Juan De Paoli, Kroger’s VP of Our Brands, to Speak at PLMA Conference in March

Kroger’s Our Brands VP Juan De Paoli to Speak at PLMA Conference in March

NEW YORK (January 19, 2023) - PLMA today announced that Juan De Paoli, vice president of Our Brands at the Kroger Co., will take the stage at its annual Meeting & Leadership Conference, March 22-24 in Orlando at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.

De Paoli will speak at a breakfast session on Friday, March 24.

“We are pleased to welcome Juan De Paoli to our annual Meeting and Leadership conference,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies. “Juan’s 20-plus years of experience, vision and talent has greatly contributed to consumer engagement with retailers’ own brands.”

De Paoli joined Kroger in 2021. He is responsible for driving Kroger’s private label vision, strategy and program development to deliver long-term growth and enhance the company’s brand equity, strategic positioning, revenue, profit and market value. He also provides leadership to and develops high-performing team members, oversees product development, testing, sourcing, vendor selection and private label marketing programs to minimize cost and maximize sales revenues related to private label products. Prior to Kroger, he served as senior vice president of Private Brands, Ahold Delhaize USA; and spent 12 years at H-E-B in its Own Brand organization. He also served as vice president of Grocery, Frozen, Health & Beauty Care and General Merchandising at Topco Associates. Additionally, he has worked for Oscar Mayer Food Corporation and Procter & Gamble in Venezuela and Mexico.

PLMA's Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference brings together manufacturers, retailers and many others. This annual event focuses on expanding private brand knowledge of the industry in general, as well as for personal and professional development. This year’s theme is “What Does Winning Look Like for Store Brands?”

Additional 2023 speakers include Kevin Ryan of Malachite Strategy and the Culture Matters newsletter; James E. Dillard III, Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Healthcare Americas, Perrigo; Roger Davidson, an industry veteran and leading consultant in the food retail industry; Tim Pollard, Founder & CEO of Oratium; and Julien LeBlanc, Co-Founder and President, Blueprint North America.

Annual association business and voting is also conducted at the meeting. Click here for more information.

About PLMA
The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) is a non-profit trade organization founded in 1979 to promote the store brands industry. With executive offices in New York and International Council offices in Amsterdam, PLMA represents more than 4,000 member companies worldwide. In addition to the Annual Private Label Trade Show in Chicago and its World of Private Label Trade Show in Amsterdam, PLMA provides annual conferences, executive education and professional development opportunities. Follow PLMA on plma.com, plmainternational.com, Twitter and LinkedIn.

"How Private Label Packaging Strategies Influence Shoppers Intent to Purchase"
Managing and Growing Private Brand Sales on Existing Business
Private Label Hall of Fame Receives Submissions

Store Brands magazine, in conjunction with PLMA, has begun its process of finalizing nominations for the Private Label Hall of Fame. Submission of nominations will end on January 31 and you can submit a nomination by clicking here.

The Hall of Fame will feature honorees in four categories. They are Lifetime Achievement, Private Brand Champion, Private Brand Innovator, and Next Generation Private Label Leader. Each of the categories has its own unique set of criteria as PLMA and Store Brands look to honor leaders who have spent their careers developing new initiatives and helping to drive the private label industry forward.

Voting on the nominees submitted by readers will take place in early February and new inductees to the Hall of Fame for 2023 will be announced and profiled in the March issue of Store Brands Magazine. The inductees will also be recognized at the Hall of Fame reception at PLMA's 2023 Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida on March 22.

The inductees will join the 72 members who have been inducted since the launch of the Hall of Fame in 2006. For the first time last year there was only one inductee with the induction of Brian Sharoff, who served as PLMA President from 1981 until his death in 2020.

PLMA Board Leaders Express Strong Optimism in Annual Roundtable

PLMA President Peggy Davies hosted and moderated a panel discussion featured on PLMALive! addressing topics that will define the store brand industry this year.

