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Reading a crystal ball can be difficult but PLMA's Year-End/Year-Ahead Panel does its best to evaluate 2018 and sees what's ahead for the coming year. Join moderator Tim Simmons and panelists Jim Hertel of Inmar Analytics, Don Stuart of Cadent Consulting Group, Becky Schilling, editor-in-chief of Supermarket News, and Todd Hale, formerly with Nielsen, as they seek answers to questions like: Can retail investment in technology pay off? Can the private label industry handle innovation? Click here for video.

  • Bugging Out Over Insect Proteins
    Locusts, ants and mealworms are just a few of the insects increasingly being mentioned as alternatives to traditional proteins. Dr. Kantha Shelke reports how the ethical, sustainable, and health credentials of insects may now outweigh the “ick” factor.
    Kantha Shelke
    January 2019
     

    Humans have consumed insects for millennia. It is believed that two billion people—almost one-third of the world population—eat insects regularly. From scrambled ant eggs, called escamoles in Mexico, to deep-fried locusts in Thailand, hachinoko—bee larva—in Japan, and fried tarantula in Cambodia, insects are a delicacy for many.

    In the US and Europe, an insect-derived ingredient, called Carmine, has been a part of our supply chain for centuries. Manufacturers have been coloring candies, ice cream, maraschino cherries, Campari, beverages, yogurt, cosmetics, and textiles with this extract of an insect that lives on cactus plants.

    The global demand for protein is expected to grow 80% by 2050. Americans consume at least half a pound of meat per day, and insects are a viable solution to rising demand for protein. Locusts and grasshoppers have protein levels similar to that of raw beef and startups are offering major manufacturers a risk-managed exploration with insect-based snacks and foods.

    Insects are now worming their way into our packaged food supply chain as a viable nutrition source. Progressive manufacturers see insect foods as a way to establish a strong environmental image. 

  • Click and Collect Gains Traction
    BOPIS stands for Buy Online-Pick Up In Store and it is emerging as a key element in retailing’s strategy of balancing bricks-and-mortar and online. Roy White reports that consumers seem to like this option as well.
    Roy White
    January 2019
     

    Many supermarket operators are rapidly expanding their Buy Online Pickup In-Store programs as a pathway into the digital world. 

    ShopRite, Publix, Wegmans, Aldi and others are currently in the process of making major investments to achieve and expand this function. Many use third-party service providers like Instacart, which supplies online access and delivery.

    Vitally important as these developments are, it’s not everything. In a sense, BOPIS can be viewed as an add-on to store operations and subject to their procedures and, especially, that culture. Online powerhouses like Amazon, Alibaba and JD have been digital since inception and function much differently. Their stores ‑ Amazon Go, Alibaba’s HeMa and JD’s 7Fresh ‑ feature complete integration of on-site shopping and digital selling that has been built into the concepts from the design stage. They are much closer to a seamless experience.

  • Weighing the Impact of Food Waste
    An estimated 160 billion pounds of food goes uneaten in the U.S. every year. Most waste occurs in the home, though all segments of the supply chain share responsibility. Veronica Carvalho explains potential remedies include standardized date labeling and better inventory management.
    Veronica Carvalho
    December 2018
     

    While growing, preparing and eating food is one of the main activities of men and women today, about one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted every year globally. This means 1.3 billion tons of food end up in landfills. In the US alone, 40% of the food produced - about 160 billion pounds of food – goes uneaten.

    This has huge impact not only on economy but also in communities and the environment, wasting freshwater and generating greenhouse gas emissions.

    Food waste starts at the farm: In the U.S., about 7% of produce is left unharvested every year. Farmers tend to grow more than needed to deal with weather, disease and fluctuating orders. On top of this, to meet standard aesthetic requirements part of that crop will go to waste. Retailers are starting to work closely with farmers, sharing forecast data to help with their production plans and prevent overplanting. 

    On the manufacturer side, food loss is the smallest in the supply chain - only 2%. Obviously, food processors have a vested interest in minimizing waste. 

