PLMA Names Winners of 2019 Salute to Excellence Awards

    Today the PLMA announced the winners of its 2019 Salute to Excellence Awards and it’s clear that retailers are increasingly relying on innovations in private brand products and packaging to attract and keep shoppers.

    PLMA’s annual awards program spotlighted this trend, as more than 750 private brand food and non-foods products were submitted by 62 US and Canadian retailers. The products were evaluated by eight panels of industry professionals and consumers. This year’s judging resulted in 44 food and 23 non-food winners, including gourmet & indulgence, products for healthy eating, plant-based, sustainably sourced and organics on the food side, as well as “free-from,” eco-friendly and more in nonfoods.

    PLMA President Brian Sharoff

    “This year’s Salute to Excellence Awards submissions continue to reflect the shift away from national brands as consumers gravitate to more unique and affordable products from the stores they know and trust,” said PLMA President Brian Sharoff. “Today’s retailers have a good pulse on consumer trends in their particular markets and their store brands are better positioned than the national brands are to satisfy that shopper’s appetite for quality products.”

    Among winners catering to the newest consumer trends were Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic Southwest Style Quinoa, Thrive Market non-GMO Almond Butter, Whole Foods Markets 365 Everyday Value Organic Almond Chocolate Almondmilk, Lidl’s Preferred Selection Fair Trade Dark Chocolate with chili, Boxed Prince & Spring Organic Applesauce Pouches, and SE Grocers Naturally Better Organic Gluten-Free Caramel Crunch Ice Cream. Options for healthy eating included Dollar General’s Good & Smart Dried Apricots and Save A Lot’s Portside Seafood Co Lemon & Pepper Light Tuna Pouch.

    Gourmet-inspired products were winners too. Examples include Wakefern’s ShopRite Trading Company Imported from Italy Basilico Genovese DOP Pesto, Walmart’s Marketside Lobster Bisque, Ahold Delhaize USA (Retail Business Services) Limited Time Originals Limoncello Inspired Granola, 7-Eleven’s 7-Select French Macarons, and Price Chopper’s PICS Chocolate Lovers Single Cup Coffee Assortment.

    On the nonfoods side, award-winning products in personal care focused on appealing fragrances and flavors, such as Target’s Goodfellow & Co Moroccan Mint & Cedar Beard Oil for men and Walmart’s equate Kids 3-in-1 Watermelon Shampoo Conditioner & Body Wash, or focused on clean ingredients such as Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Unscented Shea Butter, Boxed Prince & Spring Paraben-Free Makeup Remover Towelettes, and Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Cavity Fighting & Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste.

    Other nonfoods winners added emphasis on convenience and eye-catching packaging such as CVS’ beauty 360 on-the-go Blender and ALDI Lacura Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen. Winners in household categories capitalized on eco-friendly products like BrandlessTM Cucumber Mint Refillable Glass Cleaner Starter Kit, Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bee & Willow Home Rosemary & Mint Dish Soap, and Albertsons’ Open Nature Compostable Assorted Utensils.

    For a complete list of all retail winners by category, click here

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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.