The panelists, Doug Bausch, VP of sales and marketing at OTC pharmaceuticals manufacturer LNK International, Inc., and current chairman of PLMA’s board of directors; and Clay Dockery, VP of corporate brands at Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, a former chairman who now serves as ex-officio, kicked off the discussion with strong optimism about future store brand sales and pointing to product quality as the key.

The improved quality of store brands over the last decade ensures that economy-driven new purchasers of the products are likely to stick with them even when better times return, the two PLMA board leaders said during the trade association's annual look ahead roundtable.

"The sweet spot for store brands is quality and with that will follow significant sales," declared Bausch.

While positive in the wake of record sales in 2022, both long-time industry executives also warned that store brands are underdeveloped in e-commerce platforms where national brands have a leg up when it comes to the most favorable product placement and presentation. “It is critically important for us to work together as an industry to find solutions to overcome this slow start,” said Dockery.

Doug Bausch explained that educating the consumer and highlighting store brand quality that is equal or better than comparable national brands while demonstrating price comparisons is essential to leveling the playing field. He added top of page searches that include the store’s own brand next to national brands could also increase awareness among online shoppers.

Dockery added, "We are losing consumers on the first sale, since E-shoppers favor speed over price and gravitate to familiar brands without considering the price benefit of store brands." As an example, he pointed out that in a short time the coffee category has become dominated by online subscription services.

With work-from-home now the norm, the panelists’ suggested that chains have an opportunity with “a very captive audience” to reach consumers who are spending more time online and not rushing through the retail environment and selecting a product largely because of habit or packaging appeal and time constraints.

To view the 2023 Year-Ahead Panel, please click here.

Upcoming PLMA Programs

Throughout 2023, PLMA plans to hold a series of programs designed to help members and retailers build their businesses.

On the calendar are four of PLMA’s popular Lunch & Learn sessions in addition to PLMA’s 2023 Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference in Orlando, March 22-24, and PLMA’s Executive Education Program at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, June 20-21.

The first Lunch & Learn on January 26 is titled “Managing and Growing Private Brand Sales on Existing Business.”

PLMA’s second Lunch & Learn program is titled “Consumer Demand for Private Brands: A Look Back and a Look Ahead.” MaryEllen Lynch of IRI will be the host and presenter of the program on February 2.

On February 23, Gary Stibel of the New England Consulting Group will talk about “The Private Label Advantage (Game, Set, Match).” He will address how marketing and advertising have changed and how digital media can help retailers and private brands.

The final Lunch & Learn will be presented on April 27 by Elizabeth Horvath of North America Kerry. It is titled “How America Eats” and will focus on the changing food habits of Americans and how it is impacting manufacturers and retailers.

All Lunch & Learn sessions are held via Zoom from 12:30-1:30pm EDT. This program is complimentary for all PLMA member manufacturers, brokers, and suppliers as well as retailers and wholesalers. For non-members, the cost is $49.

For more information, email info@plma.com

Click here for the full calendar of events.

 

Lunch & Learn Returns January 26

PLMA first program of 2023 will be its popular Lunch & Learn live and online speakers’ session. It returns on January 26 and will focus on how to grow private label sales.

Titled “Managing and Growing Private Brand Sales on Existing Business,” it will be hosted by Kyle Patterson, Senior Vice President of Daymon.

"Managing and growing existing business is a cornerstone for both manufacturers and their retail partners,” Patterson said. “Directing current business is an essential skillset that must be mastered and is an important part of a cycle which helps us demonstrate value. This, in turn, leads to new business opportunities and ensures our viability as an organization in future."

Lunch & Learn will be held online for 60 minutes starting at 12:30 PM EDT. The professional development program is complimentary for all PLMA member manufacturers, brokers, and suppliers as well as retailers and wholesalers.

To register for the event, please click here or please contact Julia Meehan at education@plma.com for more information.

