News Update

Live events back in Amsterdam: PLMA’s “World of Private Label” on schedule for 14-15 December

AMSTERDAM - 23 September 2021 - As the Dutch government announced it is easing COVID-19 restrictions and the first international trade show has already opened its doors at the RAI Exhibition Centre, PLMA’s “World of Private Label” International Trade Show will return to Amsterdam on 14 and 15 December.

“These new measures pave the way for international business gatherings,” PLMA President Peggy Davies said. “I look forward to hearing the buzz of in-person conversations between exhibitors and visitors. We all missed the energy and the dynamics of a live trade show.”

“Back to Business with PLMA” is the theme of this year’s “World of Private Label.” The theme is exceptionally appropriate, as the need to develop contacts and sharing ideas has never been greater. More than 1,700 private label manufacturers from 65 countries have already registered as exhibitors. PLMA expects to welcome nearly 2,000 exhibitors in December, including 45 national and regional pavilions from 30 countries.

Although many restrictions have been eased, PLMA continues its focus on a safe trade show, including extra-wide aisles that will allow international buyers to safely and conveniently walk the show to discover new products and new suppliers. Private label trends like health and wellness, convenience, organic, plant-based and sustainability will be on display. Featured categories include fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods, dry grocery, and beverages as well as non-food, including cosmetics, health and beauty, household and kitchen, home and leisure and housewares and personal protection equipment.

The “New Product Expo” area, centrally located in the RAI Elicium building, features hundreds of products that are new on the market and available from exhibitors. In the same space, the winners of PLMA’s 2021 International “Salute to Excellence Awards” will be showcased. The Salute to Excellence Awards give recognition to outstanding food and non-food private label products that have been introduced by supermarkets, hypermarkets, discounters, drugstores and specialty stores in the past year.

In addition, one day prior to the opening of the trade show, PLMA will hold a special seminar programme at the Forum Centre at the RAI with latest insights and presentations of industry experts.

“I encourage all retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers to come to Amsterdam to reconnect with their international industry colleagues,” said Davies. “PLMA is ready, excited and eager to welcome back the private label industry to its annual trade show.”

For more information on the 2021 “World of Private Label,” including health & safety measures, click here.

Thirty-six retailers win PLMA’s 2021 International “Salute to Excellence Awards” for innovation in their private label products

AMSTERDAM - 1 September 2021 - Three dozen retailers from 17 countries have been named winners of PLMA’s 2021 International Salute to Excellence Awards in recognition of innovation and quality of their own-brand food and non-food products.

Nearly 600 products introduced in the past year were submitted by 62 retailers from 23 countries for consideration in the world’s largest competition dedicated exclusively to own brands, according to the association.

The winning food and non-food products were selected by several panels of judges that included industry professionals such as former retailers, chefs, academics, nutritionists, journalists, and private label adepts.

Of the 101 awards bestowed by PLMA this year, 54 went to retailers in Germany, Ireland, and The Netherlands with, respectively, 23, 17 and 14. The others were divided among chains from southern Europe, Scandinavia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Central Eastern Europe. 

Twelve awards, the most any retailer has won in a single year since the program’s inception in 2014, were handed to Germany’s drugstore Dirk Rossmann. Musgrave Retail Partners from Ireland came away with ten and South African retailer Woolworths received seven. Jumbo Supermarkten in the Netherlands won six while both Dunnes Stores from Ireland and El Corte Inglés from Spain received five.

Other winning retailers were Aldi Stores (Ireland), Asda Stores (United Kingdom), Axfood (Sweden), Action (Netherlands), Carrefour (France), Colruyt (Belgium), Coop Jednota (Slovakia), Coop Trading (Denmark), Dagrofa (Denmark), Delhaize (Belgium), Despar (Italy), Eroski (Spain), Etos (Netherlands), Eva (Ukraine), Globus Sb-Warenhaus (Germany), Hema (Netherlands), Kaufland (Germany), Kesko (Finland), Kruidvat (Netherlands), Marks And Spencer (United Kingdom), Md (Italy), Metro (Germany), Migros Ticaret (Turkey), Migross (Italy), Monoprix (France), Penny-Markt (Germany), Rewe (Germany), Salling Group (Denmark), Sonae Mc (Portugal) and Sopharma (Bulgaria).

