Frankly Speaking: Let the (PLMA) show begin! And party with us!

March 29, 2012
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This issue of PLBuyer is being distributed at the annual PLMA trade show Nov. 13-15, so it’s likely many of you will be reading this at the show. Welcome to Chicago, our magazine’s home base.

This issue of PLBuyer is being distributed at the annual PLMA trade show Nov. 13-15, so it’s likely many of you will be reading this at the show. Welcome to Chicago, our magazine’s home base. In addition to a preview of the show itself, this issue has a feature on the hottest things to do and see here in the Windy City; we hope you’ll find some time to enjoy what it has to offer.
But while you’re in Rosemont at PLMA, be sure to stop by the expanded PLBuyer booth. It’s the place you’ll be able to see the more than 40 finalists in our PLBuyer Design Excellence Awards. And it’s the place to find out how to get tickets for our special awards ceremony Monday evening.
Winners will be announced that night as will our Best of Show Winner, the packaging design that received the highest overall score from our judges.
This year’s Design Excellence Awards would not have been possible without the massive role taken on by Patrick Rodmell and his incredible team at Watt International. Patrick, CEO at Watt, co-chaired the awards with me, recruiting several of our amazing judges; he also worked with his team to create a judging scorecard which brought a consistency to the judging which had not existed in the past; and he spread the word that the new awards would quickly become the standard for all private label package design contests.
Patrick also has been a guest columnist for PLBuyer and done a fascinating series of podcasts with us that you can hear on our Web site, We’re hoping to launch a new endeavor with him shortly as well.
PLBuyer has brought you a wide range of new offerings this year. While most publications have trouble supporting one Web site, we have two, having launched our private label superstore site ( this year. While others find it difficult to put out one newsletter a week, we increased the frequency of our eReport to twice weekly while also launching a second newsletter, the PLBuyer Superstore Aisle Walk, to drive traffic to our new store site. And we’ve done all this and more with the limited resources that have become de rigueur for every business in these tough economic times.
Speaking of tough economic times, our cover story looks at a food retailer that has been through tough times, made the tough decisions needed to survive, and now, industry watchers tell PLBuyer, is doing what it needs to do to return to business health, using its private labels as key components in its recovery. I’m speaking about Winn-Dixie, which is launching a new store format and a new private label strategy that together spell the beginning of a new Winn-Dixie.
Also in this issue, read what our design judges see as key issues and challenges for private label packaging. And while you’ll be able to see private label items from around the world at PLMA, read our special report on private label in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, and the U.S. Hispanic community. PLBuyer has spanned the globe for you in this issue, all in keeping with our mission of helping you do your jobs better.

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