Friday, November 13, 2009

off to Chicago for a trade show

I leave Saturday morning for a trade show in Chicago, called PLMA

It's where actual, real live manufacturers of product exhibit their wares.

I remember the first year I attended, back in the early 90's.

I had been a distributor of natural food products from different "manufacturers." In reality, these manufacturers were like us - marketing companies that had different manufacturers produce their products.

Anyway, I had been distributing products from a number of different manufacturers, and I noticed that on all of the mustard shipping cases, the letter "A" didn't print. So...there was

H in

Westbr e

Norg nic

He lthw y

And I wondered...what are the chances that 4 different manufacturers of mustard all have label printers that don't print the letter A?

Of course, when I opened the cases up to look at the products, the jars were the same, the caps were the same, the ingredients were the same, and in the same order....the nutritional information was the same, and the shape of the labels was the same...and I realized, these products are all being made by the same manufacturer.

So when I went past the mustard manufacturer's booth, and saw the jars of Hain, Westbrae, Norganic and Healthway, my assesment was correct - one company was making all of this mustard. That was almost 20 years ago.

Today, companies use fancy inkjet printers that print the letter A, so it would be harder to track down this information :)

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