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PLMA World Of Private Label 2019: All Eyes On Amsterdam

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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The annual PLMA World of Private Label exhibition looks set to welcome more than 15,000 visitors to the RAI Exhibition Centre, Amsterdam, on 21 and 22 May. This article first appeared in ESM Issue 3 2019.

With around 2,700 exhibiting companies taking part – the highest number to date – and with 15,000 trade professionals from 120 countries set to attend, this year’s PLMA World of Private Label is shaping up to be the biggest private-label trade show of the year.

Taking place at the RAI Exhibition Centre on 21 and 22 May, the show is the biggest event on the calendar for anyone involved in private-label development, including representatives from supermarkets, hypermarkets, discounters, drugstores and department stores, as well as importers and exporters, manufacturers, consultants, sales agents, and packaging and design experts.

Ahead of the show, ESM: European Supermarket Magazine takes a look at some of the highlights of this year’s event, as well as some key trends in private label – essentially, all you need to know about store brands in 2019 – over the next 53 pages. We also highlight some of the must-visit stands at this year’s PLMA World of Private Label event (see page 108), so you can ensure that you are well prepared ahead of what is likely to be a busy event.

International Focus

Exhibitors at this year’s PLMA World of Private Label exhibition hail from more than 70 countries – a true snapshot of private-label development around the world – in the areas of food, beverage, and non-food. Some 61 national and regional pavilions will be taking part, with new pavilions from Israel, Dubai, Egypt, Latvia and South Africa this year.


In terms of numbers, there will be approximately 1,800 participating exhibitors of food and beverages, 450 exhibitors of health and beauty items, more than 300 exhibitors of household products, and more than 300 exhibitors of housewares and DIY items.

Current and emerging consumer trends will also be well represented at the event.

Some 600 exhibitors of organic products, more than 250 exhibitors of vegan and vegetarian products, nearly 200 exhibitors of lactose-free products, and 150 exhibitors of sugar-free products will be participating, as well as 250 exhibitors of kosher products and more than 200 halal-focused exhibitors.

Listen To The Buzz

The theme of this year’s World of Private Label trade show is ‘Listen to the Buzz’, in keeping with the many thousands of discussions set to take place at this year’s event. Visitors to the PLMA website – – can even sample the ‘buzz’ for themselves, via an audio clip recorded at last year’s event.


With 15 exhibit halls to explore, divided over three main complexes – RAI’s Europa Complex is devoted to food products, the Holland Complex features exhibitors displaying non-food products, and the Park Complex accommodates both food and non-food exhibitors – you can expect plenty of ‘buzz’ emanating from the trade show floor during the two days of the fair.

The show will also see a number of returning attractions, including PLMA’s Idea Supermarket, which displays the private-label ranges of around 60 retailers in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Also featured within the Idea Supermarket area is a special display showcasing the winning products in the PLMA International Salute to Excellence Awards, which celebrate the best new private-label innovations of the past year.

The PLMA New Product Expo, too, will see more than 600 products presented for the first time on the trade show floor.


Another returning attraction is the pre-show seminar programme, taking place on the day before the PLMA World of Private Label event kicks off – Monday 20 May – in the Forum Room of the RAI Exhibition Centre. As well as revealing the winners of the 2018 International Salute to Excellence Awards, this seminar will feature industry insight from renowned retail experts.

Ben Miller, global insight director, IGD, will examine the new strategies traditional retailers need to succeed against online competitors, and Lidia Palubina, senior consultant, e-commerce and omnichannel, Kantar Consulting, will discuss Alibaba’s new retail concept, which may have an impact far beyond China.

Gaining Share

According to the most recent PLMA International Private Label Yearbook, produced in association with Nielsen, private label continues to set the pace in European retail, climbing to an all-time high in seven European markets. The data, published in June 2018, shows that the market share for private label increased last year in 12 of the 19 countries studied, and it now stands at 30% or above in 17 countries.

In Germany, private-label share has reached an all-time high of more than 45% for the first time, while the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Hungary and Turkey have also seen private label hit never-before-seen heights. The last of these, Turkey, saw private label gain three percentage points in just a year, to 26%.


Similarly, in countries that already boast high private-label penetration, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Portugal, store-brand market share has also shown gains, rising to more than 40%.

In the Nordic countries, there were gains for private label in Sweden, Norway and Finland, with market share in all three countries now above 30%, while the CEE market is also showing impressive growth. Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia saw private label rise to over 30%, while in Hungary, it reached 34%.

According to Tom Penninckx of Nielsen, the gains by private label last year were especially impressive because they came at a time when consumer confidence across Europe was at its highest level in 17 years, demonstrating the growing popularity of private label in all economic conditions.

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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