PLMA’s 2013 Private Label Trade Show, held in Chicagoland November 17-19, was the biggest in the 33-year history of the association. The number of exhibition booths in the three halls of the Rosemont Convention Center was 2535, representing a gain of 10% compared to last year. As store brand manufacturers and suppliers, these exhibitors displayed many nonwovens-based products for their attending store buyers’ evaluation.
The section containing “home and health” gave visitors even more products to consider, with wipes, absorbent and similar products being the nonwovens leaders. Exhibitors tout the latest in health and beauty care, household, kitchen and cleaning products, DIY and general merchandise. Exhibitors’ products containing nonwovens include first aid and bandages, feminine hygiene, incontinence, diapers and a full range of wipes. Some examples are detailed below.
ASO LLC, of Sarasota, FL, specializes in first aid, bandages and woundcare products. A look at ASO bandages shows the complexity possible with outer non-stick film layers, absorbent layers and additives to prevent infection.
Bay Converting, Green Bay, WI produces dryer fabric softener sheet products, which include both paper-based and nonwovens product lines. The paper-based compostable dryer sheets are made from recycled paper and perforated to facilitate breakdown after usage.
Custom Manufactured Products, Greenville, SC, exemplifies the movement toward further segmentation of personal care wipes. Its personal cleansing wipes and water activated bathing cloths are part of the trend.
Diamond Wipes, Chino, CA, and China founder Eve Yen began business serving food service with singles wipes. According to Moto Okawa, marketing manager, the company now has a diverse portfolio of FDA and EPA compliant wipes for health care, beauty, janitorial, sanitation and other applications.
Griffin Care’s Buddies incontinence shields and guards for men represent continuing differentiation by this Bridgeton, NJ, company serving the private label marketplace. Griffin’s Premium Underpad includes a superabsorbent infused airlaid core for “instant dry” performance.
Nice-Pak Products, Orangeburg, NY, a major store brand wipes supplier has wipes in virtually every category and also displayed its Sweeper and Duster Kits.
Premier Care, Hauppauge, NY, manufactures wipes for uses from baby to pet care, plus floor and absorbent products. It’s Filth Buster line was featured at PLMA. Its Unicare adult incontinence line uses a 40 gsm spunlace as well as a needlepunch nonwoven layer.
Rockline Industries, Sheboygan, WI, a leading private labeler of wipes products continues to roll out line extensions and user-friendly features. The company says it sees continued growth in personal care wipes.
Beyond wipes and typical absorbent products, exhibitors displayed a number of other products with nonwovens content. For example, Smart Cart by “dbest products” is a less-than-three-pounds rolling cart manufactured largely of a spunbond nonwoven.
International companies are perennial exhibitors at the show. Two from Mexico, Lambi and Indelpa, produce wipes and absorbent products with brand equivalent features. With Mexico’s current strong economic growth rate, their growth may also move to new levels.
Asia and Europe producers are also competitive globally. According to Nielsen reports, store brand sales reached $111.6 billion for the 52-week period ended Augusr 31, 2013, a level that is 18.5% greater than for calendar 2009. In comparison, national brand sales during that period were $529.4 billion, up 8% since 2009. With this trajectory, private label and store brands are the ones to watch.