The international World of Private Label show is turning 21 at a time when own label is truly coming into its own
Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, the Private Label Manufacturers Association's annual World of Private Label show is not only coming of age, it is still growing.
The show, which runs from May 30-31, at the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam, is one of the longest-running trade shows in the retail business and is widely respected by both exhibitors and visitors because it focuses on attracting top-level buyers.
It also includes a seminar on Monday, May 29 that will focus on important strategic issues for retailers and own label companies. Retail experts will also present the latest market research reports and analysis of important trends.
Balancing food and non food, the 2006 PLMA show features more than 3,000 stands from 60 countries - the highest number in the event's 21-year history - including more than 30 national and regional pavilions such as Food from Britain's. Products on display will include fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods, ambient grocery and beverages as well as non food categories such as cosmetics, health and beauty, household and kitchen, auto, garden, housewares and DIY.
The show has attracted 200 more exhibitors than the previous year, with much of this growth coming from the food side. Food exhibitor numbers are up 110% compared with 2005's. Equally encouragingly, the number of registered retailer visitors is up by 200 compared with 2005 and 100 more retail companies have registered to attend than in the previous year.
Brian Sharoff, president of the PLMA, attributes the show's success to the expansion of the European Union and says more European companies are looking at extending the market for their products. Own label, he says, is proving a viable way in which they can do this.
"Companies want to get into the market and own label is the way forward because they don't have to build brands," he says.
Sharoff adds that the need for new products, contacts and ideas has never been greater. He says the global share of the own label market is at its highest yet and is set to grow further still given the fact that retailers continue to expand internationally and place greater emphasis on marketing themselves and their products.
As with previous shows, this year's PLMA will feature a showcase of the best in new product development by way of a New Product Expo running during the show. Sited between the food and non food halls at RAI, the Expo will feature about 120 products selected by the PLMA as representing the best in new food and non food own label products.
This year the PLMA has received entries from the UK, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Italy. Companies from recent European Union entrants, such as Poland, prospective EU members Turkey and Bulgaria, and from further afield in Japan, have also put forward entries.
On the food side, products being considered for selection include fresh doughs and poppadoms from the UK, dry pasta in pouches from Spain, Quickbrew tea pads for use in coffee machines from Germany and a range of various snacks from Thailand.
Non food entries include scented rubber gloves from Greece and a flexible interdental plaque removing set from Germany. However, the most interesting has to be a Disney-branded portable chamber pot for babies from a Polish manufacturer that incorporates a music function to encourage toilet 'activities'.
Another special exhibit at this year's PLMA, the Idea Supermarket, will give attendees the chance to see own label portfolios from retailers around the world. The Idea Supermarket displays products and packaging from leading supermarkets, hypermarkets and retailers in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa.
In addition, PLMA is also extending its Executive Education Programme for its members. The programme, which has been running for five years, includes residential and university-based courses in the US, The Netherlands, France and Italy. This year, a one-day concentrated course, Executive Education Express, will be held on May 29.
Sharoff says that in today's globally competitive climate, both retailers and own label manufacturers will benefit from acquiring more knowledge about the markets in which they operate.
Monday May 29
Contact: Private Label Manufacturers Association, International Council, World Trade Centre, Strawinskylaan 671,