Exclusive – PLMA Review: Gluten-free Products Drive Private Label Brands

This year, one of the biggest challenges of private labels was maintaining the rhythm of innovations in the bakery sector focusing on consumers’ wishes. In fact, industry growth will be dictated by free-from products (gluten-free, sugar-free), exclusively explained for World Bakers, Brian Sharoff, the president of PLMA, the most important trade fair dedicated to private labels worldwide.

By Alina Stan, editor Progresiv

“The biggest challenge for private labels this year is to maintain the rhythm of innovations in the bakery sector to satisfy their wishes, not their needs. They are focusing on free-from products or on organic, bio products. It is much more difficult than it might look at first glance. Within a five-year interval, the private label market, including bakery products, will continue to grow because the retailers want to extend their offer to the consumers. The big brands cannot do this because of their limitations. Private labels are a logical destination and from this comes the biggest profit. One of the benefits brought on by private label to the retailer is a faster reaction rate: if a product does not perform, it can be delisted very easily. By comparison, a big producer does not offer the same flexibility because it has settled a huge budget to create a brand and it cannot simply discard it,” Sharoff highlighted.

The French company Biscuit International, a European leader in sweet biscuit production for private label brands, has been following the gluten-free and organic products trend for seven years.
“We have started the production of private label gluten-free biscuits for more than seven years and it is one of the directions of major investments. The main markets for this type of products are France and the UK, where the demand is high. Germany is next, with a market growth of 10%,” Christel Delasson, CMO Biscuit International, explained.

The bakery sector was one of the best represented at this years’ edition of PLMA, with over 200 exhibitors. Analyzing the most important markets for private label, we find Spain ranking first, a newcomer for the private label league, followed by Switzerland, the UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and France. In these countries, private label brands have a market share of over 40%, both in value and volume.

This is one of the conclusions presented at the biggest trade fair for private labels worldwide, PLMA World of Private Label 2019, held May 21-22, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Over 2,700 exhibitors and 14,000 buyers from 120 countries attended the trade fair this year. The products presented varied from fresh, frozen and chilled foods to bakery, beverages, cosmetics, etc.

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