The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) has made “Consumers Are Back in Charge” the theme of the 2022 Private Label Trade Show, to be held Nov. 13 to 15 at the Rosemont Convention Center in Chicago.
New York-based PLMA said yesterday that the 2022 PLMA Show will spotlight food and nonfood areas where store-brand innovation is exploding, such as plant-based and free-from consumables; new flavors and ingredients; wines and spirits; fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods; and restaurant-style cuisine at home. Other hot private-label categories at the event include hemp-derived CBD; self-care; health and wellness; beauty care; kitchenware essentials, tools and gadgets; pet care; food and nonfood products with an international flair; and sustainable, clean label and packaged products.
“It’s a great time to get back to a live show, and it’s a great time to be in the retailer brands business,” PLMA President Peggy Davies said in a statement. “After a difficult two years, American consumers are back in charge. They are more discerning as they shop for new and innovative products that offer on-trend attributes, high quality and great value. And that spells success for store brands. In fact, whether at brick-and-mortar stores or online, retailer brands are winning big so far this year at checkout.”
"Retailer brands are winning big so far this year at checkout.” — Peggy Davies, president, Private Label Manufacturers Association (Photo courtesy of PLMA)
The 2022 PLMA Show had been cancelled twice because of surges in COVID-19 cases. PLMA originally planned the event for Nov. 14 to 16, 2021, at the Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center in Chicago and then last September pushed the date back to Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2022. But in December, the association postponed the show again amid an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the virus.
This year’s show is expected to draw more than 5,000 visitors from major supermarkets, supercenters, wholesale clubs, drugstore chains, mass merchants, specialty chains and dollar stores, as well as from e-commerce retailers, importers, exporters and distributors, among other buyers, according to PLMA.
“Whether you are a small- or medium-sized independent company or part of a large, multinational manufacturing organization, the PLMA Show can connect you with key retail executives who are responsible for their chain’s store brand purchasing,” Davies noted.
The success of PLMA’s 2022 World of Private Label International Trade Show, held May 31 to June 1 in Amsterdam, stands as an encouraging sign for the association’s Chicago event, Davies added.
“It was a record-setting show. We had about 4,300 exhibit stands and 15,000 visitors altogether, including some 4,000 retailers,” she explained. “But more than the numbers, the enthusiasm and the buzz generated on the trade show floor as colleagues were able to gather in-person for the first time in three years was very gratifying. I have every reason to believe that the same spirit will be present in November.”
Private label has generated strong momentum so far in 2022, PLMA pointed out. Over the first five months of the year, store brands have seen a 7.8% uptick in dollar sales year over year, compared with 5% for national brands, according to CPG market researcher IRI.
By the numbers, private-brand dollar sales gained 8.7% in May, 9.5% in April, 8.9% in March, 6.8% in February and 5% in January, PLMA reported, adding that store brands also outpaced national brands in unit sales.
In May alone, 14 of the 17 food and nonfood departments that IRI tracks for PLMA showed store-brand dollar growth, with double-digit gains for deli prepared foods, beverages, bakery, produce, liquor, and refrigerated and deli meat. Private-label sales also advanced in the floral, general food, frozen, meat, general merchandise, and health and beauty aids categories.
PLMA noted that store brands tallied a record of nearly $200 billion in sales last year, when store brands accounted for one of every five products sold across all U.S. channels.
Other good news for store brands: Consumers have maintained their grocery spending in the face of record-level inflation, supply chain issues and geopolitical unrest and are adapting and shopping smarter, which Davis said is a “trend that always accrues to store brands’ favor.”