HOUSTON — Dairy-Deli-Bake hosted 9,294 registered attendees, which included retail buyers, merchandisers, executives, food manufacturers, brokers, distributors and additional industry professionals. The sold-out expo consisted of a record-breaking 1,926 booths, representing 739 companies. Exhibitors and retailers cultivated relationships, new business and fresh ideas and concepts throughout the active expo floor.
This year’s seminars offered key industry insights, touching on the economy, consumers and current trends. The notable speaker line-up included Jerry Seinfeld, Lori Greiner, Lidia Bastianich, Sherry Frey, Shawn Stevens, Norman Mayne, Phil Lempert, Max McCalman, Harold Lloyd, Anthony Bourdain, Simon Sinek, Loretta Carey, Joshua Swanson, Randi Zuckerberg, Lindsey Vonn, I.D.D.B.A. chairman of the board John Cheesman, and I.D.D.B.A. president and chief executive officer Mike Eardley. In I.D.D.B.A. ED Talks, Mary Kay O’Connor and Kristi Grim presented Safe Food Matters! Focus on Allergens, while Scott Fox and Eric Richard presented New Pathways to Win with ISB Bread.
Mr. Cheesman presented the Chairman’s Award to Doug Wittich, who had a 43-year career in the bakery business, primarily working with George Weston companies. This award recognizes distinguished service or contribution to the industry and honors those who have led with vision and dedication.
The New Product Showcase was a destination for attendees looking for unique and innovative trends. The redesigned area offered exhibitors the opportunity to display their new items personally. QR codes were located at each display, so attendees could easily access company contact information and booth number to facilitate more networking.
The Show & Sell Center showcased best-in-class merchandising ideas and innovative retailing concepts, along with new products, workshops and demonstrations. Workshop speakers engaged attendees in live demonstrations and presentations that covered various industry-specific topics including cheese, cakes, bakery, deli and meals.
Inside the Show & Sell Center, three top decorators competed in a three-day Cake Decorating Challenge where they created a variety of themed cakes. Attendees voted for their favorite decorator each day with the People’s Choice Awards. The winner of the I.D.D.B.A. 21st annual Cake Decorating Challenge was Sara Vanderheyden, Hy-Vee Inc., Ames, Iowa. Second place went to Nayeli Cruz, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions, Carlsbad, Calif. Third place went to Paige Thornton, Green Valley Marketplace, Elkridge, Md.Attendees can continue to use the myIDDBA App and myIDDBA.com for post-show networking, attendee and exhibitor lists, accessing speaker materials, and other Dairy-Deli-Bake resources.