News Update

PLMA says virtual is reality for its 2020 international trade show; Online “World of Private Label” announced for 1-4 December

AMSTERDAM - September 2020 - The year 2020 has demonstrated that retailers around the globe and the manufacturers supplying their own brand products have never been more essential to the well-being of consumers. To provide these companies across Europe and beyond with tools most urgently needed to engage for new business and bring new products to the marketplace, the Private Label Manufacturers Association is taking its “World of Private Label” International Trade Show online for four days, from 1-4 December.

PLMA’s Online “World of Private Label” will be held in place of the event originally planned to take place last May, which was postponed amid government restrictions on public gatherings and travel that were put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The theme of the event, “Life is Good in Private Label”, was never more appropriate than it is now, say the show’s organisers. Private label market share in Europe is nearly 40% or more in eight countries and with major shifts in purchasing, and supply chains under enormous stress, competition is fierce everywhere. But the opportunities for new products and expanding own-brand business remain extraordinary, because consumers will continue to turn to retailers first for value while maintaining their quality of life in these unprecedented times.

In the first week of December, with each day emphasizing a specific group of food and non-food categories, PLMA‘s Online “World of Private Label” will deliver an all new virtual trade show experience supported by a powerful suite of proprietary video and business chat communication tools. The online stands of PLMA’s member manufacturers will permit buyers and suppliers to engage in live, face-to-face interactions, product demonstrations and conversations, delivered simply and conveniently to participants across all borders, as well as on all computing platforms and devices.

As a first-of-its-kind international show open to retailers everywhere, this will be a groundbreaking event by every measure, and without question the biggest online experience ever dedicated exclusively to the private label industry. Since 1985, PLMA’s annual “World of Private Label” has been the world’s largest trade event for private label, presenting more than 2,700 exhibiting companies from more than 70 countries, and attended by more than 15,000 trade professionals from 120 countries.

Companies interested in exhibiting in December can request information here. Retailers and others wishing to participate as visitors click here to request a registration link.

Retailers from eighteen countries win PLMA International “Salute to Excellence” Awards for own brands innovation

AMSTERDAM - September 2020 - Forty-three retailers were honoured as winners of PLMA’s 2020 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, in recognition of innovation and quality of their own-brand food and non-food products. According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association, nearly 550 products introduced in the past year were submitted for consideration in the world’s largest competition dedicated exclusively to own brands.

The award-winning food and non-food products were selected by panels of judges, consisting of industry professionals, including chefs, former retailers, academics, nutritionists, journalists, and packaging specialists.

Retailers in Germany were bigtime winners and came away with 20 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, followed by 10 Awards for retailers in Italy and 9 awards for Spanish retailers. Retailers in France, Sweden and Ireland won 6 awards each. Retailers from South Africa participated for the first time and came away with 4 Awards.

Six awards, the most for any retailer, were given to Germany’s drugstore Dirk Rossmann. The Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés came away with five Awards, Axfood from Sweden as well as Woolworths from South Africa were given 4 Awards each. Aldi was recognised for products sold in its Irish stores.

In food, winning products included Aldi Ireland’s Clonbawn Chocolate Protein Milk, Rossmann’s Enerbio Saatenbrot, Metro’s Carrot Fries and REWE’s Vegan Sushi as well as Axfood’s Muesli with chick peas and cornflower. In non-food there were Awards for Penny’s Dog Advents-calendar, Woolworths Cucumber & Jasmine Tea Dish Wash, Carrefour’s 100% Natural Bamboo Toothbrush, El Corte Inglés’ Fred & Rita Biodegradable dog waste bags and Thai Central Food Retail’s biodegradable cling film. The products showed creativity and innovation of retailers.

Award-winners in food and beverages, as well as non-food, reflected many of this year’s strongest new product and consumer trends. Key features were natural and organic ingredients, environmentally conscious agriculture, responsible aquaculture, and protection of nature and preservation of the environment. Foodie customers are targeted through special gastronomic experiences, design and appealing packaging, indulgence in special tastes and flavours in vegan desserts and cookies. Very noticeable is the use of packaging from recycled glass, paper or plastic from renewable and sustainable raw materials, all 100% recyclable. In Health and Beauty categories, “free from micro plastics” was also evident.

In addition to food and non-food, the International “Salute to Excellence Awards” featured private label wines.

This year’s theme was Late Summer Wines. More than 160 summer wines were judged and 16 retailers from 7 countries were honoured in 18 categories for best quality or best value.

Overall, German retailers did really well also in the wine competition, they received 12 wine awards, Lidl was awarded 4 times in BQ and BV for two of its wines sold in the Netherlands. Retailers in The Netherlands won 9 awards, Albert Heijn walked away with 6, while Italian retailers won 5 wine awards. A special mention to American participants in the wine awards programme who were recognized with a total of 6 awards.

