Private Brand Popularity Pushes Expansion of PLMA’S Trade Show

As Private Brands’ popularity soars among U.S. grocery shoppers, PLMA is gearing for a record-setting Private Brand trade show November 14-16, when the doors at Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center open up to buyers and executives from the top retail chains and wholesalers.

For the last thirty years, the PLMA trade show has documented the growth and expansion of store brands. As the industry’s largest marketplace devoted entirely to Private Brands, the PLMA show presents over 2,000 exhibit booths annually from the leading manufacturers of private label goods.

The show is on a course for further growth, with total exhibit space for 2010 currently running 5% to 10% ahead of last year’s pace. The organizers lay the credit to sustained consumer interest and acceptance of the products, as well as to the focused efforts by retailers to innovate and expand their Private Brands programs.

Private Brands have enjoyed an exceptional period of growth recently, as sales gains across all three of the major retail channels – supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers – have outstripped national brands in consecutive sales quarters stretching back to the start of 2008.  In the most recent quarter for which statistics are currently available, store brands posted overall sales growth of +2%, while national brand sales declined by -1.6%.  Store brands today account for virtually one of every four products sold in supermarkets.

More than 4,500 visitors – retailers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, brokers, suppliers and others – attend the show each year.

Exhibiting companies at the PLMA show produce store brands across virtually all food and non-food product categories. On the food side, the show floor offers every type of food and beverage, including ingredients and prepared foods, snacks, gourmet and specialty items and more.  On the non-food side, the show includes health and beauty care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, vitamins & nutrition, household, kitchen and cleaning products, DIY and general merchandise.

International pavilions and international companies have expanded their participation in recent years and will continue to do so in 2010.  Exhibitors from over 35 countries will be represented, including Canada, Mexico, Italy, France, Brazil, China, Taiwan and India.

Four exhibit halls in total will feature Food and Beverages; Fresh, Frozen and Refrigerated Foods; Non-Foods; and PLMA’s Innovation Hall.

First introduced a year ago as a unique show-within-a-show, Innovation Hall will again highlight companies that provide services and expertise focusing on innovation, marketing and design, research and consulting, product development, software and technology, logistics, testing and certification, packaging, store design, merchandising and promotion.

Prior to the opening of Innovation Hall on Sunday afternoon, November 14, PLMA will present a series of Innovation Seminars & Workshops from 1:00-3:00 pm, offering a range of experts, opinion and insights on the latest trends, technologies, research and growth opportunities for store brands.

Innovation Hall will also be home to PLMA’s popular Idea Supermarket®, comprising 2,000+ exceptional products spotlighting the latest in product concepts, packaging and program innovations from retailers across the country and around the world.

On Monday, November 15, PLMA’s Salute to Excellence Breakfast will offer a Keynote Presentation by Don McGeorge, former Chief Operations Officer of The Kroger Co.

On Tuesday, November 18, PLMA’s annual Retail Trends Breakfast focuses on competitive analysis of today’s major retailing companies and the strategic choices that are shaping their future.

PLMA’s Executive Education Program will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, November 13 & 14, offering retailers and manufactures an opportunity to register for “Weekend with St. Joe’s” – executive level classes and workshops created specifically for the private label industry in conjunction with St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. Meanwhile, SQF and BRC food safety training seminars will be offered by PLMA in conjunction with Silliker, Inc. an industry leader in third-party audit and certification services.

For more information about PLMA’s 2010 Private Label Trade Show and the growth of store brands contact PLMA at (212) 972-3131 or visit

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Christopher Durham
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.