Ofi's Jhanwer: "Private Label on Growth Trajectory Without Inflation"

Prakash Jhanwer, global head of Sales & New Channels at ofi, told Store Brands that he expects the private label industry to grow regardless of future economic downturns.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Prakash Jhanwer ofi
Prakash Jhanwer, global head of Sales & New Channels, ofi

At PLMA’s recent 2022 Trade Show in Chicago, Ill., suppliers and manufacturers from around the world gathered at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to display new products and network with retailers in attendance.

One company in attendance was Olam Food Ingredients (ofi), an offshoot of Olam Group that manufactures cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts, spices and more for private label clients. Prakash Jhanwer, global head of Sales & New Channels, spoke with Store Brands and said the future of private label is bright, and that ofi is looking to take advantage of the growth period.

“Most importantly during the pandemic, retailers realized that consumers can be brand agnostic, and that the quality of private label can be very good,” he said. “So these two can be very big drivers of private label growth. The trust that the retailers have on the supply chain and the feeling that they won’t lose out on consumer demand are also equally critical I think.”

Jhanwer said that economic pressures like inflation will trigger faster growth in private label. He added that ofi’s global client base gives the ingredient company a great outlook on market trends and consumer demand when it comes to private label.

“Inflation aside, private label is on a growth trajectory. We are probably one of the few companies that do private label globally,” said Jhanwer. “In Europe, we see private label is almost 40% of the total grocery basket. In the U.S., it is still at 17-18%. So even without a recession, private label is on a growth trajectory because what is happening in Europe will happen with a lag in the U.S.”

ofi operates over 110 manufacturing facilities around the globe, and serves clients in nearly 50 countries.