Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) members will be gathering May 1-2 for the Annual Convention 2023 and Trade Show, which will be at the safari-themed Kalahari Conference Center in Round Rock, Texas, just outside Austin.

The show will feature discussions on timely topics in the industry and exhibitors representing packaging equipment, ingredients, machinery and more.

“It’s an opportunity to see everything under one roof,” said Jim Kabbani, chief executive officer of the association. “People go visit vendors and travel around, but this is a time when they can see all the different products in any given category at the same time and talk to the vendors. It’s also a great networking opportunity. A lot of our members, even the tortilla manufacturers, actually do business with each other. There’s a lot of co-packing and co-branding that goes on in our industry. That’s also a great opportunity for them as well.”

The association will host educational sessions covering the topics most important to members now.

“We survey our members, and we ask them to tell us the topics they would like us to cover,” Mr. Kabbani said. “You can expect that certain topics will come up on a recurring basis, like how to handle commodities, food safety regulation and labeling. We also always have some topics about formulation and ingredients, best practices in plant safety or operations, things that have to do with how the factories are run.”

He said that business for the industry overall has been booming, so many of the issues members are facing now revolve around that growth.

“During the pandemic and lockdown, a lot of the business shrank tremendously, and a lot of it shifted to retail,” Mr. Kabbani said. “As restaurants have been reopening and they’re modifying their own business model toward DoorDash and others, we’ve now found that business has picked up while retail has not slowed down to counterbalance it. As a result, there’s been some challenges in terms of supplies, materials, ingredients, labor, equipment maintenance, all those sorts of things.”

The location of the show, the Kalahari Conference Center, features the country’s largest indoor waterpark, a variety of restaurants and other amenities. 

“The Kalahari not only checked all the boxes, but when you walk in there, you can tell it’s someplace different and fun,” Mr. Kabbani said. 

The show will also include a poolside opening reception, the annual tradition of determining Hall of Fame nominations and awarding scholarships to the children of industry professionals, as well as entertainment.

For more information, including registration details, visit the association website