Presenting this year’s „Salute to Excellence” winners

By: Kátai Ildikó Date: 2020. 10. 07. 11:03

PLMA’s International “Salute to Excellence” Awards were established in 2014. Forty-three retailers of 18 countries were honoured as winners of PLMA’s 2020 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, in recognition of innovation and quality of their own-brand food and non-food products.

Europe is the centre of innovation

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This year, nearly 550 products from 70 retailers in 23 countries were submitted and selected for consideration, including food, beverages, home and household, and health and beauty categories. The award-winning food and non-food products were selected by panels of judges, consisting of industry professionals, including chefs, former retailers, academics, nutritionists, journalists, and packaging specialists.

Retailers in Germany were bigtime winners and came away with 20 International “Salute to Excellence” Awards, followed by 10 Awards for retailers in Italy and 9 awards for Spanish retailers. Retailers in France, Sweden and Ireland won 6 awards each. Retailers from South Africa participated for the first time and came away with 4 Awards. Six awards, the most for any retailer, were given to Germany’s drugstore Dirk Rossmann. The Spanish retailer El Corte Inglés came away with five Awards, Axfood from Sweden as well as Woolworths from South Africa were given 4 Awards each. Aldi was recognised for products sold in its Irish stores.

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Naturally sustainable

Award-winners in food and beverages, as well as non-food, reflected many of this year’s strongest new product and consumer trends. Key features were natural and organic ingredients, environmentally conscious agriculture, responsible aquaculture, and protection of nature and preservation of the environment. Foodie customers are targeted through special gastronomic experiences, design and appealing packaging, indulgence in special tastes and flavours in vegan desserts and cookies. Very noticeable is the use of packaging from recycled glass, paper or plastic from renewable and sustainable raw materials, all 100% recyclable. In Health and Beauty categories, “free from micro plastics” was evident.

Late summer wines

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This year’s theme was Late Summer Wines. More than 160 summer wines from 26 retailers in 9 countries were judged and 16 retailers from 7 countries were honoured in 18 categories for best quality or best value and among the top winners were Alcohol-Free, Low-Alcohol and Organic Wines..

All told, 36 awards were given for best quality or best value under four summer-themed umbrella categories: BBQ & Picnic Reds, BBQ & Picnic Whites, Sparkling, and Summer Specials.

Provence-style light rosé, sweet sparkling wines and low alcohol wines were prevailing trends this year. Overall, German retailers did really well also in the wine competition, they received 12 wine awards, Lidl was awarded 4 times in BQ and BV for two of its wines sold in the Netherlands. Retailers in The Netherlands won 9 awards while Italian retailers walked away with 5 wine awards. A special mention to American participants in the wine awards programme who were recognized with a total of 6 awards and so the United States came in third position.

“My congratulations go to the winning retailers,” said PLMA president Peggy Davies, “as well as to all of the other retailers who participated in the awards programme. These awards demonstrate that private label is leading the retail industry and giving consumers the great products they want. The big number of sustainable and environmentally friendly products in food and non-food show the commitment of retailers towards a cleaner planet”

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