• Real Ingredients Mean Real Sales
    As more consumers adopt healthy lifestyles, ingredients like sodium benzoate are being replaced by natural additives like raisin juice and vinegar. Dr. Kantha Shelke explains that it’s not just food. Dietary supplements, pet food and even skincare products are all getting a natural ingredients makeover.

    Kantha Shelke
    July 2018

    Whether it’s food, personal care, dietary supplements, or even pet foods, one trend is apparent.  It’s the rise of ingredients derived from real foods instead of highly processed and fabricated ingredients.

    Shopper preference for ingredients from recognizable foods instead of mysterious chemical names is driving consumer packaged goods manufacturers to dump artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives… and revamp products with ingredients with familiar names. Consumers interpret real foods as naturally wholesome and love the concept that nutrients and other health benefits are coming from foods as intended by nature. As marketing stories go, they don’t get much better than real food ingredients.

    Synthetic colors are swapped for fruit and vegetable powders, and extracts of turmeric, spirulina, beets, and purple carrots that people trust.

  • Top Retailers Bring Adventure to New Categories in Store Brands
    The great outdoors is a land of store brands, led by chains like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. After their $5 billion merger last year, Christopher Durham explores how these retailers use their own brands of gear, clothing, and even boats to make this segment a powerful contributor to the world of private label.
    Christopher Durham
    July 2018

    While the great outdoors doesn’t fit normally into our view of grocery and home and health retailing, there is a lot happening and there are lessons to be learned.

    Let’s start with Bass Pro Shops. In 2017, it closed a nearly $5 billion deal to acquire its rival, Nebraska-based Cabela's. The buyout, in the works for more than a year, brings Cabela’s 82 stores in the U.S. and Canada into the Bass Pro Shops fold. Bass Pro Shops currently operates 95 Outdoor World stores in the U.S. and Canada.

    The newly merged retailer now owns a powerhouse portfolio of private label brands including Cabela’s clothing, camping and fly fishing gear, Tracker boats, Ascend, the Bass Pro Shop brand, Johnny Morris Reels, Natural Reflections, Offshore Angler, Uncle Buck’s, White River, Worldwide Sportsman, XPS, XTS, and the iconic Redhead brand of outdoor apparel.

  • A Toast to Private Label Wine
    Increased wine sales are nothing to sniff at. Discounters like Lidl and Aldi are making store brand wines not only acceptable, but preferable for price and quality. Judith Kolenburg in Amsterdam previews PLMA’s 2018 Salute to Excellence Wine Awards where more than 30 retailers received recognition for private label achievements.

    Judith Kolenburg
    June 2018

    Wine, wine, wine. Who would have thought that this most wonderful of nature’s creations would become an important weapon in the retail marketplace.

    Supermarkets and discounters have used their private label ranges to compete for customers for years. But now, the battle for the consumer is being played out in the wine department where retailers have discovered that reds and whites and roses can build store traffic.

    How did supermarket wines become so important?

    German discounters Aldi and Lidl played a big role in making wine accessible for everyone, with wines offered for as little as 5 dollars a bottle. In addition, they made a strategic decision to promote wine to lure new customers into the stores. With good, often local, buying teams and large purchase volumes, they offered high-quality wines at amazing prices. Not surprisingly, they also won many medals at world-famous wine competitions like the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards.


  • Who Owns Pets?
    Eighty-five million U.S. households own a dog or cat. Brad Edmondson reveals which demographic groups are driving growth in the $67 billion petcare category.
    Brad Edmondson
    July 2018

    Three million nine hundred forty-one thousand one hundred and nine: that is the number of births in the US in 2016. It's a slight decrease from 2015 -- in fact, births have been decreasing for most of a decade now.  The second number is fifty-two thousand eight hundred and thirty eight dollars.  That is the average annual spending of a household headed by someone aged 25 to 34. It's seven percent less than it was in 2006.   

    Usually births and spending go up when the economy is doing well. So something else is going on here.  I suspect that it has four legs and fur.

    About 85 million American households own dogs and cats. The number of pet-owning households is increasing, and those pets are getting a lot more care and attention.  Spending on pets jumped 60 percent between 1996 and 2012, even as overall household spending declined.  It increased another 4 percent last year, to nearly $67 billion.



PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
Fermentation Adds Fizz - and Buzz ‑ to Products

Kombucha, Korean-inspired kimchi and even beauty care products are rising to the top of the food industry headlines. It’s all about fermentation, which adds good gut bacteria inside and absorption efficacy outside. Dr. Kantha Shelke explains how fermentation appeals to health-minded consumers, and the way it can help store brands manufacturers.

A Toast to Private Label Wine
Increased wine sales are nothing to sniff at. Discounters like Lidl and Aldi are making store brand wines not only acceptable, but preferable for price and quality. Judith Kolenburg in Amsterdam previews PLMA’s 2018 Salute to Excellence Wine Awards where more than 30 retailers received recognition for private label achievements.
 Major Trends at PLMA's International Trade Show

Direct from PLMA’s 2018 “World of Private Label,” what are the trends and products which dominated this year’s show? Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff for an inside look at the exhibition. Special reports from PLMA’s European team of analysts and commentators. Plus, a preview of PLMA’s 2018 Salute to Excellence Wine Awards and coverage of one of the latest techniques in product development – fermentation.

Big Brands Struggle with New Media

Big national brand marketers now realize that their long-standing advertising strategies aren’t working well in the new media world. Stuart Elliott, who was the advertising columnist for the New York Times, says “everything is changing” in advertising and the big brands are struggling to reach consumers with their ad messages.

The Retail Race for the Bottom

Dollar stores, discounters, major supermarket chains and e-commerce are battling each other for sales to consumers at the bottom of the economic ladder. The prize is big profits and it is attracting Aldi, Lidl, Walmart and many others. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they analyze the players, the market and the consumers.

Trader Joe’s Recipe for Innovation

"Innovation is at the heart of our business," says Lori Latta, vice president of innovation for Trader Joe's and one of the new inductees in the Private Label Hall of Fame. Tim Simmons interviews her about the process of creating new products and relationships with suppliers.

Albertsons Adds Jim Donald to C-Suite

Jim Donald joins an expanding, increasingly diversified Albertsons, at a time when the retailer faces the integration of recently purchased Rite Aid drug stores and the possibility of an IPO. David Merrefield reports.

Five Private Label Package Design Trends to Watch

No longer bland and predictable, store brands packaging has entered a new era of creative, functional and colorful design that improves shelf visibility and sales. Christopher Durham surveys the recent Vertex Awards and the trends he sees driving design today: category specific, simple and beautiful, packaging as art, real stories, and uniquely holiday.

The New Digital Revolution in Retailing

Michael Jary predicts a new wave of digital technologies will transform the way people use the internet and these technologies will have a big impact on how retailers do business.

Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together

The integration of brick-and-mortar stores into the digital world may not be as easy as people think. Recent reports reveal that order-to-shelf system, or OTS, is not getting the job done. At many stores, departments are experiencing serious out-of-stocks – the exact opposite of what order-to-shelf is supposed to do. Roy White analyzes the situation.