Private Label Trade Show expands foodservice focus

Private Label Manufacturers Association said the Nov. 14-16 Private Label Trade Show will include expanded participation by foodservice suppliers, triggered by the growth of grocers providing restaurant-quality meals to shoppers.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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With more consumers eating at home, spurred on by the pandemic, and retailers broadening their prepared food and meal solutions to meet those consumer needs, the foodservice category is getting extra attention at the Private Label Trade Show this November, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

PLMA said the show will include expanded participation by foodservice suppliers across all food, nonfood and beverage categories.

The Private Label Trade Show is slated to return to an in-person event Nov. 14-16 in Chicago, and PLMA said more than 2,000 exhibitors and more than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend.

a truck is parked on the side of a road

Joining the retailers on the show floors will be representatives from some the nation’s largest restaurant suppliers, said PLMA, including Sysco, US Foods, Aramark, Maclean and others. The foodservice companies have highly developed brand programs, ranging from value labels in basic food items, nonfood and takeout packaging to proprietary labels that might include proprietary coffee blends, farm raised meat and produce, craft cheese and artisan bakery items, sustainably sourced seafood, authentic Italian, Latin and Asian specialty items, and more. 

“Consumers have become more accustomed to finding freshly made, restaurant-style meals in supermarkets — whether prepared by in-store bakery, deli and meat departments, or brought in from a ghost kitchen or commissary — which are sold at extremely reasonable prices under the retailer’s own brands,” said PLMA Vice President Anthony Aloia.

PLMA said a spike in demand for sanitary pre-packaging of ready-to-eat prepared foods for exhausted home cooks, along with more convenient snacks and meals to-go, made grocery stores more competitive with restaurant take-out than ever before, adding that, a surge of in-app and online ordering for curbside pick-up and delivery platforms further blurred the boundaries between retail grocery, convenience and restaurant channels. 

Simultaneously, many best-in-class retail chains expanded their convenience-oriented offerings for prepared, kitchen and table-ready meals packaged for pickup or delivery, in addition to items packaged for grab-and-go in stores, the organization said.