PLMA E-Scanner – December 2020

December, 2020
PLMA reports busy online trade show

The Private Label Manufacturers Association reports it has successfully conducted its first online trade show for retailers and manufacturers of private label products throughout Europe and around the globe.

Between 1 to 4 December, PLMA presented a series of dedicated, category-specific trade shows where buyers and suppliers met and did business across a singular, secure and proprietary PLMA digital platform.

PLMA president, Peggy Davies said, “During the four show days, we monitored the online activity that took place. More than 2,500 substantial video calls took place between unique conversation partners, and more than 15,000 virtual business cards were exchanged between visitors and exhibitors.

“The online show platform remains accessible to all registered buyers and visitors until mid-April 2021 and with this, sourcing for products and exchanging messages and virtual business cards can continue. As is demonstrated by the fact that another 1,000 virtual business cards were already exchanged in the first few days after 4 December.”

Nielsen sees opportunity for private label growth

Nielsen sees an opportunity for private label to grow in 2021 as retailing across Europe returns to normal after the pandemic. In presentations at PLMA’s online trade show earlier this month, Nielsen executives pointed to some key factors that could drive more gains for retailer brands.

Shoppers in 2021 may be looking for value more than ever as they cope with the economic difficulties and uncertainty following the pandemic. Retailer brands typically have gained market share during such times and there’s reason to believe this will happen again.

2021 will see strong growth from hard discount retailers and their large private label assortments. Aldi and Lidl opened an average of 5.6 stores a week during 2019, more than double the rate of the previous year, and it is likely this expansion will continue.

Consumers now have more confidence in the quality of retailer brands. Nielsen research shows an increasing percentage of believe that the quality private label products is just as good as manufacturer brands and also think the quality is improving.

Aldi has big plans for France

Aldi has big plans to expand in France. The discounter says it aims to double the number of its stores in the country following the takeover of the 547 Leader Price stores it acquired from the Casino group. Aldi has a goal of operating 1900 Aldi stores in the country, up from its current 862.

“We want every French person to have an Aldi store 15 minutes from their home”, says Philip Demeulemeester, manager of Aldi France. Aldi currently is more established in North and East regions, and not as much in rural areas. With this acquisition, it has acquired a larger network in the south of France and on the coasts.

The conversion of the first stores to the Aldi banner will begin at the start of 2021, at the rate of 10 to 15 stores per week. In the spring, the three former Casino warehouses will be equipped with cold rooms and will join the Aldi network.

Aldi expects a significant gain in market share. “We have a market share of around 2.3% to date in France. With Leader Price currently at 1.7%, we are now mathematically at 4%. We can double that”, he says.

Retailers keep removing plastics

Retailers across Europe are busy removing plastic from their packaging.

Tesco will remove 16 million pieces of plastic from its own label chicken range next year. The retailer will achieve its goal by removing the plastic tray and film and replacing it with a single bag.

Portuguese retailer Pingo Doce and wholesaler Recheio Cash & Carry have eliminated microplastics from around 520 private label products across the cosmetics, detergents and personal care categories. Pingo Doce removed microplastics from all 321 SKUs in its Be Beauty, Cuida Bebé, SKINO and UltraPro ranges. Recheio eliminated the component from its Masterchef and Amanhecer brands.

Mercadona aims to reduce plastic use by 25% and make all its plastic packaging recyclable.

Aldi Italia has rolled out food packaging made of Social Plastic in cooperation with Carton Pack and the Plastic Bank. Social Plastic is made from waste plastics that would otherwise end up in the oceans.

Waitrose is relaunching its eco-friendly household cleaning range, ECOlogical, with packaging improvements which will save an estimated 4.1 tonnes of new plastic a year. The range of 17 naturally derived products features recovered and recycled ‘Ocean Bound Plastic’ in some of the product packaging. Ocean Bound Plastic is a recycled raw material made from plastic waste that is at risk of ending up in the oceans.

Albert Heijn sees a digital future

Albert Heijn sees its future as no longer just a supermarket retailer, but is also a “food technology company” that resembles Amazon. Chief executive Marit van Egmond sees a future where tills disappear and personalised marketing greatly increases: “I don't see why we have to stick to queues with employees at the end”, she said. “If you look at how many people are banking digitally at home, I think they must also be able to do their shopping digitally at home”.

He believes cash registers will soon be a thing of the past. The payment process is already digitising at an unprecedented rate, thanks to the corona pandemic. Sixty per cent of transactions are already processed through self-scan, but even self-scan tills will soon be superfluous. Since Covid-19, customers want to pay contactless, shop goal-oriented and consequently turn to online shopping. Albert Heijn mobile app currently has 1.8 million users each week. In early 2019 there were only 200 thousand users. Elderly people have also turned to the app in big numbers.

Danone makes big cutbacks

One of the world’s largest CPG companies is making big cutbacks. Danone has announced a 20% reduction in its structural costs, with the elimination of 1,500 to 2,000 jobs worldwide, to generate savings of one billion euros by 2023.

