Private Label Buyer
Special Report: PLMA Preview

The 2013 PLMA Show Takes Shape

When 4,500-plus individuals from across the private label industry descend upon one location to interact, the future of the industry reveals itself.

October 2, 2013

PLMA’s 2013 Private Label Trade Show is expected to be the biggest yet, with more than 2,300 exhibit booths—surpassing last year’s record-breaking show—at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., from November 17–19.

More than 4,500 visitors from leading U.S. supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, convenience and specialty retailers are expected to attend, in addition to key aspects of the industry’s supply chain such as product and ingredient manufacturers, wholesalers, brokers, and importers. In this collective climate, the future of the private label industry reveals itself.

PLMA has secured a lineup of top-notch speakers, including John Shields, chairman and CEO of Trader Joe’s from 1988–2001. He will deliver the keynote for the show, speaking at the opening breakfast on Monday, Nov. 18.

Over the years, Trader Joe’s cultivated a rabid fan base, and Shields created a fertile atmosphere for this growth. He was an old college buddy of Trader Joe’s founder Joe Coulombe during their days at Stanford. Shields helped Coulombe with his original business plan back in the Pronto Markets days, and while Shields took a tack into department store retailing—spending three decades in that channel at Macy’s and Mervyn’s—the two stayed in touch over the years, bouncing ideas back and forth. During his tenure at Trader Joe’s, Shields helped the company grow from an estimated $127 million to $2 billion in annual sales, and from 27 stores concentrated on the West Cost to 174, with locations in most major cities across the country. Today, the iconic specialty retailer boasts over 470 stores in 31 states, with sales exceeding $7 billion.

Robyn Waters, who was Target’s visionary architect of products and design from 1993–2003, will speak during breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 19. She served as vice president of trend, design and product development at Target—the period when Target began developing its own brands. She was credited as the mastermind behind the company’s highly successful “design-for-all” marketing and branding strategy that helped transformed the once-regional discount chain into a national fashion destination.

Waters has since formed RW Trend, where she consults with dozens of major brands and retailing organizations, and has authored two books: “The Trendmaster’s Guide” and “The Hummer and the Mini.”

Once again, PLMA will offer its Executive Education Program on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 16–17, with classes and workshops created specifically for the private label industry in conjunction with St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. (Note: This program requires separate registration from the trade show registration.)

Also again this year, PLMA will offer Sunday afternoon seminars, which will offer insight into store brand sales growth and market trends on Nov. 17. Leading off the program is Todd Hale, SVP for consumer and shopper insights at The Nielsen Company. Speakers to follow include consulting and retail specialist Harold Lloyd, and Brad Edmondson, the former editor-in-chief of American Demographics magazine.

Also on Sunday, PLMA has announced that there will be a special pet care product seminar featuring a panel of industry experts that includes David Lummis, senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts, Serge Boutet of SB Nutrinnov Consultants, and David Murray of Kent Nutrition Group.

Further spotlighting the hot private label pet-care market, PLMA will bring back the Pet Care Pavilion for a second year. Projections are that pet lovers in the United States will spend $55.53 billion on their pets in 2013, representing a gain of nearly 10 percent over the past two years. While pet product categories tend to be dominated by national brands, PLMA believes the opportunity is ripe for private label development, as retailers take note of these trends and look to build loyalty among pet owners to their own brands.

To this end, the Pet Care Pavilion will have an expanded presence for 2013, showcasing products offered across every pet food and pet care category from exhibitors located throughout the show floor. More than 70 exhibitors were featured at the launch a year ago. This year, organizers are setting their sights on signing up a similar number of new exhibitors for the pet-food and pet-care categories.

For information on attending or exhibiting at PLMA’s 2013 Private Label Trade Show, contact PLMA at (212) 972-3131, or email

PLMA’s 2013 ‘Salute to Excellence’ Award Winners

PLMA has announced the winners of its annual Salute to Excellence Awards after two days of tasting and evaluations by jury panels comprised of industry experts and consumers. Honors were spread across 50 products from 32 different retailers. Products earning the highest overall scores included:

• Kirkland Signature Sweet Mesquite Seasoning from Costco Wholesale Club

• Earth’s Pride Black Forest Blend Trail Mix from BJ’s Wholesale Club

• Market District Tuscan Style Kale Salad Mix from Giant Eagle

These three items share a thematic commonality in boldness. Costco describes its Sweet Mesquite Seasoning as “robust and smoky,” while the Earth’s Pride Black Forest Blend Trail Mix gains an edge through use of dark, bittersweet chocolate in the mix. The kale in the seasonal Tuscan Style Kale Salad Mix from Giant Eagle’s Market District gives the product a distinctly healthful, bitter edge.

