Show organizers expect record crowds at this year’s event in Anaheim.
Dairy-Deli-Bake isn’t nicknamed the “show of shows” for nothing. This year, the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) expo is headed to Anaheim, Calif., and is expected to bring a record number of attendees and exhibitors. By March, the show floor was already 98 percent sold, and Carol Christison, IDDBA executive director, fully expects attendance to outstrip last year’s number of nearly 8,000.
“The demand is so high that we’re checking to see if we can add any more booths,” she says. “It’s a great problem to have.”
This year’s educational program has an eclectic list of speakers, including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Food Network star Guy Fieri, legendary quarterback Joe Montana and “Miracle on the Hudson” hero Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.
Trends on display
The expo’s Show & Sell Center is one of the highlights of the event. This massive area is dedicated to the latest merchandising trends and ideas, and offers inspiration for every marketing angle.
“People tell us we make it look easy, but easy doesn’t come easily,” Christison says. “It takes 60 volunteers and thousands of people hours to create, design, set up, plan and merchandise this 10,000-sq.-ft. model store. Keeping it new and fresh means that we spend the previous year tracking ideas, products, merchandising and retail trends.”
IDDBA’s hard work means the center is a veritable goldmine of ideas for attendees. To help browsers remember what they’ve seen, the IDDBA provides a free CD with hundreds of photos of the merchandising cases for those who sign up to receive it.
Christison says showgoers will see a host of burgeoning trends this year.
“Traditional categories are expanding with new flavors, specialty ingredients, blends, health and wellness and packaging,” she explains. “Artisan breads and specialty desserts of all types, sizes and varieties are growing. Cupcakes are still going strong, and we’re seeing a focus on pies. Part of the pie focus is in alternative sizing from mini-pies–think cupcake size–to over-the-top special occasion pies and everything in between.”
She also expects to see a big interest in repurposed products, packaging, equipment and meal solutions.
“When we can demonstrate how a refrigerated case can be used to show breads, how a pastry bag can hold salads or dipping sauces, how packaging can be used for non-traditional products, that lets retailers leverage what they have and create interesting merchandising ideas.”
Attendees also can find inspiration from the decorators battling to win this year’s cake decorating challenge. Three contestants will decorate a range of cakes over three days, with the winner announced on the last day of the show.
A full schedule of events is available on the IDDBA website, www.iddba.org.