PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show is the place to be to discover the latest innovations in the private label world. Mercer Foods has attended for the past four years, immersed in creating products and offering innovative solutions for private label use. Mercer Foods is regularly on hand to offer thoughts and takeaways from every industry event we attend. PLMA is massive, with vendors from every aisle in the grocery store, over-the-counter medication, and food service showcasing what they have to offer.

After spending time on the ground, we brought back a handful of key trends featured at the show and tips for attending.

Going big every day

The show is massive and has huge international and domestic representation. Many people associate private labels with knock-off store brands from national labels; but if you were at this show, you know better.

Many private labels have shifted their focus from creating comparable products to a larger brand to creating unique and innovative products that meet the demands and needs of customers. That means more regionally specific options, as well as plenty of new, innovative ideas. Customers are starting to expect quality, imagination, and affordability, and private label is no exception. Mercer Foods is innovating in this category, creating unique, versatile products that makes Mercer a leader in the world of freeze-dried ingredients.


Consumers are becoming more concerned about sustainability and the environment, and brands, including private label, need to deliver on customer expectations. From sourcing to packaging, labels are seeing benefits from ensuring sustainability at every point in the production process.

Mercer Foods has been focused on sustainability from day one. In addition to the products we produce having an extremely long shelf life (cutting down on the carbon cost of storage), we pledge to conserve sources, everything from water to electricity to ensure our processes are as sustainable as they can be.

Clean label

A similar trend from other trade shows, it’s evident that clean label is still a top priority for consumers. Many people are starting to question the necessity of added sugars, as well as other additives and chemicals. Food manufacturers are responding in kind by opting for more natural ingredients and methods that preserve the pure and simple taste of good food.

Freeze-drying fruits and vegetables does not require any additives, and the process leaves behind products that are 100 percent produce.

To learn more about Mercer’s freeze-dried ingredients, get in touch, or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.