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2017 was a big year with big retail changes. What will 2018 bring? Get ahead of the curve with PLMA’s annual Year-End/Year-Ahead program. Join Don Stuart of Cadent Consulting, Neil Stern of McMillanDoolittle, Matthew Boyle of Bloomberg News and Todd Hale, formerly with Nielsen, as they look at what Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and Costco did last year and what they may be planning for the new year. Tim Simmons moderates. Click here for video.

  • Private Label Stars
    Omnichannel marketing has hit a threshold, and several companies are leading the way ‑ like Walmart’s Jet.com. Christopher Durham explains how store brands play a key role.

    Christopher Durham
    Private Label Stars
    January 2018
     
    Boxed, Brandless and Jet   which was recently acquired by Walmart   are shaking up the traditional grocery channel with online models designed to drive low cost and convenience. Each is uprooting and changing how consumers think, behave and buy.
     
    Private brands play the role of strategic differentiator for each of these disruptors.
     
    Founded in 2013, Boxed has taken the traditional club store and folded it into an innovative, digital experience that Forbes called Costco for Millennials -- all without a membership fee. With 133-Million dollars in venture capital funding, Boxed went from a scrappy startup in a garage to 100-Million in annual sales in less than four years.


    The company’s curated online assortment of 15-Hundred products drove the retailer to adopt a nuanced, modern approach to design. The purpose of the packaging is not to capture the sale; it is to engage with customers in an authentic and playful way, with an occasional touch of wit and humor.

  • Taste Test
    In this era of label transparency, forward-thinking manufacturers are changing ingredients for their processed foods. Dr. Kantha Shelke discusses recipe options.

    Dr. Kantha Shelke
    Taste Test
    January 2017
     
    Understanding the science of food and the underlying mechanism of taste can help elevate flavors and enjoyment without denting quality, profit margins, or the growing demand for clean labels. This is particularly true as private label works to match or exceed national brands.
     
    The trend towards shorter ingredient lists with alternatives that appeal to consumers is phasing out artificial flavors including monosodium glutamate (MSG) and adenosine monophosphate (nucleotide). Despite years of use, today they sound unfriendly, unpronounceable, and artificial. Natural flavors may seem like the logical solution, but not many are commercially viable because they’re complex and lack the consistency and stability of their synthetic counterparts.

    So what can private label manufacturers to do? There are several options available that help satisfy consumers’ desires for more transparent labels, while still protecting product integrity. Let’s look at a few.
     
  • Meal Kits Future
    The $2.2 billion meal kit segment attracts big investment dollars but remains plagued by setbacks and skepticism. Veronica Carvalho reports.

    Veronica Carvalho
    Meal Kits Future
    December 2017
     
    Back in 2012, when Blue Apron delivered their first few meals out of their New York kitchen, they knew they were on to something. The group of friends who beta-tasted the first meals couldn’t stop raving about it and the business soared. In about 36 months, Blue Apron was valued at 2 billion dollars and a new concept had come into consumers’ lives. 
     
    Today, the meal kit industry represents a $2.2 billion dollars in sales and is a huge help for consumers who are strapped for time but still want quality meals. The market has matured in and it’s packed with startups.
     
    Consumer potential seems compelling. Last year, Nielsen reported that one out of four adults purchased a meal kit, although the percentage who stay with the service varies considerably.
     
  • Changing Channels
    Shifts in television viewing habits are altering the way marketers reach out to consumers. Brad Edmondson looks at who's tuning in - and tuning out.

    Brad Edmondson
    Changing Channels
    December 2017
     
    Understanding market research is like searching for buried treasure. You have to dig.  If you only glance at the American Time Use Survey, you might notice that we spend less time reading than we did a decade ago.  Well, any journalist could have told you that.  But let's keep looking.  
     
    This survey also shows that young adults spend less time watching TV than they did in 2006, although Americans over the age of 45 actually spend more time in front of the tube.  That is kind of interesting, but let's stick with young adults for a minute. The survey also shows that men aged 21 to 30 spent 12 percent less time working in 2015 than they did in 2000.  So if they aren't reading, watching TV, or working, what the heck are they doing?

    To find out why work hours fell, researchers looked at trends in work and leisure time for young men between 2004 and 2015.  As you might expect, leisure time increased as work hours fell.  But here's the surprising thing. Young men who cut their work hours devoted three-quarters of their increased leisure time to gaming and computers.
     
Roy
Roy

Delhaize

Private Label Stars

Omnichannel marketing has hit a threshold, and several companies are leading the way ‑ like Walmart’s Jet.com. Christopher Durham explains how store brands play a key role.

Taste Test

In this era of label transparency, forward-thinking manufacturers are changing ingredients for their processed foods. Dr. Kantha Shelke discusses recipe options.

Meal Kits Future

The $2.2 billion meal kit segment attracts big investment dollars but remains plagued by setbacks and skepticism. Veronica Carvalho reports.

An Independent Opportunity

John Ross, the new president and CEO of IGA, believes the skeptics about the future of independent grocery retailers are wrong. There’s plenty of opportunity, he says, as grocery shoppers seek more high-touch, personalized experiences.

PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
Changing Channels

Shifts in television viewing habits are altering the way marketers reach out to consumers. Brad Edmondson looks at who's tuning in - and tuning out.

Clean Label Conundrum

Consumers may love clean label transparancy, but Dr. Kantha Shelke explains what's 'real' isn't always best for quality or consistency.

Clubs Close the Gap

Reinvigorated house brands at BJ's and Sam's Club boost company marketing plans. Christopher Durham explains how it's being done.

Lidl Has Landed

Michael Paglia, Director of Retail Insights at Kantar Retail, is optimistic about the success of Lidl in the U.S.

Post-Show Report from Chicago

What happens in Las Vegas may stay in Las Vegas, but what happens at PLMA’s 2017 Private Label Trade Show definitely gets around and quickly. All the products, all the trends, all the companies with innovations. Now you can catch up with all of it with this special post-show report. News anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff bring it alive with direct-from-the-floor stories by Michael Sansolo, Bob Vosburgh and Carol Angrisani.

Who Owns Pets?

Eighty-five million U.S. households own a dog or cat. Brad Edmondson reveals which demographic groups are driving growth in the $67 billion petcare category.

Vegans on the Rise

More Europeans are pursuing plant-based lifestyles, and it’s catching on with American consumers, too. Judith Kolenburg gives the industry something to chew on.

The Big Gamble

Sears and Kohl’s have struck exclusive agreements with Amazon that creates new ways to reach consumers. Roy White bets that the deals also carry substantial risks.

Pop Up Power

Jaded bricks-and-mortar shoppers find limited-time pop-up stores bring new excitement during an important selling season. Bob Vosburgh pops in on the pop up trend.

The Online Challenge

Matt Boyle, Bloomberg journalist, says the big brick and mortar retailers are taking different online strategies to meet the challenge from Amazon.