In the Home & Health category, the top-scoring products were:

• Bright Green Cool Breeze with Bleach Alternative Laundry Detergent from Safeway

• TopCare Premium Blood Glucose Monitor from Topco

• The Living Home 13 Piece Cookware Set from BJ’s Wholesale Club

All of the winning products will be featured inside the Idea Supermarket during the PLMA Show.




Appetizers & Hors D’oeuvres

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market Potato & Pea Samosas

Asian Foods


Archer Farms Garlic, Ginger & Sriracha Cream Cheese Wonton

Breads, Rolls & Muffins


Giada De Laurentiis for Target Herb Focaccia Bread Mix

Breakfast Cereals

Weis Markets

Weis Quality Multigrain Toasted Oats

Breakfast Foods

Wegmans Food Markets

Wegmans Organic Flaxseed Waffles

Cakes & Pies


Ginger Evans New York Style Cheesecake



Nice! Peppermint Sugar Free Mints Tin

Children’s Foods

Winn-Dixie Stores

Winn-Dixie Mango Passion Fruit Pouches



Good & Delish Dark & Twisted Lemon & Black Pepper Dark Chocolate

Condiments & Ingredients

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Sriracha Sauce


The Kroger Co.

Private Selection Dark Chocolate Petit Beurre Biscuits

Dairy Products


Specially Selected Plain Goat Cheese


Northgate Market

G Gonzalez Jalapeño Ranch Dressing

Healthy Eating & Natural Foods

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Earth’s Pride Black Forest Blend Trail Mix

Hot Beverages

Navarro Discount Pharmacy

Vida Mia Café Espresso

Ice Cream & Frozen Novelties

Winn-Dixie Stores

Prestige Raspberry Cone Crunch

Ingredients & Seasonings

Costco Wholesale

Kirkland Signature Sweet Mesquite Seasoning

Lunch Foods

Topco Associates

Boulder Burger Company Bacon & Cheese Burger

Juices & Flavored Drinks


McDaniels Coffee Co. Mocha Iced Coffee

Main Dishes

Wakefern Food Corporation

ShopRite Kitchen Chicken Parmigiana

Mexican/Latin American Foods

Brookshire Grocery Company

Brookshire’s Authentic Picante Sauce

Organic Foods

Western Family Foods

Natural Directions Blue Corn Chips with Flaxseeds



Mantia’s Italiano Whole Grain Spaghetti

Pasta Sauces

Weis Markets

Weis 5 Star Quality Vodka Pasta Sauce


Brookshire Grocery Company

Brookshire’s Rising Crust Supreme Pizza


Metro Richelieu

Irresistibles Triple Chocolate Pyramid Cake

Snacks: Chips & Crisps


The Snack Artist Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips

Side Dishes

Wakefern Food Corporation

ShopRite Sweet Potato French Fries

Snacks: Nibbles & Noshes

Price Chopper

Central Market Classics Chocolate Chunk Mini Biscotti

Sodas & Flavored Waters


Sensations Clementine Italian Soda


The Kroger Co.

Wholesome@Home Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Spreads & Dips

Fairway Market

Fairway Eggplant Caponata


Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle Market District Tuscan-Style with Kale Salad Kit


Topco Associates

Nostimo Black Cherry Greek Nonfat Yogurt




Babies “R” Us

Babies “R” Us Deluxe Healthcare Kit



Ology Lemon Grass & Olive Oil Triple Milled Soap

Beauty Care & Cosmetics

Sephora USA

Sephora & Pantone Universe Colorbyte Lip Wands

Body Care

Wakefern Food Corporation

ShopRite Silky Foam Insoles for Women


H-E-B Grocery Co.

H-E-B Buddy Power Toothbrush for Kids

Hair Care

Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret Hair Beach Hair Wave Spray

Home Décor

Walmart Stores

Mainstays™ Wall Clock

Laundry & Cleaning


Bright Green Cool Breeze with Bleach Alternative Laundry Detergent


Topco Associates

TopCare Premium Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Kitchen & Cooking

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Living Home Kitchen 13 Piece Cookware Set

Men’s Grooming

Rite Aid Corporation

Renewal for Men Hair & Body Wash



Tul Ballpoint Pen Pack


Ahold USA (Giant/Stop & Shop)

CareOne Hair Regrowth Treatment for Men

Paper & Plastic


Up & Up Portion Bag Double Zipper


Dollar Tree Stores

Paws-n-Claws Pet Food Can Covers


Costco Wholesale

 Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes