Welcome to PLMA’s e-scanner newsletter – News, Insights and Happenings

By Carol Angrisani, Editor and PLMA Content Producer

NEWS ROUNDUP
PLMA Announces Election of New Board Chair, Directors

Kristal Sevcik, VP of Business Development at AmeriQual Group, LLC, has been elected Chairperson of the Board of Directors of PLMA.

Sevcik, who most recently served as First Vice Chairperson, was chosen on March 21 at PLMA’s 2024 Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference in San Antonio. She succeeds Doug Bausch of LNK International, Inc., who will serve as Ex-Officio.

Other selections to the Executive Committee made on March 21:

- Mark Cheney of Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., as First Vice Chair.
- Anthony Biggers of Simmons Pet Food, as Second Vice Chairperson.

Five directors were elected to serve from 2024-2027:

- Felix Angst of Huhtamaki
- Elizabeth Chimens of Parisi Coffee
- Chris Quinlan of Winland Foods, Inc.    
- Andy Russick of Pacific Coast Producers
- Marty Taylor of Nortera Foods

Additionally,

- John Logan of Inteplast Group will serve a one-year term from 2024-2025, filling an open seat.

“The store brands industry and PLMA have continued to evolve over the years, mirroring the overall changes in corporate America, and I'm pleased to see more diversity being reflected in our board of directors and membership as a whole,” PLMA President Peggy Davies said.

CLICK HERE to view the full list of board members.

New Class Inducted into The Private Label Hall of Fame

The Class of 2024 was inducted into The Private Label Hall of Fame. This year’s class consists of 16 individuals who are honored in four categories:

Lifetime Achievement

- Clay Dockery, Vice President, Private Label and Co-Manufacturing, Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA
- Peter Kroner, Managing Partner, Marketing Concepts Group
- Edward P. Salzano, President, EDNJ Associates
- John W. Solomon, The Kroger Co. (Retired)

Private Brand Champion

-Nils Clement, Founder and CEO, Euro Caps BV
-Pam Ofri, Senior Director of Own Brands, Wakefern Food Corp.
-Jac Ross, Vice President, Sprouts Brand, Sprouts Farmers Market
-Nick Scangas, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods

Private Brand Innovator

-Pascale Courtemanche, R&D Director, Plats du Chef, C.H. Guenther & Son 
-Jackie Li, Senior Vice President, Private Brands and Global Sourcing, Dollar General
-Dr. Rakesh Rathore, Chief Operating Officer, TrueChoicePack
-Brooke Rice, Senior Director of Own Brands, Southeastern Grocers

Next Gen Private Label Leader

-William Crosby, EVP, Crosby Foods Ltd.
-Hope Lenhart, Director of Brand Management for Essentials, Beauty and Hardlines, Target
-Chad Mallory, Senior Product Manager, Amazon Fresh Private Brand
-Mohan Valluri, Vice President of Sales and R&D, Alamance Foods

“We’re thrilled to honor this incredible group of men and women for their excellence in these four important categories,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies. “They truly deserve this special recognition for going above and beyond in their contributions.”

Presented by PLMA and Store Brands, the Private Label Hall of Fame was created in 2006 to recognize high achievers and thought leaders who have made significant contributions in their own organizations, as well as those who have set standards of excellence and accomplishment throughout the industry.

Retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, wholesalers, members of the press, market researchers and consultants were among the potential candidates.

Profiles on all inductees will be featured on StoreBrands.com and posted in the Hall of Fame section here.

Report: Gen Xers Are Big Meat Eaters

Generation X accounts for the greatest proportion of meat sales (32%), according to the 19th annual Power of Meat report by the Meat Institute and FMI—The Food Industry Association.

Among other results, Boomers buy meat most frequently (53 times per year), and Millennials spend the most money per meat purchase (nearly $17).

The number of Americans who describe themselves as meat eaters (80%) and the number of households that purchase meat (98%) remain steady from 2023, while the number seeking to decrease meat consumption has fallen by 20% since 2020.

At the grocery store, 73% of Americans are making one or more changes to meat purchases to save money - with the most common strategy being to adjust the quantity of meat purchased, according to the report. Among meat purchasers changing quantities to save money, 30% buy smaller packages to save money immediately, and 42% buy larger bulk packs to save money over time. On the other hand, more than nine in 10 shoppers say they would spend extra on occasion, with holidays, special celebrations and entertaining the top reasons.

IDEAS AND INSPIRATION - Sprouts, Save Mart, New Seasons Market
  • As interest in ethnic products continues to rise, Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix, has introduced store brand Peruvian kettle chips made from potatoes grown in the Andes. The chips are non-GMO and lightly salted. Among other new products on store shelves: Sprouts-brand Pineapple-Mango Zero Sugar Fizzy Vitamin C Drink Mix.
  • The Save Mart Companies - a California-based grocer operating 194 stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky, and FoodMaxx in California and Western Nevada - has entered into a partnership with Flashfood. Flashfood is an app that connects shoppers with discounted produce, meat and other groceries.

