A renewed commitment to variety for a new type of consumer will be the merchandising and retailing focus at the 2009 Dairy-Deli-Bake exposition to be held June 7-9 in Atlanta.
“Today's merchandising concepts embrace the reality of a tightening economy along with the consumer's desire to eat more healthy foods, share new food experiences and enjoy special treats,” says Carol Christison, International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association's (IDDBA) executive director. “Consumers are looking for value meals that offer daily dining options without fuss and for a fair price.”
In an unfamiliar economic landscape, consumers have adopted a more discerning, value-driven stance in the market. IDDBA's Show & Sell Center is designed to provide attendees with fresh ideas on how to approach the consumer and offer methods to incite this value-minded consumer to buy.
The theme for the Show & Sell Center is “the People's Choice.” It's intended to show that successful merchandising is no longer about “either/or;” rather, it is about multiple choices.
“As we design each new Show & Sell Center, we look at what's going on in the economy and lifestyle changes that are impacting consumers,” Christison says. “As consumer's belt buckles and pocketbooks have tightened, we're seeing a greater awareness of products and merchandising ideas that help save money or leverage meal ideas.”
Health trends also are addressed in the Show & Sell Center. The “you are what you eat” sentiment held by those seeking more healthful lifestyles is making an impact on consumer eating habits.
“We actually asked shoppers what additional products they'd like to see offered in the bakery,” Christison says. “Twenty-nine percent want to see more whole grain/whole wheat products; and 16 percent want more low sugar/sugar-free/diabetic options/no high fructose corn syrup.”
Contests and speakers
The focus on choice extends to the distinguished group of speakers. Christison will present “Food Trends: The People's Choice.” Other featured speakers at this year's event include General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State; Jeff Noddle, chairman and C.E.O. of Supervalu Inc.; Alton Brown, Food Network celebrity; and Jim Gaffigan, comedian. Many more will speak on topical issues affecting in-store bakeries, such as economics, branding and consumer trends.
Three store-level decorators will have the opportunity to showcase their artistic abilities and talent at the 14th annual Cake Decorating Challenge™. The challenge consists of three phases. First, each contestant will decorate enough cakes to fill one bakery case. The next day, each contestant will decorate a wedding cake. Finally, they will decorate three cakes of their choosing.
For more information about Dairy-Deli-Bake 2009, including a list of speakers, a full event schedule and extended interview with Carol Christison, IDDBA executive director,
go to www.modern-baking.com