Chris Wallace to Keynote Annual PLMA Trade Show

chris-wallaceThe Private Label Manufacturers Association announced that Chris Wallace, the Fox television network’s popular host and anchor of Fox News Sunday, will headline the slate of speakers for PLMA’s 2016 Private Label Trade Show, which takes place November 13-15 in Chicago.

Following so closely on the heels of the presidential elections, the business community wants to know what to expect on many big-picture topics: not least the economy, consumer spending, jobs and earnings, trade and government involvement in the private sector, such as regulations on labeling, GMO’s and more. PLMA invited Wallace to share his view of what a new administration taking up residence in the White House could mean for the country moving forward.

Past keynote speakers for PLMA have included media personalities like Lou Dobbs and John Stossel, high-profile business leaders such as Martha Stewart, PayPal President Dan Schulman and Google CIO Douglas Merrill, as well as top retail executives like Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Trader Joe’s President Doug Rauch.

The keynote breakfast, which takes place prior to the PLMA show floor opening on Monday, November 14, is part of a full program of speakers, seminars and workshops that will focus attention on the most significant market trends affecting the private label industry, the latest consumer research and new store brands opportunities.

For the thousands of private label executives who attend the PLMA show each year – including buyers and executive from America’s leading supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandise retailers – registration includes admission to seminars on Sunday November 13, as well as the Monday keynote breakfast and Tuesday’s PLMA Live! Breakfast, where Neil Stern, Senior Partner for McMillan | Doolittle, will be the featured speaker.

Stern’s topic, “Retail Trends to Watch,” continues a longstanding practice for the Tuesday breakfast of offering the latest insights and intelligence as reported by some of the industry’s leading experts on retailing. Past speakers have included senior analysts and advisors from NPD Group, Planet Retail, McKinsey and others.

Kicking off PLMA’s speaker program on Sunday will be the series of afternoon seminars. In the opening session, Ali Dibadj, senior analyst for Bernstein Research, will present a Wall Street and global equities perspective on “The New Mass Market.” Dibadj made waves in financial circles recently by espousing the view that fundamental changes in the consumer marketplace could spell bad news for many major national brands and good news for private label.

Set to follow are three concurrent seminars, which will look at new PLMA consumer research, at pets and pet products, and at latest trends in product packaging:

How America’s Eating Habits Are Changing
A new nationwide survey shows consumers in the key Millennials demographic are writing their own rules when it comes to mealtimes vs eating on-the-go, food preferences and how and where they shop. Kathie Canning, the former Editorial Director of Store Brands magazine, will moderate the discussion of how these shoppers will reset the priorities of retailers and food marketers.

Packaging Trends Revisited
Advances in packaging technology are coming faster than ever – from new package forms and materials to printing capabilities, management systems and more. How can store brands suppliers and retailers keep pace, and leverage the latest developments to drive private label growth? Pat Reynolds, Editor of Packaging World, moderates a panel of packaging experts to find answers.

Even Pets Love Store Brands From the pet aisles of supermarkets and mass merchandisers to pet specialty retailers, store brands are feeling the love of pets, pet-owners and retailers alike. Seth Mendelson, Group Publisher & Editorial Director, Grocery Headquarters & Pet Business, will explore how the focus on better pet health and nutrition, and new premium products are continuing to drive sales and sales growth in pet care categories.

As store brands continue to rack up new sales records across the major retail channels – surpassing $118 billion in the U.S. alone according to the latest industry data – the annual PLMA show continues to draw the largest attendance of store brands buyers in the Western Hemisphere. In two major exhibition halls companies offer foods and beverages that range from shelf-stable and frozen to chilled and fresh prepared foods – including fresh deli, diary & bakery items. A third major exhibition hall is devoted entirely to nonfoods, including health and wellness products, beauty and personal care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, pet care, kitchen and household, paper and plastic, and general merchandise.

Exhibits at the show have grown ten percent overall for the past two years, and with plans for nearly 2800 exhibit stands this November, the PLMA is projecting that 2016 is going to be another record year.

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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.