PLMA International salutes standout products

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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The Private Label Manufacturers Association International Council has named 43 retailers winners in its 2020 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, recognizing the best food and non-food products of the year. The competition first began in 2014.

Among the countries, Germany walked away with the most “Salute to Excellence” wins, earning 20 in all, followed by Italy with nine, Spain with nine, France with six, Ireland with six, Sweden with six and South Africa with four.

Germany’s Dirk Rossman drug store won six awards itself for products that included its Rossmann’s Enerbio Saatenbrot. Spanish store El Corte Ingles grabbed 5 awards, including a win for its Fred & Rita Biodegradable dog waste bags. Axford in Sweden won four awards, as did Woolworths in South Africa — the former earned a win for its Axford’s Muesli with chickpeas and cornflower. Aldi earned four recognitions for products in its stores in Ireland, such as the Aldi Ireland’s Clonbawn Chocolate Protein Milk.

Winning products were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of industry experts, chefs, former retailer executives, academics, nutritionists, journalists and packaging specialists. Items were gauged on innovation and creativity.

Some broader trends that came out of the winning products included natural and organic ingredients, environmentally conscious agriculture, responsible aquaculture, and protection of nature and preservation of the environment. In foods specifically, retailers aimed their store brand products to deliver special gastronomic experiences through design and packaging, and indulgent flavors. 

Very noticeable throughout the awards was the use of packaging from recycled glass, paper or plastic from renewable and sustainable raw materials, all 100% recyclable. In health and beauty categories, “free from micro plastics” shined.

Additionally, the awards had a special line of awards for private label wines. The theme was Late Summer Wines and had varietals from more than 16 retailers across seven countries, totaling more than 160 summer wines. Lidl won 4 times for wines sold in the Netherlands.

Germany won 12 awards total and retailers in The Netherlands won 9 awards while Italian retailers walked away with 5 wine awards. A special mention went to American participants in the wine awards program who were recognized with a total of 6 awards. 

“My congratulations go to the winning retailers,” said PLMA president Peggy Davies, “as well as to all of the other retailers who participated in the awards program. These awards demonstrate that private label is leading the retail industry and giving consumers the great products they want. The big number of sustainable and environmentally friendly products in food and non-food show the commitment of retailers towards a cleaner planet” 

PLMA International has posted the full list of winners here.