Innovative Products Draw Attention at PLMA Trade Show
By John Karolefski
Store brands are more innovative than ever and are often packaged attractively to stand out on the shelves of mass market stores. That much was apparent at the recent trade show of the Private Label Manufactures Association (PLMA).
The event gives product manufacturers a chance to strut their wares in front of buyers and executives from America’s leading supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, and convenience stores. And there was plenty for them to see. Some 2,750 exhibit booths were positioned throughout three major halls at Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center where 1,335 exhibitors displayed their products
“New ideas can come from anywhere. All around the globe, retailers are creating exciting and colorful private label products and packaging,” PLMA boasts on its website.
Attendees got an up-close look at today’s best and most innovative private label products in PLMA’s Idea Supermarket, which occupied a large room next to the exhibit hall. Now in its 11th year, Idea Supermarket provides the opportunity to view store brands from more than 50 leading retailers in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. There were special displays for wholesome snacks, packaging, innovation beyond national brand equivalents, fresh approaches to familiar products and perishables.
On a tour of the exhibit hall, CPGmatters appraised several noteworthy store brands and learned of other product announcements.
Here is a sampling:
- Topan from Treviso, Italy launched a line of frozen gourmet meal kits featuring northern, central and southern Italian cuisine. Each kit includes antipasto, first course, entrée, side vegetable and dessert (www.topan.it).
- The Brand Chefs at Mighty Fudge Studios presented its method of animating packages on the shelf with augmented reality offering virtual product information, recipe videos, interactive gaming, product pairing, and instant coupons – all on pack (www.thebrandchefs.com).
- Frunack from the Republic of Korea displayed three varieties of its 100% natural dried fruit snacks with no additives: pineapple, mandarin orange and apple (www.frunack.com).
- Wild Garden Hummus launched its products for private label programs: shelf-stable hummus in 10.74 oz. jars (roasted garlic, sun dried tomato with olive oil, fire roasted red pepper and traditional, as well as snack packs of chips and crackers (www.wildgardenhummus.com).
- Setton Farms promoted its dark chocolate pistachios in 5 oz. bags for floor shipper displays and counter displays (www.settonfarms.com).
- Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services rolled out five non-vintage sparkling wine blends: Brut, Blanc de Noirs, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rose’ and Moscato (www.rackandriddle.com).
- Sweet Mavens Biscotti launched new gluten-free varieties: Toasted Almond Vanilla, Green Tea Infused Biscotti with Lemon and Ginger Biscotti, and Italian Roast Cappuccino Biscotti (www.sweetmavens.com).
- Golden Beach launched MunchRite Snacks, a line of Asian-inspired snacks in stand-up 3.5 oz. bags (www.goldenbeachinc.net).
- Nature’s Habit displayed a value-price Simple Granola. It has Kosher OUD and Non-GMO labels with organic to follow in three months (www.natureshabit.com).
- Greencane Paper is bringing its kitchen towels and toilet paper from Australia to the U.S. to be part of the growing natural and organic marketplace (www.greencane.com).
- FAL Coffee introduced Nobletree, the first vertically-integrated coffee brand with coffee farms and milling in Brazil and roasting in Brooklyn (www.nobletreecoffee.com).
- Rosina Food Products expanded its offerings with gluten-free items such as ravioli and meatballs (www.rosina.com).
- Halo Food Connect, a U.S. importer of European food products, debuted a line of premium cold-pressed kernel oils imported from Germany (www.brassola.com).
- Mount Franklin Foods expanded its line of fruit-flavored snacks with Moon rocks Crunch Fruit Flavored Snacks, Fruit Flavored Snacks made with fruit and vegetable juice, and 25% Reduced Sugar Fruit Flavored snacks (www.mountfranklinfoods.com).
- Seneca Foods expanded its line of packaged produce with a 7 oz. shelf-stable vegetables in a four-pack 4 oz. microwaveable plastic cup, as well as a 15 oz. ready-to-serve bean pouch (www.senecafoods.com).
- Oleoestepa from Estepa, Spain presented its new ecological extra virgin olive oil packaged in a white glass container and supported by the USDA organic certification (www.oleoestepa.com).