Retailers Across the Country Win Awards for Outstanding Store Brand Products

Oct 02, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Private Label Manufacturers Association

    NEW YORK, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Movies have the Oscars. Television has
 the Emmys. Supermarkets, drug stores, discounters and other retailers have
 the Salute to Excellence Awards.
     Giant retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, CVS and Costco will
 walk off with Salute to Excellence Awards this year. But small regional
 supermarkets and specialty chains, such as Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter,
 ShopRite, Lund Food Holdings and Price Chopper will also be winners.
     Nearly two dozen retailers will receive Salute to Excellence Awards at
 the 2007 Private Label Manufacturers Association Trade Show to be held Nov.
 11-13 in Chicago.
     These Awards are given each year for outstanding new products offered
 by retailers under their own store brands. This year, the Salute to
 Excellence Awards for food and drink products had a truly international
 flavor. Curry chicken naan pizza, Italian style wedding soup, peach
 pineapple salsa, white chocolate truffle cake, and balsamic Modena vinegar
 were just some of the winning items.
     In addition to food and drink products, the Awards recognize
 outstanding products in home and health categories. This year's winners
 include silicone bakeware, a nonstick grilling wok, barbecue baskets and an
 all-purpose bandage.
     All the Salute to Excellence Award winning products were selected by a
 blue-ribbon panel of judges organized by the Private Label Manufacturers
 Association, the industry's trade group. The panel of judges includes
 product development specialists, industry representatives, trade
 journalists and consumers.
     "The Salute to Excellence Awards demonstrate that store brands are on
 the forefront of new product development," says Brian Sharoff, President,
 PLMA. "The retailer is close to customers and understands their needs. It's
 not surprising that retailers are constantly developing better products
 that tap into changing tastes and trends."
     This product innovation is a major factor in the growth of store brands
 across the country. According to a recent nationwide survey, the popularity
 of private label grocery products is climbing among American shoppers.
     In fact, 41% of shoppers now identify themselves as "frequent" buyers
 of store brands, according to research by Ispos MORI for PLMA. The results
 were higher than five years ago when 36% of respondents described
 themselves that way and significantly higher than 15 years ago when only
 12% called themselves frequent buyers.
     The survey also found that almost half of consumers are more aware of
 private label products than five years ago and are more willing to buy
 them. Moreover, almost two-thirds of respondents said they would buy more
 private label in the year ahead if their stores stocked a wider variety of
     The Ispos MORI research also revealed:
     -- Consumers in the middle-income ($30,000-$75,000) and high-income (over
        $75,000) brackets are much more likely to buy a larger amount of
        private label in the coming year than those in the low-income (under
        $30,000) bracket.
     -- Almost half of those interviewed said their regular shopping basket now
        contains one-quarter or more store brand products. For all consumers in
        the study, the average amount of private label they buy is 32%.
     -- The popularity of grocery store brands is spreading a halo effect to
        non-grocery private label products in trade channels apart from
        supermarkets. About one-fifth of consumers said they frequently buy
        private label products in the health and beauty, home office, household
        and home improvement categories.
     The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) represents more than
 3,000 companies around the world and offers trade shows, programs and
 services for its members and retailers. For more information about the
 Salute to Excellence Awards, the Ipsos MORI research and store brands
 contact PLMA's press representative at (212) 972-3131.
 Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
 appropriate link.
 Brian Sharoff

SOURCE The Private Label Manufacturers Association