CHICAGO — Greek yogurt cheesecake, eggplant parmigiana polenta and roasted pine nut hummus are among dozens of new store brand innovations honored at the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s annual trade show, held Nov. 15-17 in Chicago.
Featuring tens of thousands of products, including shelf-stable, fresh, frozen and refrigerated food and beverage products, the annual show underscores the dynamic growth of the private label category. Nearly one in four products sold in a U.S. supermarket last year was a store brand, and total private label sales for all outlets surpassed $115 billion, according to the P.L.M.A. In a recent study, half of shoppers aged 25-45 said they buy store brands frequently or always when shopping for groceries.
Presented at the show, the P.L.M.A. Salute to Excellence Awards recognizes new store brand products that offer exceptional quality and value to consumers. This year’s winners ranged from national and regional grocery chains to wholesalers to deep discount and convenience stores.
More than 500 product nominations were submitted and evaluated over a two-day period by eight jury panels that included industry professionals and consumers.
“Great store brand products and programs have expanded well beyond the exclusive province of traditional grocery chains,” said Brian Sharoff, president of the P.L.M.A. “Retailers and wholesalers of all kinds, in foods and non-foods alike, have embraced store brands as fundamental to their competitive strategy. What we are seeing now is chains having built their store brand programs over the past few years are bolstering them with greater innovation, variety and the infusion of product ingredients of the highest quality.”Click for a slideshow of top food and beverage products recognized at the P.L.M.A. show.