Private label power

Exhibitors at the PLMA show were displaying their latest offerings in every category.

By Elizabeth Louise Hatt

Store brands have grown tre­men­dously over the past several years and it was clear by the crowds at the Private La­bel Manufacturers Assoc­­ia­tion’s (PLMA) Pri­vate La­bel show in Chicago that the trend is not slowing down any time soon. For the second year in a row, the show recorded a double-digit increase in the number of exhibit booths and was packed with the latest innovations in food, beverages and flavors across all categories.

Twenty-four food manufacturers and eight in non-food categories were recognized by the PLMA’s 2010 Salute to Excellence Awards program for introducing innovative store brand products in the last year. The winning products were shown at the show’s Idea Supermarket and are featured on the website www.plmawinners.com.

Here are some private label products ready to hit grocery store shelves.

Asian-inspired sauces
Fairport, N.Y.-based LiDestri introduced a range of Asian-inspired sauces with five flavors Stir Fry, Spicy Orange, Teriyaki, Sweet & Sour and Garlic. They join the company’s extensive offerings of sauces, oils and other bottled cooking ingredients. “Private label is growing and the more retailers show innovation, the more it will continue to grow,” said Jocelyn Salzano-Paal, mar­­keting manager. For more information, visit www.lidestrifoods.com.
Skillet meals

Launching this spring are skillet meals from Holland, Mich.-based Request Foods. The line will be produced in a new 230,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its existing plant. “Skillet and bagged-prepared meals are a growing category in the frozen food aisle,” said Jack Dewitt, president. “With our new facility, we will be able to offer new and existing customers Requests Foods’ commitment to excellence in culinary development, fresh preparation and best-of-class production in their sealed bag, prepared meals.” For more information, visit www.requestfoods.com.

Smooth move
A new line of frozen fruit from Placentia, Calif.-ba­sed Frozsun Foods is packaged specifically for making smoothies. The individual bags include a combination of 100% natural fruits with no added sugar that are ready to be blended. The company plans to introduce a variety with yogurt in the spring. “People want more fresh fruit in their diet and one of the top things people are doing with frozen fruit is making smoothies,” said Christine Herrera, vice president of marketing for Frozsun Foods. “Frozen fruit often holds more nutrients than fresh fruit. Our plants are located in the fields so our fruit is frozen immediately after it’s picked, maintaining a lot of their nutrients.” For more information, visit www.frozsun.com.

Grilled seafood
The value-added frozen seafood of­ferings from Dan­vers, Mass.-based High Liner Foods have been expanded to include a line of flame-grilled seafood. The three varieties are tilapia with roasted garlic and butter and tilapia or salmon blended with herbs and spices. Chef Owen Tilley, the company’s executive chef and director of culinary, said he uses only the best ingredients and finds inspiration through his past experiences as an executive chef at award-winning restaurants. For more information, visit www.highlinerfoodsusa.com.
Coupons on the go

Digital incentive processing company M-Dot Network, based in Erie, Pa., is providing the technology for the first point-of-sale embedded digital and mobile coupon program launched by Hiller’s Markets. The Click and Save at Hiller’s (C.A.S.H.) gives shoppers the ability to receive digital coupons issued by Hiller’s and third-parties via the retailer’s website or their mobile phone. Customers register online to store the coupons in a digital wallet and then apply them to their purchase at the store’s checkout by entering their phone number. “The M-Dot offers a secure, real-time transaction network connecting Internet and mobile based applications to retail point of sale systems,” said M-Dot CEO Bill Catania. “The network utilizes existing in-store systems with no need for additional in-store hardware or infrastructure.” For more information, visit www.mdotnetwork.com.
Hickory flavor

Mandan, N.D.-based Clo­verdale Foods Co. has been offering high-quality processed meat products, including hams, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, deli meats and ribs, since 1915. The family-owned business uses real hickory smoke for a true old-fashioned goodness, according to company officials. “It was another excellent year at the PLMA,” said Todd Russell, senior director of retail sales. For more information, visit www.cloverdalefoods.com.

Shelf appeal
The 46-ounce rectangular PET bottle design from Carneys Point, N.J.-based Clement Pappas has the same shape as its 64-ounce PET bottle to maintain the image of the line and make the best use of shelf space. In addition, the company is offering three-sided shoppable mixed pallets of various 64-ounce size beverages in display cases. “This is an opportunity for retailers to boost private label sales with a pallet promotion program of items such as summertime tea and ‘ades or post-holiday diet juices,” said Jarrod Perkins, marketing associate. For more information, visit www.clementpappas.com.

Smokin’ good
In its first PLMA show appearance, Houston-ba­sed Holmes Smokehouse displayed its line of sausages. “In the northern region of the U.S., Italian sausage is in abundance so our pecan smoke sausage was a breath of fresh air for everyone who tasted our product,” said Lane Pauly, account manager. “We touched a lot of potential customers who love the flavor profile. Many came back for seconds or thirds and brought someone back with them.” Founded in 1970, the company’s products have won numerous awards and have been served at President George W. Bush’s inaugural ball and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. For more information, visit www.holmessmokehouse.com.

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