PLMA’s Sharoff: Private Label Trade Show Exceeded Expectations

Brian Sharoff

Brian Sharoff

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) held its annual Private Label Trade Show in Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 11-13. Brian Sharoff, PLMA president, spoke to The Shelby Report at the show, which, once again, exceeded his expectations, he said.

“In terms of attendance, number of exhibitors (the show) is very, very good this year,” he said. “(The) number of retailers is very good, and that’s been the case for the last 20-30 years…Private label has become so important to these people that they turn out for the shows. So you have all the categories, all the formats here in one place at one time.”

What was new this year were some of the trends that were prominent on the show floor. Organics, fresh, health and wellness continued to dominate the show, but this year, there also was a special interest in housewares and kitchenware, Sharoff said. That’s because consumers are increasingly interested in buying these products as private label goods inside grocery and drug stores.

Nonfood products, including health and beauty, household and general merchandise, made up about 40 percent of this year’s show.


See photos from the show here:

PLMA Private Label Trade Show, Rosemont Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 11-13, 2018


Grab-and-go items were also a big hit this year.

“That’s the way in which people’s eating habits have changed,” Sharoff said. “(In) the old days, you had three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. But with modern lifestyle, people are eating meals on their way back from the gym or they’re having their food while they drive. So grab-and-go is what people want to have.”

New this year was a wine pavilion, which was introduced as a number of major retailers, including Costco, Aldi and Kroger, have begun using private label wine to drive traffic to their stores, said Sharoff.

“We want to try to emphasize the wine sector and give retailers a way to buy wine that they feel is going to be consistent with what consumers in their stores want,” he said.

The show also boasted solid international participation, with 15 different international pavilions.

“Germany is here this year with companies. Denmark is back. France is here. You have several from Canada, so the international presence is good, and we expect that it’s going to grow over the next few years,” Sharoff said. “The issue of tariffs and those things really doesn’t affect private label or our categories.”


Keep reading:

Kroger Hosts Fourth Natural Foods Innovation Summit

NGA Show Will Include More Than 60 Educational Workshops & Sessions

2019 IPPE Trade Show Floor Will Be The Largest Yet

About The Author

A word nerd, grocery geek and three-year member of The Shelby Report. She is a proud new homeowner and a great lover of avocado toast.