AMSTERDAM – 1 September 2021 – Three dozen retailers from 17 countries have been named winners of PLMA’s 2021 International Salute to Excellence Awards in recognition of innovation and quality of their own-brand food and non-food products.
Nearly 600 products introduced in the past year were submitted by 62 retailers from 23 countries for consideration in the world’s largest competition dedicated exclusively to own brands, according to the association.
The winning food and non-food products were selected by several panels of judges that included industry professionals such as former retailers, chefs, academics, nutritionists, journalists, and private label adepts.
Of the 101 awards bestowed by PLMA this year, 54 went to retailers in Germany, Ireland, and The Netherlands with, respectively, 23, 17 and 14. The others were divided among chains from southern Europe, Scandinavia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Central Eastern Europe.
Twelve awards, the most any retailer has won in a single year since the program’s inception in 2014, were handed to Germany’s drugstore Dirk Rossmann. Musgrave Retail Partners from Ireland came away with ten and South African retailer Woolworths received seven. Jumbo Supermarkten in the Netherlands won six while both Dunnes Stores from Ireland and El Corte Inglés from Spain received five.
Other winning retailers were Aldi Stores (Ireland), Asda Stores (United Kingdom), Axfood (Sweden), Action (Netherlands), Carrefour (France), Colruyt (Belgium), Coop Jednota (Slovakia), Coop Trading (Denmark), Dagrofa (Denmark), Delhaize (Belgium), Despar (Italy), Eroski (Spain), Etos (Netherlands), Eva (Ukraine), Globus Sb-Warenhaus (Germany), Hema (Netherlands), Kaufland (Germany), Kesko (Finland), Kruidvat (Netherlands), Marks And Spencer (United Kingdom), Md (Italy), Metro (Germany), Migros Ticaret (Turkey), Migross (Italy), Monoprix (France), Penny-Markt (Germany), Rewe (Germany), Salling Group (Denmark), Sonae Mc (Portugal) and Sopharma (Bulgaria).
“Clearly evident this year in the quality of all the submissions and especially the winners, is a heightened focus on innovation and new product development,” said Peggy Davies, PLMA president. “These private label products demonstrate that all those involved in their development, testing and marketing have their finger on the pulse of important consumer trends.”
In food, winning products include Aldi Ireland’s Specially Selected Halloween Barmbrack, Rossmann’s enerBiO Immunsaft B12 with Shiitake Mushroom extract, Jumbo’s On the Go Lettuce Sushi Wrap with Smoked Salmon, Monoprix’ Brioche with Cereals and Seeds and Musgrave’s Sustainably Hydroponically Grown Italian Salad Mix as well as El Corte Ingles Fuet Snack, and Delhaize’s Veggie Vegan Apero Wings.
In non-food there were awards for Eroski’s Quick Dissolving Toilet Paper for Chemical Toilets, Rossmann’s Organic Menstruation Sponge, Eva’s Super Collagen Seaweed Face Mask, Woolworths Earth Friendly No flush Toilet Drops, Carrefour’s Ecoplanet Cleaning Sponge, and Sonae MC 100% Recyclable Napkins.
Key features of this year’s competition
This year’s competition was especially interesting in view of the impact of COVID and related consumer trends and how they influenced product development and innovation of private label that hit the shelves. Some observations:
• The high number of sustainable products shows retailers are serious about the planet and environment by looking for alternative growing processes using less water and less carbon footprint through organic and local sourcing.
• Recycled packaging and organic ingredients are high on the minds of the retailers’ cross-country and cross-category which now seem to be standard with 90-100% recycled packaging material.
• The following claims were widely noted: local and organic, 100% biodegradable, 100% compostable, 100% vegan, 99% natural ingredients, no plastic, ECO and perfume and allergy free.
• In food trendy flavours like turmeric and ginger are still in place.
• New flavours like pink grapefruit with coriander and mayonnaise with beetroot were clear.
• Healthy food and healthy food choices were noticeable in many categories by claiming less sugar, less fat and less calories.
• Plant-based meat is growing in all meat varieties like plant-based sausages, minced meat, plant-based chicken wings and plant-based stew “meat” next to the “regular” plant-based burgers with a focus to vegans ánd flexitarians.
• Very remarkable this year the continuous indulging food trend however with a twist; highly indulging gourmet products from organic ingredients, regionally sourced or vegan alternative.
“Thanks to all participants in this year’s programme, and congratulations to the winning retailers,” added PLMA president Davies. “To reduce carbon foot prints the increase in sustainable and environmentally friendly products in food and non-food categories validates the shift retailers are making to moving toward a cleaner planet.”
PLMA’s International “Salute to Excellence” Awards were established in 2014. To see all laureates of PLMA’s 2021 International Salute to Excellence Awards go to www.plmasalute.com.