Store Brands' Popularity Leads to Expansion of 2010 PLMA Show

November 5, 2010
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Part 1:


As private label is reaching new levels of shopper acceptance, the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) is gearing up for its annual private label trade show Nov. 14-16 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

For the last 30 years, the PLMA trade show has documented the growth and expansion of store brands. The show presents more than 2,000 exhibit booths annually from the leading manufacturers of private label goods.

This year, it’s on course for further growth, with total exhibit space running 5 to 10 percent ahead of last year’s pace as this issue went to press. The organizers lay the credit for those gains at the feet of sustained consumer interest and acceptance of private label products, as well as to the focused efforts by retailers to innovate and expand their store brands programs.

Store brands have enjoyed an exceptional period of growth recently, as sales gains across all three of the major retail channels - supermarkets, drug store chains and mass merchandisers - have outstripped national brands in consecutive sales quarters stretching back to the start of 2008. In the most recent quarter for which statistics are currently available, store brands posted overall sales growth of 2 percent, while national brand sales declined by 1.6 percent. Store brands today account for virtually one of every four products sold in supermarkets.

More than 4,500 visitors - retailers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, brokers, suppliers and others - attend the show each year.

Exhibiting companies at the show produce store brands across virtually all food and non-food product categories.

On the food side, the show floor offers ingredients and prepared foods, snacks, gourmet and specialty items, and more. On the non-food side, the show includes health and beauty care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, vitamins & nutrition, household, kitchen and cleaning products, DIY and general merchandise.

International companies have expanded their participation in recent years and will continue to do so in 2010. Exhibitors from more than 35 countries will be represented, including Canada, Mexico, Italy, France, Brazil, China, Taiwan and India.

Four exhibit halls will feature:

• Food and Beverages

• Fresh, Frozen and Refrigerated Foods

• Non-Foods

• PLMA’s Innovation Hall


First introduced a year ago as a unique show-within-a-show, Innovation Hall will again highlight companies that provide services and expertise focusing on innovation, marketing and design, research and consulting, product development, software and technology, logistics, testing and certification, packaging, store design, merchandising and promotion.

For more information about PLMA’s 2010 Private Label Trade Show contact PLMA at (212) 972-3131 or visit

And keep reading here as well. In this, PL Buyer’s pre-show special report, we bring you:

• The PLMA show schedule

• The list of past show exhibitors and attendees

• Highlights from PLMA’s recent report

• Stories that PL Buyer’s eReport e-newsletter has done this year on PLMA research into private label

• A visitor’s guide to the sights and sounds of Chicago


Part 2:


Insights from PLMA’s Industry Roundtable


The following appeared in PLMA’s “Store Brands 2010: Post-Recession Strategies for Private Label” report issued in September. The report reflected views of a panel of industry experts assembled by the association. Key findings include:


1. The recovery is starting for some consumers.


Q. Looking back over the past several months,

would you say recent economic conditions have…


• Improved    20%


• Stayed the same     41%


• Gotten worse          36%


2. Supermarkets are offering many

ways for shoppers to save money.


Q. Which of the following ways, if any, has your supermarket or grocery store helped you through

the economic recession?


• By offering more frequent sales, coupons and

   special promotions            87%


• By introducing low-price branded

products         83%


• By lowering everyday prices on the products

   you regularly buy 82%


• By improving the range and selection of store

   brand products available 77%


• By providing information on ways that you can

   manage your budget and save money    55%


3. The recession caused shoppers to change their buying habits.


Q. In response to the recession, would you say that economic conditions required you to make changes in your shopping or food buying habits?


• Have changed buying habits         63%


• Have not changed buying habits 37%

4. They are now trying many ways to save money.


Q. Which of the following ways, if any, describes how your shopping or food buying habits have changed?

(Asked of those who answered “yes” to the previous question.)


• Cut back on money spent on restaurants, fast

   food and take out   91%


• Keep a shopping list and avoid buying on

   impulse        88%


• Cut back on more purchasing expensive items

   such as fish, meat, prepared meals and

   convenience            81%


• Buy store brands more often than

   before          73%


• Shop at a variety of stores to find the best

   price            67%


• Buy more canned, bottled or packaged foods and

   ingredients as opposed to buying convenience

   or ready-to-eat product    66%


• Buy the store brand in product categories where 

   you used to buy only the national brand            66%


• Clip and use coupons for items    63%


• Delay buying regularly purchased groceries until

   you can buy them on sale 58%


5. The growth for store brands is likely

to continue.


Q. Looking forward to year ahead, with respect to all stores where you shop, do you think that you will be purchasing…


• Buying more store brand products than you do

   now 12%


• Fewer store brand products than you do

   now 5%


• About the same amount of store brand

   products      83%


6. The new shopping habits will remain after the economy improves.



Q. For each of the changes described, do you think your new shopping or food buying habits will continue even after the economy returns to normal?


• Try to keep a shopping list and avoid buying on

   impulse        91%


• Clip and use more coupons for items you want

   to buy          90%


• Shop around at a variety of stores to find the  

   best price    86%


• Delay buying regularly purchased groceries until

   you can buy them on sale 81%


• Buy more canned, bottled or packaged foods and

   ingredients as opposed to buying convenience or

   ready-to-eat products       80%


• Buy the store brand in product categories where

   previously only purchased the national

   brand           79%


• Buy store brands more often than before          76%


• Cut back on money spent on restaurants, fast

   food and take out   76%


• Cut back on purchasing more expensive items

   such a fish, meats, prepared meals and 

   convenience foods 73%


• Buy the store brand in product categories where

   you used to buy only the national brand            79%


7. Shoppers are looking beyond the economy to health-related issues.



Q. How important to you are the following specific health-related issues in making choices about which food products to buy?


Calories and Fat Intake

Very important          51%

Somewhat important            31%


Sugar Content

Very important          49%

Somewhat important            29%


Very important          46%

Somewhat important            24%



Very important          46%

Somewhat important            16%


Salt Intake

Very important          45%

Somewhat important            28%



Very important          40%

Somewhat important            20%


Food Allergies

Very important          25%

Somewhat important            12%


Gluten Content

Very important          18%

Somewhat important            18%


8. Product package labels help shoppers make decisions.



Q. Would you say you receive sufficient information from product labels and packaging to help you make informed decisions about which food products?


• National brands and store brands both provide

   sufficient information equally      65%


• Neither national brands nor store brands provide

   sufficient information        18%


• Store brands more so than national

   brands         6%


• National brands more so than store

   brands         6%


9. Supermarkets are offering more health-related information.



Q. Whether through in-store signage, demonstrations, or printed information such as flyers or mailings, would you say that the supermarkets or grocery stores where you shop are now providing you with more information on the nutrition and healthfulness of the products they sell?


• Offering more information            78%


• Compared to five years ago          70%


• Compared to a year ago    51%


Source: Store Brands 2010: Post-Recession Strategies for Private Label

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