Frozen food producers are in high profile among the 63 Italian companies exhibiting at the 39th edition of the PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show, which runs through November 17-19 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center just outside Chicago in Rosemont, Illinois. Among those on the scene exhibiting a wide assortment of products ranging from frozen pizza and other baked goods to ready meals, seafood specialties, appetizers, ice cream, gelato and more are:
Agritalia; Appetais Italia S.p.A; Bocon; Case del Gelato S.R.l.; Dolceria Alba; Fattorie Garofalo; F.I.A.D. S.r.l.; G7 S.r.l.; GIAS; Gruppo Germinal; Morato Pane S.p.A; Nuturello; Nord Salse; Orogel; Pasticceria Quadrifoglio; Roncadin; S.O.A. Societa Italiana Alimenti; Surmont; Zappala.
All exhibitors from Italy are holding forth in pavilions organized by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), which occupy an exhibit area measuring 8,000 square feet. The official Italian participation is, once again, found within the largest international pavilion at the show – both in terms of number of exhibiting companies and size of the exhibition area. There are actually two pavilions: one dedicated to food and beverages, with 57 exhibitors, and a second to non-food products (health and beauty and household products) with six exhibitors.
In 2018, retail sales of private label products in the United States reached $166 billion (€151 billion), marking an increase of $6.5 billion compared to the previous year. More than one in five products sold in the US are private labels.
Distribution in the United States through major retail chains as well as through medium and small size grocery store outlets has had a positive effect on Italian market shares of US imports of agrifood products, noted Marco Saladini, the trade commissioner based in ITA’s Chicago office. The growing popularity of the country of origin of the private label products, the intrinsic strength of the concept of “Authentic Italian,” based on the quality of the products and marketing support action carried out by the ITA, make the retail sector increasingly attractive to Italian exporters.
Recent studies estimate that private label products in the American retail realm could rise from the current market share penetration of 23% to 30% by 2025. The reason for this shift is the bargaining power from manufacturers of CPG to the major supermarket chains, combined with increased consumer confidence in the ability of retailers to offer high quality products in the way of value, authenticity and convenience. In terms of perception, 85% of American consumers believe that the quality of private label products offered by major retailers is the same as that of brand products, while 61% believe it is higher.
In this context, Antonino Laspina, director of the ITA office in New York and coordinator of the network of offices in the United States, has confirmed the positive trend of Italian agrifood exports to the US, which, in the first nine months of 2019 have registered an increase of 5.9% compared to the same period last year, reaching $3.9 billion in value. In 2018, sales totaled $5.1 billion (an increase of 7.9% compared to 2017).