PLMA Awards Salute Sobeys Private Label Brands

Mississauga, Ontario , Canada Sobeys’ artisan-inspired Sensations by Compliments Spinach Thin Crust Brick Oven Pizza took home the grand prize in the 2010 Private Label Manufacturers Association, Salute to Excellence Awards in the Pizza (Fresh and Frozen) category.

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) Salute to Excellence Awards is an industry award that gives recognition to retailers who have introduced innovative private label products during the past year.  This year, the PLMA Awards received over 300 nominations in the 24 food categories and 100 in the 8 non-food categories within North America. Only one winner is selected per category.

“We are thrilled this product from the Compliments line was recognized at these awards,” said John Hale, Director of Product Appraisal and Development for Sobeys Inc. “We take the utmost care in developing our private label brands, and are the only grocery retailer in Canada to pass all of our private label products through a sensory trained customer tasting panel.”

Inspired by an old artisan tradition, Sensations by Compliments Thin Crust Brick Oven Pizzas are baked in a true stone pizza oven constructed with clay bricks. As the thin crust moves through the oven, the hot bricks absorb the moisture, perfecting the flavor and texture. The exclusive dough recipe, developed over the course of a year, combined with a time-honored baking process and gourmet toppings, allows these pizzas to achieve a unique crispness and flavor. The pizzas are available in four varieties, including Spinach, Mozzarella Pesto, Pepperoni & Ham, and Mushroom.

Established in 2004, the Private Label Manufacturers Association Salute to Excellence Awards evaluate private label brands from U.S. and Canadian supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers and wholesalers. Criteria for judging food items include retail price; appearance; taste, texture and smell; packaging and presentation and value for money. The winning products were selected by eight panels of professional judges, made up of industry representatives, product development specialists, trade journalists, chefs and consumers from the New York area.

Launched in May 2010, Sensations by Compliments Spinach Thin Crust Brick Oven Pizza is available across Canada at Sobeys, IGA extra, Thrifty Foods, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo and Price Chopper stores.

More information on the complete Compliments line can be found at

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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.