HONG KONG (FNS) -- The Private Label Manufacturers Association will step up its Asian activities following a successful turnout for its first convention and seminar here late in January.
Brian Sharoff, PLMA president, said in an interview that about 50 exhibitors had been anticipated for the initial "World of Private Label in Asia" show, but 67 manufacturers booked. That turnout will lead to plans to hold more shows in the Pacific Rim, he said. The association has set the next PLMA show in Asia for Jan. 25 and 26, 1995, in Hong Kong. Moreover, PLMA will open an office here within three months. Tentative plans also call for a consumer-oriented program to be held in Australia in August 1995 and another consumer program to be held in Japan in October 1995.
"This whole Asian thing is building and is taking off at a speed that boggles the mind," he said. "Our goal [for next January's PLMA event] is to have about 250 exhibitors and 40% of them from Asian manufacturers," said Sharoff.
By comparison, this year's show had exhibitor representation mostly from the United States although there were representatives from other countries in North America and from Europe and the Far East.
Exhibitors showed a wide variety of packaged foods, household goods, and personal and health care items at the two-day conference. Among those attending the January show was T. Duff Lewis, director of international marketing for Perrigo, Allegan, Mich., a leading manufacturer of private-label products. "We've made many contacts with retailers, particularly those from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan," he said. "Now we have to go back and work out our strategy." Many exhibitors also expressed interest in getting into China, but noted difficulties: "Chinese import duties on baked goods of 32.5% plus 17% VAT are far higher than the rest of the region," said Scott Begg, representing Interbake Foods, Richmond, Va.