“Clearly evident this year in the quality of all the submissions and especially the winners, is a heightened focus on innovation and new product development,” said Peggy Davies, PLMA president. “These private label products demonstrate that all those involved in their development, testing and marketing have their finger on the pulse of important consumer trends.”

In food, winning products include Aldi Ireland’s Specially Selected Halloween Barmbrack, Rossmann’s enerBiO Immunsaft B12 with Shiitake Mushroom extract, Jumbo’s On the Go Lettuce Sushi Wrap with Smoked Salmon, Monoprix’ Brioche with Cereals and Seeds and Musgrave’s Sustainably Hydroponically Grown Italian Salad Mix as well as El Corte Ingles Fuet Snack, and Delhaize’s Veggie Vegan Apero Wings.

In non-food there were awards for Eroski’s Quick Dissolving Toilet Paper for Chemical Toilets, Rossmann’s Organic Menstruation Sponge, Eva’s Super Collagen Seaweed Face Mask, Woolworths Earth Friendly No flush Toilet Drops, Carrefour’s Ecoplanet Cleaning Sponge, and Sonae MC 100% Recyclable Napkins.

Key features of this year’s competition

This year’s competition was especially interesting in view of the impact of COVID and related consumer trends and how they influenced product development and innovation of private label that hit the shelves. Some observations:
•    The high number of sustainable products shows retailers are serious about the planet and environment by looking for alternative growing processes using less water and less carbon footprint through organic and local sourcing.
•    Recycled packaging and organic ingredients are high on the minds of the retailers’ cross-country and cross-category which now seem to be standard with 90-100% recycled packaging material.
•    The following claims were widely noted: local and organic, 100% biodegradable, 100% compostable, 100% vegan, 99% natural ingredients, no plastic, ECO and perfume and allergy free.
•    In food trendy flavours like turmeric and ginger are still in place.
•    New flavours like pink grapefruit with coriander and mayonnaise with beetroot were clear.
•    Healthy food and healthy food choices were noticeable in many categories by claiming less sugar, less fat and less calories.
•    Plant-based meat is growing in all meat varieties like plant-based sausages, minced meat, plant-based chicken wings and plant-based stew “meat” next to the "regular" plant-based burgers with a focus to vegans ánd flexitarians.
•    Very remarkable this year the continuous indulging food trend however with a twist; highly indulging gourmet products from organic ingredients, regionally sourced or vegan alternative.

“Thanks to all participants in this year’s programme, and congratulations to the winning retailers,” added PLMA president Davies. “To reduce carbon foot prints the increase in sustainable and environmentally friendly products in food and non-food categories validates the shift retailers are making to moving toward a cleaner planet.”

PLMA’s International “Salute to Excellence” Awards were established in 2014. To see all laureates of PLMA’s 2021 International Salute to Excellence Awards go to www.plmasalute.com.

Private label maintains strong position across Europe

AMSTERDAM - 13 April 2021 - Retailer brands sustained their market share position above 30% in all but two of the eighteen European countries surveyed by Nielsen in 2020 for PLMA’s 2021 International Private Label Yearbook. Nearly half of the countries reached market shares above 40%, whereas the majority showed a positive market penetration.

According to Nielsen’s data, Fresh & Frozen, Dairy and Health & Beauty are the top 3 product categories registering highest positive growth among the 18 countries.

“While taking account of multiple interruptions and ambiguities amidst the pandemic,” commented PLMA President Peggy Davies “the statistics for 2020 are an affirmation of consumers’ continuing trust in retailer brands.”

In Europe’s largest retail markets, Germany and the United Kingdom, the private label share stayed well above 40% and retained its strong position.

France reported a significant growth of 7 points to 38.5% market share boosted by the inclusion of sales from discounters, proximity stores and drives in the count by Nielsen for the first time.