“The global pandemic that has raged since the start of the year has accelerated some features of the food revolution and altered others. In this context, we are faced with the closure of out-of-home channels, which affects our activity everywhere, the reduction of the ranges carried by our retailers, the dips announced in the dynamics of births, but also higher operational costs related to health measures and securing supplies and flows,” says Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone.

Italy makes new law on origin of meats

Italy has made it a legal requirement to indicate the origin of processed meats such as salami, mortadella, hams and culatello on product labelling. The aim of the initiative is to support authentic Italian products and “expose the deceit of presenting foreign meat as Italian”, said Ettore Prandini, chairman of the Italian farmers' lobby group Coldiretti. According to a survey carried out by that organisation, 82% of Italians prefer home-grown products in order to support the economy and local businesses.

From now on, the product label will have to indicate in detail where the meat comes from. Both the country of birth of the animal and the country (or countries) where it was fattened and finally slaughtered must be indicated. The designation “100% Italian” may therefore only be used for meat derived from pigs born, raised and slaughtered in Italy.

Perekrestok introduces sensor label

The Perekrestok supermarkets in Russia are introducing a sensor-based label that can detect the freshness of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook foods. The ‘Green Dot’ programme will be used for 300 products in the X5 Smart Kitchen range at 460 supermarkets across Central Russia. The solution enables independent monitoring of product quality and storage conditions both by staff and customers, with sensors indicating the actual temperature conditions experienced by each item and their compliance with storage requirements.

In the Stores 

Conad is adding over 200 SKUs across 40 product categories to its premium Sapori & Idee Conad brand.

Crai in Italy has rolled out two premium brands. Piaceri Italiani focuses on foods from Italy, while Piaceri del Mondo, offers products from around the world. The Piaceri brand consists of over 280 products.

Monoprix intends to franchise its retail formats in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Aldi UK is introducing 100% recyclable packaging for its boxed cereal.

Italian retailer Pam Panorama has rolled out a range of meal kits under the Alice brand, offering easy-to-prepare gourmet recipes.

Lidl plans to install electronic shelf labels all over Germany, starting with in the fruit and vegetable range.

Carrefour aims to add electronic shelf labels in around 500 stores by the end of 2022.

Eroski has launched a 19 SKU range of organic fruit and vegetables.

Market Research 
Retailers will recover this year

The outlook for the European retail sector in 2021 is ‘stable’, a new report by Moody’s Investor Service forecasts, with demand recovery set to be balanced by an online surge over the next 12 to 18 months. The driving forces behind this stable outlook include a recovery in sales volumes and profits, although for many retailers they will remain below 2019 levels, as well as a normalisation of food demand and a more positive economic outlook.

Moody’s believes the coronavirus pandemic is likely to speed up retail sector transformation across Europe, particularly when it comes to the digitalisation. The rising share of online sales is cannibalising in-store sales and eroding margins for bricks-and-mortar focused retailers. In addition, the digitalisation of stores, marketing and sales initiatives is likely to entail additional costs at the outlay, before delivering improved efficiency.

PLMA News 
More than 170 retailers register for Private Label Week

More than 170 retailers have already registered for PLMALive! Presents Private Label Week, the virtual U.S. trade show that will take place February 1-5. The registered retailers include the largest U.S. chains, such as Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Costco and Aldi. Online giant Amazon also is registered to attend the event.

Leading regional retailers will be well represented. Ahold Delhaize, H-E-B, Wegmans, Wakefern and Weis are planning to see exhibitors at Private Label Week.

Some important European retailers, including Waitrose from Britain, Colruyt from Belgium and Migros from Switzerland, also have registered.

Retailers will also play an important role in the daily PLMALive! video programming that will take place during the entire event. Senior executives from leading retailers will make presentations on industry trends, and retail winners of PLMA’s U.S. Salute to Excellence Awards will be announced. Many executives from the winning retailers will accept their Awards, which honor innovation in store brands. More than 50 products sold in all retail channels will be recognised at the online event.

43 retailers win “Salute to Excellence” Awards

Forty-three retailers were honored as winners of PLMA’s 2020 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, in recognition of innovation and quality of their private brand food and non-food products. Nearly 550 products were submitted for consideration. The award-winning food and non-food products were selected by panels of judges, consisting of industry professionals, including chefs, former retailers, academics, nutritionists, journalists, and packaging specialists.

Retailers in Germany came away with 20 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, followed by 10 Awards for retailers in Italy and 9 awards for Spanish retailers. Retailers in France, Sweden, and Ireland won 6 awards each. Retailers from South Africa participated for the first time and came away with 4 awards.

Six awards, the most for any retailer, were given to Germany’s drugstore Dirk Rossmann. The Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés came away with five Awards, Axfood from Sweden as well as Woolworths from South Africa were given 4 Awards each. Aldi was recognised for products sold in its Irish stores.

To see all the international “Salute to Excellence” Awards winners, go to

1-5 February 2021

PLMA Live! Presents Private Label Week

17-18 February 2021

Online Roundtable Conference

18-19 May 2021

“World of Private Label” International Trade Show