  • Beauty Care's New Face
    Private label beauty sales are on the rise as stores add boutique-style merchandising, in-house expertise, and new products like fragrance libraries. Maureen Donoghue details how retailers are freshening up a category already worth $16 billion.
    Maureen Donoghue
    December 2018
      

    Retailers, for many years, have eyed cosmetics and perfumes as a tantalizing target for their private label programs. Health and beauty store brands are already worth nearly sixteen billion with a respectable eighteen percent market share. With fragrances expected to grow worldwide to forty-six billion, US supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers want to try to take their share of the pie.

     

    Unlike past years, however, when low price was the main attraction, today’s retailers are using sensory experience to lure shoppers in. They are challenging the idea that perfume or makeup has to be a national brand to be just right for you.

     

    CVS has announced a big change in their beauty aisle. It’s a makeover for everyone involved. The stores get a brand new, boutique-style look called “Beauty I R L” while customers will find consultants to help them pick out what works and how to use it.  Stylists will offer walk-in services like blow outs and braids. There will be a “test and play” hygiene bar, inviting the customer to enjoy themselves. And a “wonder wall” of samples and trial sizes. Alongside the brand names CVS can showcase their already popular “Beauty three sixty” products and their “Makeup Academy” line. Their fragrance line “Essence of Beauty” will also be presented alongside the national brands.

Category Profile: Store Brands Brew Excitement in Tea Aisle

It doesn't take reading tea leaves to know that the tea category is quickly filling up with new products and new consumers. Exotic varieties like matcha, sencha and oolong are attracting people interested in tea's reported health benefits. And Bob Vosburgh explains there are more ways than ever to enjoy tea, from specialty, ready-to-drink “cold brew” bottles to the ceremonial splendor of powdered Japanese matcha.

Click and Collect Gains Traction
BOPIS stands for Buy Online-Pick Up In Store and it is emerging as a key element in retailing’s strategy of balancing bricks-and-mortar and online. Roy White reports that consumers seem to like this option as well.
Store Brands Growth Goes Global

Now more than ever the success of private label is a global phenomenon. Brian Sharoff, president of PLMA, sees more global growth on the horizon and says the association is focusing on new programs to help member manufacturers.

PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
Weighing the Impact of Food Waste

An estimated 160 billion pounds of food goes uneaten in the U.S. every year. Most waste occurs in the home, though all segments of the supply chain share responsibility. Veronica Carvalho explains potential remedies include standardized date labeling and better inventory management. Click here for video.

Beauty Care's New Face

Private label beauty sales are on the rise as stores add boutique-style merchandising, in-house expertise, and new products like fragrance libraries. Maureen Donoghue details how retailers are freshening up a category already worth $16 billion.

An Inside Look At Online Grocery

We all have opinions about the future of online grocery retailing, but not many of us have any real inside knowledge about how Amazon and the other online retailers really work. Sam Mayberry, former Amazon executive, does.

There's No Business Like Our Business

There's no business like the private label business and it was plain for everyone to see at PLMA's 2018 Trade Show in Chicago. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff, along with PLMA's on-the-floor team for the trends and the products which highlighted this year's show. Michael Sansolo reviews some of the best food products. Bob Vosburgh analyzes home and health products and Carol Angrisani looks at the exhibit booths from a consumer's point of view. Then, Tim Simmons sums it all and offers a wrap-up commentary on PLMA's big event of 2018.

Retail Apocalypse? Hardly

The flood of closings long-predicted for the bricks-and-mortar retail landscape may not be as dire as predicted, but certain channels are in deeper water than others. Brad Edmondson offers statistical analysis of who’s falling and rising with the tide.

Pet Retailers Adopt New CEOs

Both PetSmart and Petco recently appointed new leaders that come from contrasting C-suite pedigrees. David Merrefield explains the potential strategies behind the hirings that could help differentiate the companies from each other ‑ and competitors.

Innovation isn’t Easy

Private label offers many opportunities for manufacturers these days, but it also offers plenty of challenges. PLMA's Tim Simmons speaks with Dean Erstad, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Seneca Foods, who believes innovation is one of them.

2018 Monday AM Briefing

2018 Chicago Trade Show Monday Morning Briefing

2018 Monday PM Briefing

2018 Chicago Trade Show Monday Afternoon Briefing

2018 Tuesday Briefing

2018 Chicago Trade Show Tuesday Briefing