Private Label Buyer
Following the Buzz

The 2013 Private Label Show Arrives

November 6, 2013

his November 17–19, I will be making the journey from New Jersey to Chicago for PLMA’s 2013 Private Label Trade Show. This will be my 5th trip to the show, although some attendees have been visiting for decades. Still, I’m looking forward to meeting up again with industry friends, making new contacts, and seeing the trends for 2014 firsthand.

In a recent conversation with Brian Sharoff, president, PLMA, I asked if he had any tips on how attendees can maximize their time at the show. He told me:

“I think we always try to say the same thing to visitors. Number one, the show runs two days, and you should plan on seeing the show for two days. Give the show the time that you need to see everything at the show. I’m always amazed by retailers and brokers who I see on Tuesday morning and they say, ‘We didn’t realize how big the show was!’ So you’ve got to give the show the time it requires.”

This show will be no expectation. The convention center is expected to have more than 2,300 exhibit booths, making it PLMA’s biggest one yet, surpassing last year’s record-breaking show. More than 4,500 visitors from U.S. supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, convenience and specialty retailers will attend, which will make for a busy show opener.

Make sure you have enough time to see everyone you need to, and then some. Even the booths presenting categories out of your realm can give you insights into what sort of packaging trends, colors, tastes and buzzwords are trending this year, so schedule time to see more then you have to.

PLMA’s Idea Supermarket offers inspiration for anyone, with store brand products and packaging from more than 50 leading retailers across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. PLMA’s New Product Expo, included in the Idea Supermarket, showcases hundreds more new products from exhibitors on the trade show floor.

The Pet Pavilion will be back again this year and will be expanded to call attention to the rising importance of pet foods and pet care. And hey, even if you don’t deal in private label pet-care items, let’s face it, pet-care items can be pretty fun to browse. Last year I even sat next to an adorable dog on the flight home who had attended the show as one booth’s mascot, so you never know what’s in store at the show.

 For more information on PLMA’s 2013 Private Label Trade Show, including the schedule, speakers and more, see our preview on page 33. And please, stop by and visit the PLBuyer staff at booth #F6616. If you’d like to set up a meeting to show me your latest private label product, send an email to

See you at the show!