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Top Trends From PLMA 2023

Top Trends from PLMA 2023

Last updated on November 22nd, 2023 at 03:46 pm

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The 2023 PLMA Private Label Trade Show has wrapped up after another great year in Chicago. This year’s show broke records with noticeable growth in exhibits compared to 2022, and record numbers of non-food exhibitors. Plenty of trends were visible, from spicy flavors on just about everything to coconut products making a strong showing. We’ve sifted through it all to pick three stand-out trends to keep an eye on in the private label space for 2024.

Sustainability steals the show

Sustainability has been a recurring theme in packaging, products, and ingredients, but this year it was especially present. Alternative packaging was on display, particularly recycled packaging and reduced-plastic packaging. Sustainability also showed up beyond packaging in the form of more natural, non-GMO, and organic offerings than ever. The natural segment shows no sign of slowing based on recent years.

It’s worth noting that 2023 had record temperatures and extreme weather events. More people than ever are considering the environmental impact of their purchases. At PLMA, there was a preponderance of sustainability-minded products for babies and children. It seems the environment is very much front of mind for parents, but they’re not the only ones. Sustainability started as a buzzword and has transformed into a consumer juggernaut.

Playing up premium products

As always, premium private label options were key offerings. Savvy consumers expect private labels to be comparable in quality with national brands and have done so for some time. Beyond basic comparability, though, they now often expect tiered private label offerings that include premium products. This expectation is extending beyond center store staples into more auxiliary products such as wine, chocolate, and beauty. With the pressure of inflation, consumers are turning to private brands for value, but quality is still king. 

Options in oil

A historic drought in Spain and a Turkish export ban have combined to create record-high olive oil prices and unreliable supply. As vendors showed at PLMA, this is good reason to consider oil alternatives to keep stock reliable. These alternatives range from right-sizing packaging, to introducing olive oil blends as seen in foodservice, to exploring outright substitutions like rising star avocado oil. A good oil supplier will listen to your needs, get to know your customers, and help you make the right alternative decisions to keep private label oils on your shelves even during times of unpredictable supply. 

Ultimately, PLMA is an opportunity to take the temperature of the private label industry, and right now, it’s hot. Whether you follow the trends or buck them, 2024 is looking to be a big year for private brands. 

Read more center store news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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