What Catapult got up to at PLMA 2023!.


What Catapult got up to at PLMA 2023! By Morgan Timmons – Sales Manager

The annual PLMA Private Label Trade Show sees all the major players of the private label industry get together to take a view on the changes and challenges emerging in our world. Attending lets us tap into the trends of tomorrow, informing how we help our clients stay cutting edge in the rapidly evolving space that is private label, especially across the US. It’s also an opportunity like no other to hear feedback directly from manufacturers, and retailers. Here’s what we took away this year.

Private label 101.

Private label products are goods a retailer puts their brand name and creative stamp on, but generally gets a partner to manufacture and produce the goods – think own-brand items stacked high at the supermarket (and filling carts). Today’s shoppers trust these store brands for the quality, innovation and value they offer, which just so happens to mirror Catapult’s values which we bring to market for our clients!

So what’s the big deal?

Because private label products are everywhere, it’s a huge industry. Last year, private labels made up nearly 30% of all new U.S. retail sales. What PLMA’s phenomenal line-up of speakers made clear is this percentage is only set to hike higher, with store products already overtaking national brands in certain categories. Manufacturers and retailers are tuned into these consumer desires; and post-covid, these percentages are predicted to only increase.  But with the increased growth of private label, there will also be larger cost pressures from manufacturers to produce at a more cost-efficient rate…

Rubbing shoulders with retailers.

It was my first year attending, and I couldn’t get over how many manufacturers there were to mingle with. As Catapult’s Sales Manager, I’m all about making connections, and what I loved about PLMA’s 3-day event was getting the chance to meet retailers too. I left with a whole lot of important insights on what matters to them, and plenty of new contacts to get in touch with about how Catapult can help. One big piece of feedback from the retailers is getting better print consistency across their ranges, where there are multiple suppliers – and this usually means more printers and more inconsistency for retailers. One big thing the Catapult team was sharing was that we can help on print quality management across huge SKU volumes due to our amazing technical set up!

Amazing feedback.

The thing that came up time and time again as a game changer for our clients is how we slash lead times. Sure, this makes things run fast, but being able to turn things around like lightning means the manufacturers can get new work quicker and slicker than ever before, saving a whopping 2 months in some cases! I loved hearing this as I sell on the quality of our service and lead times so to hear it consistently from clients makes my job so worthwhile!

The key takeaways.

Catapult stays ahead of the herd. Our clients keep us on our toes by coming to us with innovative ideas, and from this we keep on delivering! Here are my key takeaways from the event:

 – Chicago was abnormally warm for November this year! Wow… hope it’s like that at every trade-show!

– Manufacturers are looking for cost savings to help grow and push private labels.

– Retailers are looking for consistency and quality across their range.

– Manufacturers are getting pushed on speed to market to beat national brands to shelf!

– And above all… Catapult can help on the final three things (cost, print quality and lead times…with great service), so please do reach out to me on Morgan.timmons@catapultprint.com or to any of the wider sales team to hear more about the show and how I can assist!

P.s. I can’t control the weather in Chicago though…