In Belgium, market share for retailer brands showed a slight decline which is mainly due to the decline in sales of confectionery and snacks in the country, according to Nielsen findings, while in the Netherlands a slight growth was tracked to 37.1% market share.

In Spain and Switzerland with approximately 50% private label unit market share, nearly half of all products sold are a retailer brand.

Portugal presented the strongest growth under equal research conditions and climbed to a 45% share, sustained by growth of nearly 5 points in total in four years since 2016.

In Central and Eastern Europe, a strong private label market is evident since Nielsen first reported data for the region in 2003 with market shares above 40% in Austria and above 30% in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The biggest increase was registered in Hungary. The country saw a 1.4% growth to 36.2% market share, its highest private label market share and growth ever listed.

Sweden led the way in Scandinavia, with market share climbing 1 point to 34% for the first time, while Finland stayed above 30%.

In the Mediterranean, market shares were able to hold their position of 30% in both Turkey and Greece. In Italy, private label continued the trend upward in 2020, going to a 22.6% market share.

According to Peggy Davies: “Private label succeeds in maintaining its strong position, even in saturated markets, and shows that retailers’ brands remain a primary option in the minds of the consumers. In many countries private label shoppers continue to choose private label above A-brands.”

Back to business with PLMA - New Dates for PLMA’s 2021 “World of Private Label” Trade Show

AMSTERDAM - 16 March 2021 - The Private Label Manufacturers Association announces that its 2021 “World of Private Label” international trade show, which was originally scheduled for May this year, will now take place on 14-15 December at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam.

“We are very excited to return to holding an in-person trade show in 2021, even if it is later than originally planned”, said Peggy Davies, president of PLMA. “The PLMA team and its partners are fully motivated and eager to welcome the trade back to business in Amsterdam.”

According to PLMA, the show’s physical configuration and safety policies are being organised as consistent with all COVID-19 government regulations and protocols: Extra-wide aisles, hygiene toolkits on stands, safe catering and stand design setups, are some of the measures to be expected.

“The show floor will be adapted to the new social distancing rules whilst maximising all available space to provide the best possible in-person experience”, explained Peggy Davies.

For more than 35 years, PLMA’s “World of Private Label” has been the world’s largest trade event dedicated to private label, presenting large numbers of experienced member manufacturers, and welcoming retail and wholesale buyers from all over the world. In 2019, 2.700 companies from 70 countries were exhibiting at the RAI in Amsterdam and visitors totalled 15.000 from 120 countries.

PLMA’s online Roundtable Conference shows agility and success into the “new normal”

AMSTERDAM - February 2021 - PLMA’s 2021 International Roundtable Conference, which took place 17-18 February, was hosted online, and it has been a great success, according to PLMA. More than 150 industry executives in manufacturing and retailing registered from 36 countries from all continents, keen to learn about business solutions for the future.

Peggy Davies commented: “As we are moving into a new area where online platforms are an added value for B2B and future businesses, PLMA has proven to be agile and capable to embrace online opportunities to connect the private label industry worldwide.”

The topic “Partnership now and in the future” was addressed at the opening as speakers offered insights into today’s challenges and new business opportunities.

Among the highlights:
According to Richard Cope, senior trends consultant for Mintel, 2.6 bn Generation Z shoppers present an enormous opportunity for retailers and private label manufacturers. Convenience, health and sustainability are the main drivers of Gen Z; they are more aware of social responsibility, a cleaner planet and their health. Gen Z consumers are most likely to seek and expect help from the retailers for a healthier lifestyle but are also very price conscious of price and value.

A retail case study by Sonae group’s Private Label Director Ana Cristina Amaral featured the Continente private label range created for Sonae’s market leading hypermarkets and convenience supermarkets stores in Portugal. The presentation emphasized the retailer’s quick responsiveness to market changes during the pandemic and also acknowledged the importance for sustainability as a core value in their three strategic pillars Quality, Price and Innovation. Amaral stated that the retail group is looking to commit to suppliers who share their dedication to these company values.

