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The Business of Brands

Of all the food trade shows I’ve covered for over a decade now, the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s annual event is one of my favorites. It’s where I get to see the latest and greatest private-label products either on their way to or already on store shelves.

Roaming the aisles and seeing the caliber of product offerings makes it clear that private- label manufacturers are establishing food trends, not just following them.

Buyers come from all over the world to try and buy new products to add to their shelves under their corporate brands. These buyers represent all classes of trade, even military exchanges.

This year’s show, to be held in Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center Nov. 15-17, will feature more than 2,000 exhibit booths and five halls.

Exhibitors will come from more than 35 countries, representing fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods, along with beverages, nonfood products and much more.

This year, the show will feature a new addition called “Innovation Hall,” an entire show hall devoted to products and services for private label that go beyond product development. Exhibiting companies represent software and technology, logistics, packaging, design and graphics, product development and laboratory testing.

Innovation Hall will open Nov. 15, the day before doors open to the regular show floor . Innovation Hall will be my first stop once I get to the showfloor.