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Plenty on Tap at PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show in Chicago

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Retail buyers and suppliers from throughout North America and beyond are packing their bags for the PLMA’s 2019 Private Label Trade Show, which takes place from November 17-19 in Chicago, Illinois. Under the theme of “Store Brands Make Things Happen,” this year’s edition will feature over 2,500 exhibit booths as well as pavilions from more than 25 countries staffed by store brand manufacturers of every size and description, including many frozen food producers.

Upwards of 5,000 visitors are expected to traverse the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, only 10 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Among them will be executives and decision makers from supermarkets, mass merchandising organizations, drug chains, discount, club, convenience and dollar stores, in addition to online and specialty retailers, foodservice distributors and wholesalers.

Store brands not only accounted for virtually half of all growth last year in US brick-and-mortar stores, where sales continue to climb at a rate that is four times that of national brands, but private label has emerged as the new challenger brand in e-commerce as well, according to a June 2019 report by Nielsen. Today’s retailers are especially interested in expanding their private label offerings to meeting growing and evolving demand among consumers.

Dynamic Speakers and Seminars

In addition to organizing three days of trade show excitement and networking opportunities, the New York City-headquartered PLMA has scheduled a full program of speakers, seminars and panel discussions.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a physician and investor who served as the 23rd Commissioner of the US Food & Drug Administration from 2017 until April of 2019, drawing plaudits from Democrats and Republicans alike for his collaborative management style, will deliver the keynote address during the breakfast session on Monday, November 18.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

The FDA remains one of the most powerful and respected of all government agencies in Washington. During Gottlieb’s tenure, it delayed compliance deadlines for updating the Nutrition Facts label. Currently the FDA is considering regulations that will have major impact on retailing and store brands, among them hemp-derived CBD products and ingredients, food safety, and labeling for plant-based meats and dairy.

Ali Dibadj, a partner at AllianceBernstein global asset management company, will be the featured speaker for the Retail Trends Breakfast on Tuesday, November 19. The theme of the speech will be “How Retailers Are Building Billion Dollar Brands” and what this means for retailing and consumer brands strategies.

Ali Dibadj

Dibadj has ranked repeatedly as a leading analyst for the household and personal products industry as well as the beverage and snack sector, and has been featured in business reporting for The Wall Street Journal and other major news outlets.

Seminars on Sunday, November 17 will focus attention on the latest developments in online retailing and new product trends. The program kicks off with PLMA’s 2019 Salute to Excellence Awards for outstanding store brands, followed by speakers on three of the industry’s hottest topics, as detailed below:

  • Sam Mayberry, former head of product development for Amazon retail consumables and private label, will speak on “Winning the Last Mile” to the consumer, the battle for delivery of online orders to shoppers, and how e-commerce continues to change the rules of retail.
  • Virginia Lee, research manager at Brightfield Group, a leading source of market intelligence for the CBD and cannabis industries, will speak about the latest CBD formulations appearing in nonfoods, supplements and pet products, and those soon expected to follow in food products.
  • Jim Wisner, president of Wisner Marketing Group, will report on how retailers are rushing to adapt their product assortments to the rapid rise of consumer interest in plant-based foods. This follows on the heels of recent rollouts of meat alternative offerings by major fast-food chains like Burger King, KFC, Dunkin, and others.

For information on attending the show, contact PLMA by phoning +1 212-972-3131 or sending an e-mail inquiry to info@plma.com.