Retailers and manufacturers took part in a live panel discussion that featured Nils Clement, CEO and owner, Euro-Caps BV, Sanne Strandskov, Head of Marketing, Nopa Nordic, Jaap van Vreden, Sourcing and Procurement Director Lenta from Russia and Alexander Deopito, Senior Advisor, BCG and former Lidl Executive. Participants agreed on several key points, including:

  • Only long-term relationships will lead to innovation and quality. Manufacturers as well as retailers need each other in order to meet consumers’ demand and not in the least to ensure the existence of your own business “one can’t do without the other.”
  • Business based on price alone is not a base for a successful continuing relationship. As in a marriage, trust and sharing information—which are the key drivers for innovation and new product developments—can only be realized in a steady and lasting relationship in which both want to invest.

The second day of the PLMA Roundtable presented a series of workshops by IGD, devoted to examination of retailing today and in the future. Early sessions focussed on vulnerabilities and strengths in the retail supply chain, accelerated growth of e-commerce, and their impact on private label and packaging.

Sustainability was again among topics addressed in one IGD session, emphasizing: “Sustainability is no longer an option but has become a must in the supply chain as customers shift channels and expectations evolve. Sustainability is the new normal.”

The programme concluded with an exclusive video interview with Paul Stainton a former executive of Aldi UK.

For more information about PLMA’s 2021 Online Roundtable Conference or to arrange an interview with Peggy Davies, President of PLMA, contact Leonique White, Manager Trade Relations, PLMA International Council, at telephone: +31 20 5753032 or email: press@plma.nl.

PLMA’s online 2020 “World of Private Label” International Trade Show thrived

AMSTERDAM - December 2020 - The Private Label Manufacturers Association, PLMA, reports a successful launch of its first trade show that took place entirely in the cloud. Success was achieved for both retailers and manufacturers of private label products throughout Europe and around the globe as those who participated generated new business opportunities and expanded their business network.

From 1 to 4 December, a series of dedicated, category-specific trade shows were presented wherein buyers and suppliers met and did business across a singular, secure and proprietary PLMA digital platform.

Peggy Davies says: “During the four show days we monitored the online activity that took place. More than 2.500 substantial video calls took place between unique conversation partners and more than 15.000 virtual business cards were exchanged between visitors and exhibitors. The online show platform remains accessible to all registered buyers and visitors until mid-April 2021 and with this, sourcing for products and exchanging messages and virtual business cards can continue. As is demonstrated by the fact that another 1.000 virtual business cards were already exchanged since the last official show day.”

Nearly 2.000 buyers from supermarkets, hypermarkets, discounters, drugstores and department stores and wholesalers, as well as importers, exporters, sales agents, manufacturers and packaging & design experts from 95 countries have attended to the biggest digital private label B2B platform in the world. More than 1.000 exhibiting companies from 60 countries, including participants in 22 national and regional pavilions, were offering their newest, best and most innovative private label products.

The online trade show platform had been under development for several years but the progress greatly accelerated in the past months, according to PLMA President Peggy Davies. “I am very proud that we were able to offer this platform to the trade. To those users where the technology may have been a new experience along with the occasional technical hiccup as hundreds of video calls were simultaneously taking place, the PLMA team readily assisted participants to quickly overcome the challenges. In all, the introduction of our online trade show proved its value and provided everyone with important learnings.”

Products on exhibit on PLMA’s virtual trade show floor included fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods, dry grocery and beverages, as well as non-food categories such as cosmetics, health and beauty, household, kitchen and housewares, auto aftercare, garden and DIY.

Peggy Davies commented: “Looking at the year ahead, our focus is on PLMA’s 2021 “World of Private Label” International Trade Show which is scheduled for 18 and 19 May at the RAI Exhibition Centre. The situation is promising. I have faith that an in-person trade show is possible. I look forward to welcoming the entire industry to Amsterdam next year.”

For more information about PLMA’s 2020 Online “World of Private Label” International Trade Show, or to arrange an interview with Peggy Davies, President of PLMA, contact Leonique White, Trade Relations, PLMA International Council, at telephone: +31 20 5753032 or email: press@plma.nl.