PLMA Celebrates Another Record Breaking Year

\"PLMAThis years edition of the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) 2015 Private Label Trade Show, held in Rosemont, Ill., November 15-17, was another record-breaking event. Themed “Store Brands and Beyond,” the show presented retailers and wholesalers in attendance with 2,774 exhibit booths. It was PLMA’s 36th annual event and its largest assemblage ever of private brands manufacturing expertise and capabilities, showcasing 1,339 companies from more 45 countries.

The PLMA show has seen significant expansion in recent years as it continues to reflect the growth of the store brand industry. In the last two years alone, the show has added nearly 250 exhibit booths and expanded the overall exhibit space by 10% to more than 1,000,000 square feet within all three halls of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

Visitors to the 2015 PLMA show exceeded 4,700, a record participation that included buyers and executives from all major channels, including food, drug, mass, club, limited-assortment, convenience, dollar, specialty, online and military, as well as wholesalers, distributors, importers/exporters and brokers. Retailer and wholesaler registrations increased 2.5% over last year’s figures, and total registrations saw an increase of 4.2%, resulting in overall participation in the show by more than 10,500 attendees. The total includes all exhibitor personnel, as well as non-exhibiting manufacturers and suppliers, licensing, product development, retail consultants, financial services and others.

Food and beverage exhibitors — including shelf-stable, frozen and refrigerated foods; gourmet and specialty foods; organic and natural foods; fresh prepared foods; and snack foods — accounted for more than 1,700 booths for 2015, with another 700 booths representing exhibitors across all non-foods categories. Additional food and non-food exhibitors could be found among 15 national pavilions located throughout the show floor, plus PLMA’s own “World of Private Label” international pavilion.

Food and beverages were offered by 70% of exhibitors, with another 21% offering non-foods. Another 9% comprised trade suppliers that serve the private label industry, including packaging, design, printing and labeling firms; ingredient and flavoring companies; marketing firms and more.

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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.