Expansion, Innovation Mark 2009 PLMA Show

grocery carts

The growth and success of today’s store brands on the nation’s supermarket shelves and their increasing popularity with consumers has fueled both expansion and innovation for PLMA’s 2009 Private Label Trade Show, presented here November 15-17 at Donald E. Stephen’s Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.

PLMA2009The annual PLMA show is the nation’s largest marketplace for store brands, presenting more than 2,000 exhibit booths from the leading manufacturers of private label products. All major product categories are represented, from food and beverages to health and beauty care and household products. More than 4,500 visitors to the show include buyers and executives from virtually every major retail chain and wholesaler.

Making its debut at this year’s show is PLMA’s Innovation Hall. The new exhibit area highlights companies that provide services and expertise to the private label industry that focus on innovation, including market research and consulting, software and technology, logistics, product development, testing and certification, packaging and promotion, store design and management. The doors to Innovation Hall open on Sunday, November 15, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Rosemont Mayor Bradley A. Stephens at 3 pm central time.

Innovation Hall attractions include the launch of PLMA’s Video Center, an open television studio set where TV cameras have been set to record breaking news from the trade show in real time, along with interviews featuring industry experts for online video streaming at www.plmalive.com.

In addition, an expanded speaker program offers twenty-five speakers and seminars addressing the “How to” of putting innovation into practice. Among the companies presenting are industry leaders in retail consulting, software and technology, marketing and research, packaging, design, merchandising, promotion, and testing and certification. They include A.T. Kearney, Agentrics, Aisle 9 Group, Audit Recovery, Inc., Avery Dennison, BRC Global, Datamonitor, GfK Custom Research, HP Indigo, ILS, Interbrand, Logix 3 LLC, Marketing Management, Inc., MeadWestvaco, Miller Zell, Mintel, The Nielsen Company, North Cliff Consultants, QMI-SAI Global, Retail Optimization, Inc. Silliker, STR – Specialized Technology Resources, united* dsn, Vestcom International, Wallace Church, and Willard Bishop Consulting.

Store brands in U.S. supermarkets reached an unprecedented 23% market share in 2009, according to the latest statistics. Total sales of store brands surpassed $85 billion as industry recorded annual sales gains from 6-10% in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers.

Rather than a temporary effect of uncertain economic times, there are clear indications that retailers are winning new adherents to their brands – even among die-hard national brand loyalists – as more and more shoppers give them a try and find satisfaction with the high quality of the products.

  • Demonstrating the products’ growing appeal to America’s shoppers, the Sept. 2009 Consumer Reports magazine documented in blind tests how consumers time and again found that retailer’s brands were equal to or better than leading national brands in terms of taste.
  • A recent study by GfK Roper found that 91 percent of shoppers who say they switched from buying name brands to buying store brands during the past year will continue buying the store brand after the recession ends. Based on a poll of 800 grocery shoppers, the survey cited quality as a major factor in influencing their purchase decisions.

For more information about PLMA’s 2009 Private Label Trade Show and the growth of store brands visit www.plma.com.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.