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NEW YORK -- Almost two dozen retailers large and small -- Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, CVS, Costco, Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter, ShopRite, Lund Food Holdings among them --will receive Salute to Excellence Awards at the 2007 Private Label Manufacturers Association Trade Show scheduled for Nov. 11 to Nov. 13 in Chicago. The awards are presented each year for outstanding new products offered by retailers under their own store brands.
"The Salute to Excellence Awards demonstrate that store brands are on the forefront of new product development," said PLMA president Brian Sharoff in a statement. "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."
The edible items honored include such global fare as curry chicken naan pizza (Sobeys' Compliments brand), Italian-style wedding soup (Western Family Foods' Shurfine brand), peach pineapple salsa (Price Chopper), white chocolate truffle cake (Smart & Final's Chef's Review brand), and balsamic Modena vinegar (Ahold USA's Simply Enjoy brand).
The awards also recognize outstanding products in the home and HBC categories, including such products this year as dining chair covers (Target's Classic Home brand), barbecue baskets (Save-A-Lot's PatiO! brand) and a digital temple thermometer for babies (Topco Associates' Top Care brand).
All the Salute to Excellence Award winning products were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges organized by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) and including product development specialists, industry representatives, trade journalists, and consumers.
In other PLMA news, according to a recent nationwide survey by Ispos for PLMA, the popularity of private label grocery products is increasing among American shoppers. Forty-one percent of shoppers now call themselves "frequent" buyers, vs. 36 percent five years ago when and a mere 12 percent 15 years ago.
The survey also found that nearly half of consumers are more aware of private label products than five years ago and are more willing to purchase them. In fact, almost two-thirds of respondents said they would buy more private label in the coming year if their stores carried a broader assortment of such products.
Additional research findings included the following:
-- 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 products in the next year than those in the low-income (under $30,000) bracket.
-- Almost half of those surveyed said their regular shopping basket now contains one-quarter or more store brand items. For all consumers in the study, the average amount of private label bought is 32 percent.
The PLMA represents over 3,000 companies around the world and offers trade shows, programs, and services for its members and retailers.