    The Flashfood app is now available at 44 Lucky stores in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and will expand to all 194 of The Save Mart Companies’ banner locations in California and Western Nevada to fulfill customer demand.

  • New Seasons Market, Portland, Ore., promotes its private label as its “Partner Brand.” On its website, there’s a section that explains how it’s committed to partnerships with small regional producers who share its mission of bringing good food to the community. More than 80% of Partner Brand products are made within 500 miles of Portland. It also offers double loyalty points on all Partner Brand purchases.
NOTABLE QUOTABLE – Dollar Tree’s Rick Dreiling

“The private brand program is one of the most significant initiatives underway at Family Dollar, and I’m excited that we have a highly competitive offering that expands our assortment across multiple categories and offers the Family Dollar consumer national brand equivalent products at compelling values.”

-    Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO of Dollar Tree, Inc., Family Dollar's parent company, in a Q4 2023 earnings call.
 

TREND ALERT: Simplified Seafood

New meal solutions are available to help seafood lovers quickly and easily prepare salmon, cod and other fish in the oven, microwave and air fryer.

Kroger, for instance, has introduced new Private Selection pre-seasoned oven- and microwave-ready seafood that can be prepared in seven minutes. Flavors include Miso Salmon, Tuscan-Style Salmon and Bourbon Glazed Cod.

Likewise, Weis Markets has launched a marinated frozen salmon line under its “Weis by Nature” brand. The salmon comes in four flavors, including pepper and wild garlic.

DATA POINTS – BJ’s Private Brand Growth

25%

Private brand sales penetration at BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Source: Bob Eddy, President and Chief Executive Officer, in Q4 2023 earnings call

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Taste Trends

In a recent PLMA Lunch and Learn presentation, Jocelyn Carter, Activation Marketing Director at Kerry, revealed Kerry’s new Taste Charts. Full presentation is free to PLMA members.

PLMA’s next Lunch and Learn will be held May 16 at 12:30 p.m. EST. McKinsey & Co. will discuss trends defining the $1.8T global wellness market in 2024. Click here to register.

Arjun Chakravarti, Managing Partner at Cogknition Analytics, discusses what’s in store for private brands in today’s economy.

PLMA News and Happenings
CEO Interview Series Continues on April 11

Ann O'Hara, President of Huhtamaki North America, will appear in the April 11 session of Lunch with Leadership, PLMA’s new online series of lunchtime interviews with leading CEOs.

The series focuses on how corporate leaders view their organization now and where they believe it fits in the future of American retailing and the store brand supplier community.

The April 4 kickoff session featured Harry Overly, president and CEO of Flagstone Foods. Other guests will include Lou DeMent, CEO of Giovanni Foods (April 18); Camilo Romero, CEO of Luker Chocolate (April 25); and Joe Mollica, CEO of LNK International, Inc. (May 2).

Click here for more information, or contact PLMA at info@plma.com.

PLMA to Host Executive Education Program, June 11-12

PLMA’s annual Executive Education program will be held June 11-12 at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

This year’s instructors include experts in own brands. Among them: Chris Skyers, formerly VP, Own Brands at Wakefern and now EVP, Sales Strategy Services, Grocery Channel Lead, Market Performance Group; Theo Schweitz, formerly director of private brand food at Target and now CEO of Drive Wheel Peer Groups; and Brian Gornall, whose experience includes Albertsons as well as being a founding leader who established Amazon’s launch of several private label food and beverage brands.

Among the topics of discussion: “The Changing Retail Landscape,” “In-Store Brand Strategy,” “How Turbulent Times Impacts Your Company,” “Product and Packaging Innovation” and much more.

Click here to get more details and register.
 

State of the Industry Webinars Feature Davies

Join Store Brands and PLMA for a power-packed State of the Industry webinar series. Held on a quarterly basis, the webinars will reveal hidden drivers behind private label's continual rise; the evolving consumer mindset and their growing appreciation for private label's value proposition and more.

PLMA President Peggy Davies spoke at the March 8 webinar and will appear again at the Dec. 6, 2024 session at 2 p.m. EST. Other sessions will be held May 3 and July 26, featuring Mary Ellen Lynch, Principal, Circana. Click here to register.
 

PLMA’s World of Private Label International Trade Show

PLMA’s 2024 World of Private Label International Trade Show will be held May 28-29 at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, The Netherlands. The exhibit hall will feature fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods, dry grocery, and beverages as well as non-food categories, including cosmetics, health and beauty, household and kitchen, auto aftercare, garden, housewares and much more. Click here for more info.

Become a PLMA Member

Did you know PLMA members receive discounted rates to attend November's Private Label Trade Show and PLMA’s Executive Education program?

Members also get access to UNIFY+ monthly sales data covering over 317 food and non-food categories and over 950 subcategories and much more. Becoming a PLMA member is an investment that delivers actionable real-time solutions so that your business thrives today and is prepared for tomorrow’s challenges.

Click here for information, or contact the membership team at memberservices@plma.com.

Events

PLMA's Lunch and Learn, Thursday, May 16 12:30pm ET
Presented by McKinsey & Company