The award-winning wines were judged by international Masters of Wine, sommeliers and other wine experts. Provence-style rosé, sweet sparkling wines and low alcohol wines were prevailing trends this year like Aldi’s Belletti dell’Italia Sparkling Moscato Rosé which won both Best quality in “Sparkling Reds and Rosé” as well as Best Value in “Low Alcohol Wines”. The competition also showed that organic Wines are on the rise as Albert Heijn demonstrated by winning Best Value in the “Organic Wines” category for its AH Biologische Tempranillo Spanje 2019.

“My congratulations go to the winning retailers,” said PLMA president Peggy Davies, “as well as to all of the other retailers who participated in the awards programme. These awards demonstrate that private label is leading the retail industry and giving consumers the great products they want. The big number of sustainable and environmentally friendly products in food and non-food show the commitment of retailers towards a cleaner planet”

PLMA’s International “Salute to Excellence” Awards were established in 2014. To see all the international “Salute to Excellence” Awards winners, go to www.plmasalute.com.

For more information about PLMA’s 2020 International Salute to Excellence Awards or 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.

Best of retailers’ own Summer Wines were winners of PLMA’s 2020 International “Salute to Excellence Wine Awards”

AMSTERDAM - September 2020 - Retailers from Germany, The Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain were among those honoured for their private label wine selections, as PLMA announced the winners of this year’s International Salute to Excellence Wine Awards. The annual awards programme was focused on late summer wines for 2020, and among the top winners were Alcohol-Free, Low-Alcohol and Organic Wines.

All told, 36 awards were given for best quality or best value under four summer-themed umbrella categories: BBQ & Picnic Reds, BBQ & Picnic Whites, Sparkling, and Summer Specials. That included Eroski winning best quality in Low Alcohol Wines with its Pazo De Xigard Ribeiro D.O.; Aldi winning best quality in Organic Wines for its Belletti dell’Italia Sparkling Moscato Rosé; and Albert Heijn winning best quality in Alcohol-Free Wines for its Viverty Alcohol Free Rosé.

“My congratulations go to the winning retailers,” said PLMA president Peggy Davies, “as well as to all of the other retailers who participated in the awards programme. These awards show that private label play a leading role in retailing, providing customers with the great products they want.

Continuing to show their expertise, German retailers took the most awards home with 12 in total, including Metro’s La Sastreria Cariñena D.O. Garnacha Roble 2019 for Iberico Reds; and discounter Lidl’s Cimarosa New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2019 for Sauvignon Blanc. The Netherlands walked away with nine awards, of which Albert Heijn won 6, and the United States came in third position with six awards.

The competition was the stage of many trends, one of which was a tendency towards more Provence-style rosé. While darker coloured rosé seemed to prevail in the past, consumers are now switching to rosé with a lighter shade. Point in fact, French Intermarché won best quality Rosé with its Expert Club Syrah Grenache Pays D’Oc IGP H.V.E. and Metro’s Casalina di Siziano Nero D’Avola Rosato Sicilia D.O.C. 2019 won best value in the same category.

Yet again, this year’s Salute to Excellence Wine Awards showed the retailers’ commitment to continue improving their private label wine offer and keep pushing forward when it comes to quality and innovation.

“As wine professionals, we know how important private label is in the wine industry, because many consumers buy wines in supermarkets and trust their brands,” said judge Cees van Casteren, MW, "And I think supermarkets overall are putting, each year, more emphasis in their private label selections. So the quality is rising every year.”

More than 160 wines from 26 retailers in nine countries were considered and evaluated. Wines were judged by varietal, style, and appellation for best quality and best value in 18 categories, which fell under the four summer-themed umbrella categories. The panel specializing in wines was composed of five judges, including Masters of Wine, sommeliers, wine writers and retail industry professionals.

PLMA’s International “Salute to Excellence” Awards were established in 2014. To see all the international “Salute to Excellence Awards” winners, go to www.plmasalute.com.

For more information about PLMA’s 2020 International Salute to Excellence Awards or 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.

2020 “World of Private Label” International Trade Show cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns, says PLMA. New virtual show will be announced soon.

AMSTERDAM – 1 September 2020 - Following recent Covid-19 related developments and government announcements impacting the Netherlands and other European countries, PLMA has found it necessary to cancel its 2020 “World of Private Label” trade show, which had previously been rescheduled in response to the pandemic and was to take place on 2-3 December in Amsterdam.

PLMA’s “World of Private Label” is the world’s largest trade event dedicated exclusively to private label, presenting more than 2,800 exhibiting companies from more than 70 countries, and attended by more than 15,000 trade professionals from 120 countries.