Board Leaders Express Strong Optimism on Sales During Annual Roundtable

"Product Quality" Ensures Continued Store Brands Growth
PLMA Board Leaders Express Strong Optimism During Annual Roundtable

The improved quality of store brands over the last decade ensures that economy-driven new purchasers of the products are likely to stick with them even when better times return, said two PLMA board leaders during the trade association's annual look ahead roundtable.

The panelists, Doug Bausch, VP of sales and marketing at OTC pharmaceuticals manufacturer LNK International, Inc., and current chairman of PLMA’s board of directors; and Clay Dockery, VP of corporate brands at Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, a former chairman who serves as ex-officio, kicked off the discussion with strong optimism about future store brand sales and pointing to product quality as the key.

"The sweet spot for store brands is quality and with that will follow significant sales," declared Bausch.

While positive in the wake of record sales in 2022, both long-time industry executives also warned that store brands are underdeveloped in e-commerce platforms where national brands have a leg up when it comes to the most favorable product placement and presentation. “It is critically important for us to work together as an industry to find solutions to overcome this slow start,” offered Dockery.

Educating the consumer and highlighting store brand quality that is equal or better than comparable national brands while demonstrating price comparisons is essential to leveling the playing field, explained Bausch. He added top of page searches that include the store’s own brand next to national brands could also increase awareness among online shoppers.

Dockery said, "We are losing consumers on the first sale, since E-shoppers favor speed over price and gravitate to familiar brands without considering the price benefit of store brands." As an example, he pointed out that in a short time the coffee category has become dominated by online subscription services.

With work-from-home now the norm, the panelists’ suggested that chains have an opportunity with “a very captive audience” to reach consumers who are spending more time online and not rushing through the retail environment and selecting a product largely because of habit or packaging appeal and time constraints.

The roundtable was moderated by Peggy Davies, PLMA president, and appeared on the association's PLMALive! news and information website. To view the 2023 Year-Ahead Panel, please click here.

 

Tom’s Data Dive - A Sneak Peek at 2022's Hottest Categories

In the latest feature for PLMA’s e-Scanner, Editor-in-Chief Tom Prendergast examines PLMA’s exclusive IRI/Unify sales data. He examines the data to see which categories and products are showing growth and opportunities for PLMA members and retailers.

In early January 2023, the full 52-week IRI Unify numbers for store brand sales will be available to PLMA members and qualified retailers on plma.com and the industry will see exactly how it fared last year.

As told in our lead story, over the first 11 months of the year, store brand dollar sales increased by 10.6%. So far this year, store brand dollar share is at 18.5% while unit share is 20.1%. Based on the data, PLMA is projecting full year 2022 sales of store brands to reach $221 billion, which would be a $21 billion increase over 2021 and a new annual record. 

But what categories will show the most dollar sales growth for 2022? Here is a sneak peek at how some of IRI Unify's 317 categories have grown over the past 11 months, as of November 27.

Sales increases among food products are particularly strong. Bottled Water rose 22.8% and reached $6.7 billion in private label sales while sales of Cookies increased 18.3%, hitting sales of just under $2 billion over the past 11 months. Fresh Eggs (up 49.6%), Butter and Butter Blends (26.6%), Shortening and Oil (26.5%), Hot Cereal (21.5%) and Cold Cereal (17.7%) are also on track for robust growth for FY 2022.

Store brand growth is not limited to food. Hair Appliances (up 122.7%), Drinkware (75.7%), Skin Care (23.6%), Laundry Detergent (17.9%), and Antifreeze (16.2%) were just some of the multi-million-dollar categories with double-digit store brand growth.

Large non-food categories like Disposable Tableware have reached nearly $2 billion in sales and rose 15.2% in dollar sales. Toilet Tissue had just under $3 billion as its private label dollar sales grew 14.8%. Pet products were another bright spot over the past 11 months: Cat and Dog Litter (up 18.8%), Pet Treats (19.5%), and Pet Food (16.8%).

IRI Unify's monthly data detailing the status of store brand and national brand dollar and unit sales in 317 categories and 967 subcategories is always available to members and qualified retailers at plma.com.