Sales teams from leading frozen food companies and major buyers are making ready for the largest trade fair for private label products, the “World of Private Label,” which will run from May 24-25 at the RAI Exhibition Center in Amsterdam. Organized by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) International Council, this year’s edition is expected to attract over 12,000 visitors from more than 110 countries.
On the bustling show floor, which will feature nearly 60 national and regional pavilions in 12 halls, there will be more than 2,400 exhibitors from over 70 countries engaged in manufacturing and supplying fast-moving consumer goods. Frozen food products will be in high profile in Hall 1 of the RAI’s Europa complex, as well as in the Parkhal.
As always, the Belgian frozen vegetable and fruit sector will have a robust presence at the fairgrounds. It is estimated 30% of all frozen vegetable production in Europe takes place in the West Flanders region of Belgium, and that enterprises headquartered in that area control as much as 50% of the EU’s total output through subsidiaries and joint venture operations elsewhere on the continent and in the United Kingdom.
Among the companies holding forth at the RAI will be Ardooie-headquartered Ardo NV, which operates 20 production units in eight countries. Annually freezing and selling approximately 805,000 tons of vegetable, fruit, pasta and rice products, it ranks as Europe’s top supplier in terms of volume.
New products to be seen and sampled at Ardo Stand 5484 in Hall 1 include Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Potato Mash, Quinoa, Mix Salsa Mexicana, Diced Black Olives and Green Olive Slices. Olives are being promoted as “an ideal ingredient for a variety of Mediterranean dishes and pizzas. Besides their intense color and strong flavor, they are easy to serve.”
Another Ardooie-based company, d’Arta, will be on the scene in Amsterdam. Among frozen vegetables in its spotlight will be Seven Bean and Asian Vegetables Mixes, Green Asparagus, Grilled Aubergine, Artichoke Bottoms, Kale and Sweet Potatoes.
High in nutrients and low in calories, Kale is increasingly in demand among health conscious consumers for a number of reasons. The leafy green vegetable is loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the human body can turn into vitamin A. It is also a good source of vitamin C, containing about 4.5 times more than spinach or oranges. Furthermore, Kale is rich in vitamin K, with a single raw cup containing almost seven times the recommended intake amount. And if that’s not enough, it’s abundant in calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Pinguin, the frozen vegetable and fruit unit of Sint-Katelijne-Waver-headquartered Greenyard Foods NV, will showcase a myriad of products at Stand 5524 in Hall 1. Celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, Pinguin has been a reliable supplier to the private label sector since 1965. Its extensive range runs the gamut from sliced and diced carrots, peas, beans and-stir fry vegetable mixes to herbs, soups, sauces, purees, salads, gratins, risottos, smoothies and rice pudding with red fruits.
Crop’s will have an abundant harvest of frozen fruits as well as vegetables to check out at its stand. Sourcing raw materials from near and far, the Ooigem-based company specializes in supplying retail grocery customers as well as bakeries, foodservice operators and industrial further processors. Its mono fruit offerings range from apples and apricots to lychee, mango, melon, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries and more. Value-added items include numerous blends, smoothie mixes and fruit-based desserts.
The company’s operational presence in Serbia, Poland, Costa Rica and Chile enables it to grow fruit in accordance with strict specifications. These production units, located in fertile growing regions, provide Crop’s with 90% of its fruit needs. The other 10% is supplied by limited number of partners who work with high standards to assure quality control.
From the Netherlands, Venlo-headquartered Scelta will be all too pleased to talk about its wide assortment of offerings which range from mushrooms in Ecopouch® packaging and frozen mushrooms to mung bean sprouts, battered/breaded onion rings and Snex vegetable snacks. Mushrooms, always front and center at Scelta, are promoted as “perfect ingredients for soups, burgers, pizzas, wraps, sauces, pastas, risotto, salads, omelettes, spreads and vegetable mixes.”
Italian Flag Flies in Amsterdam
Frozen food companies from Italy will be in fine form at the show, among them: Alcass SpA (Booth 5283), which specializes in ready meals, prepared entrees and specialty items; Bm Gastronomia Srl (#5215), a maker of ready meals pasta-based entrees and lasagna; Fruittagel S.C.P.A. (#5251), vegetables and fruit juices; Gourmet Italia SpA (#5293), pasta and ready meals; La Pizza +1 Srl (#5285), pizza and pizza dough, foccaccia, bread and other baked goods; Topan Srl (#5324), vegetables.
Salute to Excellence Awards
The PLMA will announce winners of the expanded International Salute to Excellence Awards at show. More than 370 food and non-food products from 62 retailers in 23 countries were submitted for consideration. A panel of professional judges evaluated all entries for taste, appearance, packaging, presentation, product concept and value for money.
“This year’s International Salute to Excellence Award winners demonstrate again that today’s retailers are committed to understanding consumer trends and responding with products that meet the changing needs of their shoppers,” said PLMA President Brian Sharoff.
Consumer Trends in Focus
Meanwhile, consumer trends will be the focus of two expert presentations at a pre-show seminar program slated for May 23 in the RAI forum room. Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, retail insight director for Europe at the Nielsen Company, will give an overview of the latest country-by-country market share data for private label.
“Top Global Consumer Trends” will be the topic examined by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander, consumer trends consultant at Euromonitor International. Seminar presentations will be simultaneously translated into English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Idea Supermarket Display
Trade show visitors can see private label ranges from more than 60 retailers around the world displayed on gondolas at the Idea Supermarket. It has been expanded this year to feature a special information area that zeroes in on the latest developments in product ingredients. Another new area shows creative television commercials that retailers are using to promote their own brands.
Headquartered in New York City, the Private Label Manufacturers Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 to promote private label products. Representing more than 3,500 member companies around the globe, its membership ranges from multinational food corporations to small family-owned health and beauty aids manufacturers and makers of paper products. In addition to three annual trade shows in Amsterdam, Chicago and Shanghai, PLMA also produces conferences, executive education programs, market research, studies and publications. More information is available by visiting www.plma.com. – Reported by John Saulnier