To provide an alternative for the cancelled in-person trade show in Amsterdam, PLMA says it will be announcing soon the creation of a new online trade show and B2B video networking event. According to PLMA, the online show will provide unique business opportunities for exhibitors to make new connections, meet, and network with buyers over several show days that are devoted to specific product categories.

PLMA President Peggy Davies said, “Over the last 35 years the “World of Private Label” trade show has grown to become the industry’s leading event. We understand the disappointment that our members and others may feel at the news that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has once again upended our plans to hold an in-person international trade show in Amsterdam. Therefore, we are committed to moving forward with a virtual event that will provide the worldwide private label industry with valuable sales and marketing solutions when these are most needed.”

PLMA names Peggy Davies as Acting President

NEW YORK - June 2020 - The Board of Directors of the Private Label Manufacturers Association is pleased to announce that Peggy Davies has been named Acting President of the Association. Her appointment follows the death of Brian Sharoff, President, who passed away last month after a brief illness. Since 2016, Davies served as PLMA Vice President, Association Relations.

“For four decades, Brian was the face of PLMA,” said Lisa Manzoline, Director of Sales for Reynolds Consumer Products and Chairman of the Board of Directors of PLMA. “It is now our responsibility to focus on the future. As the Board of Directors, we understand this is a difficult and challenging time for many different reasons. We have full confidence that Peggy Davies will be a capable and dynamic leader of PLMA at this crucial juncture – one who is familiar with our member base and the unique challenges we face for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. Peggy has the experience and qualifications needed, and is 100% ready to carry forward the important work of the association from day one, as the Executive Board conducts a search to determine a permanent successor.”

Commenting on her appointment, Davies said: “I’m honored and deeply grateful to the PLMA Executive Committee and Board of Directors for entrusting me with this tremendous responsibility. As we deal with Brian’s loss, we will best honor his decades-long legacy by carrying on his vision, which we have worked together to build on these last four years. I have been inspired by my close relationship with him for more than 25 years, and with our outstanding and dedicated staff, I am eager to carry forward the exceptional programs we created.”

Davies joined PLMA as Vice President in 2016. Before that she was elected to the Board of Directors in the early 1990s where, over the course of two terms, she either served on or chaired the programming, trade relations, and communications committees. She was elected Board Chairman for two terms from 2003 to 2004 and, among many other accomplishments, dedicated efforts toward expanding PLMA’s commitment to education for industry executives.

In addition to PLMA, she brings three decades of private label industry experience in executive positions. With Daymon Associates from 1985 to 1989, she was involved in building the private label program at Wegmans Supermarkets in Rochester, New York. From there she entered the manufacturing business as vice- president of private label sales for Comstock Michigan Fruit-Agrilink-Birds Eye. Then, from 1999 to 2015, she was food service general manager for the ingredient business at McCain Foods USA, based in Chicago.

In 2012 Davies founded Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence (WISE), a non- profit professional development organization to promote diversity and inclusion in the store brand industry.

Brian Sharoff, President of PLMA, passes away at 77

NEW YORK - 25 May 2020 - Brian Sharoff, President of the Private Label Manufacturers Association, one of the industry’s most successful trade organizations, passed away on Saturday, 23 May, after a brief illness, according to a statement issued by Tim Simmons, PLMA’s Vice President, Communications.

Brian was named President of PLMA in 1981, shortly after the association was founded. During his tenure the association expanded from headquarters in New York to establish international offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and a representative office in Shanghai, China. Membership increased tremendously as well, growing from two hundred companies in the United States to more than 4,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and brokers worldwide.

“Today is a sad day for the entire PLMA family,” said Lisa Manzoline, Director of Sales for Reynolds Consumer Products and Chairman of the Board of Directors of PLMA. “Under Brian Sharoff’s tremendous focus and dedication, the Private Label Manufacturers Association has grown to become a vital and essential resource for suppliers and retailers around the globe. Brian’s leadership will be greatly missed.”

PLMA’s annual “World of Private Label” International Trade Show, held each May at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam has grown to more than 4,500 stands and now represents manufacturers from nearly 75 countries. The show attracts own brands buyers from across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The trade show held every November at the Rosemont Convention Center in Chicago draws the largest concentration of private label buyers anywhere in the U.S., and is where key executives from supermarkets, hypermarkets, drug chains, and other retailers come to find suppliers and new products.

In addition to the trade exhibitions, PLMA presents conferences and educational programs throughout the year, in addition to publishing exclusive research and studies. The association in recent years has also produced a wide range of original video programming, providing news and information for both the industry and consumers.

Brian Sharoff is survived by his wife Judith, daughter Alexandra, son Peter, five grandchildren, and sister Shirley Sharoff.