trends

Every year, visitors to PLMA find hundreds of new exhibitors joining the best-known names in private label, and the same is true this year as well. Here among the multi-billion-dollar categories where store brands are established market share leaders, there are also to be found the hottest growth categories. PLMA will again turn the spotlight on the product innovations and consumer trends that are generating excitement with today’s shoppers and driving big sales gains for store brands.

Healthy Lifestyle
Plant-based, free-from foods and CBD, among other better-for-you product attributes, continue to grow their following among health-conscious shoppers across every demographic. U.S. sales of plant-based foods alone increased by 27% in 2020, bringing the total to $7 billion.

Beauty & Cosmetics
Private label cosmetics and self-care are burgeoning categories for innovative offerings that dovetail with an increasing focus on self-expression by consumers. Alcohol-free skin products are particularly popular, while products that can engage younger shoppers—especially the Instagram and TikTok generation—are in big demand.

Consumers are cooking more family meals and entertaining their friends more at home. Cookware and bakeware are an integral part of that changing domestic lifestyle and retailers in grocery and other channels are adding store brand SKUs for a wide array of kitchen essentials, tools and gadgets to meet the growing demand.

Millions of consumers over the past year discovered the rewards of creating their own restaurant-style cuisine at home with products from their supermarkets. Store brand items that support home cooking combine grocery and foodservice items that appeal to consumers’ newfound appetites with meal kits and components, ready-to-cook menus, and restaurant quality dishes to go.

Sustainable Packaging
Shoppers love packaging convenience and portable packaging for food on-the-go, but they also want what's good for the environment, including source reduction, fewer plastics, more recycled materials and newer sustainable technologies.

Flavors and Ingredients
The food and beverages consumers sought in 2020 embraced familiar, comforting flavor profiles and ingredients, as well as new and adventurous experiences. In 2021, both trends will continue, say experts. Whether driven by nostalgia, ethnic heritage, superfoods, functional beverages or special diets, a host of new flavors and exotic ingredients have gone from niche to mainstream, and great new private label products start with great ingredients.

Pet Care
Some $110 billion will be spent this year on pets in the U.S. Among the growth drivers are the premiumization of pet foods, increased awareness of healthy and unhealthy ingredients, customized pet diets and sustainable sourcing and production. Private label suppliers from every region of the country are supplying store brands that leverage this fast-growing market.

International Products from Far and Near
Products with international flair are booming across the U.S., bringing greater excitement and color to retail shelves. Retailers can find domestic as well as import suppliers for authentic international-style foods—and even nonfoods—throughout the vibrant show floor, as well as the special pavilions from various regions and nations.