Frankly Speaking

November 18, 2010
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Let The Show (The PLMA Show, That Is) Begin!

Are you reading this issue as you arrive at PLMA’s annual convention in suburban Chicago? If so, welcome to the Windy City. I hope to meet and speak with many of you during the conference. We want to hear what you think the world of private label will be like in 2011 and beyond. 

Private label has been on a roll because of the recession but I know that the recession, while already officially over, will end from a psychological standpoint eventually as well and then private label will be challenged to hold onto market gains it’s achieved and also to continue expanding. 

Offering quality products that consumers want, at prices they’re willing to pay, is the simple answer for how to achieve those goals. But the devil always is in the details. Traditional food retailers such as supermarkets need to balance how aggressively they push private label against the forces, and financial incentives, of national brands.  Those retailers walk a brand tightrope with their private label offerings. 
Others, such as Target which is profiled in our cover story, are more likely to continue as private label zealots. Target and similar mass merchandisers see food as a way to get people to come to their stores more frequently, so keeping national food brand makers happy isn’t as key an issue for them. 
Then there are retailers like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Aldi which have adopted the European model of being primarily private label and have been successful doing that. They’re sure to continue private label marketing efforts as are drugstores which also see private label as a shopper lure. This is a short way of saying there’s much to discuss about private label, discussions that will likely fill the corridors at PLMA.

If you haven’t made the journey to PLMA, fear not, we’ll be there in force. Our offices are only a few minutes north of the Rosemont Convention Center where PLMA is hosting the private label world, so we’ll have our full staff there, reporting daily on for you. Our weekly e-newsletter, eReport, will be recapping that coverage as well. 

And we’ve structured this issue as a look at the world of private label on display at PLMA. We have more category reviews, more special reports and a PLMA show section looking at new product introductions, all packed into this super-sized issue for you. 

We also bring you our annual PL Buyer Packaging Awards. As we’ve done throughout this year, the awards special report includes more than  PL Buyer ever has offered. We’ve created award categories to better segment entries. And we’ve added guest columns by packaging designers that will help you as you design and/or evaluate new packaging.

As the private label world continues to grow and evolve so will PL Buyer in all its forms - online, in print and electronically. Enjoy the show and enjoy what we have for you.

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