Bakers Journal

IDDBA18 sets record for attendance

June 14, 2018
By Bakers Journal

Mike Eardley, CEO and President of IDDBA Image courtesy of IDDBA

The International Dairy, Deli and Bakery Association (IDDBA) hosted their annual trade show between Sunday, June 10 through to the 12th of June in the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

The IDDBA was proud to announce they hosted a sold-out show, boasting 10, 576 attendees flocking to see over 2000 booths, “a pretty extravagant amount,” according to IDDBA CEO Mike Eardley, who spoke of the success in an interview. “We had set a record for attendance this year.”

The 2018 Chairman’s Award recognized a lifetime of service and contribution to the industry and honoured those who have led with vision and dedication. Erik Waterkotte proudly presented the award to Bill Klump, Chief Marketing Officer of Butterball, for the invaluable work and commitment he has put in towards the industry.

The opening sessions featured the introduction of new programs to educate future generations of food industry experts. The Fresh Careers Program was introduced this year. The program offered to students that have interests in the food industry, giving them a chance to experience professional networking at IDDBA 18. With a Career Ambassador guiding them, the students got the chance to explore the trade show floor, see new product innovations, network and learn. “There’s a black hole of talent missing,” said Eardley in an interview, when speaking of the future of the food industry. “We’ve got to train them and get them on board.”


Additionally, IDDBA also launched their new IDDBA Deli & Bakery Rising Stars Manager Certification and Entry-level Associate Certification programs. These new professional development programs assess and recognize a mastery of work knowledge and competencies needed to run a service deli or bakery department or to provide customer excellence as an entry-level team associate.

The New Product Showcase was a destination for attendees looking for unique and innovative trends all in one place. Exhibitors had the opportunity to personally merchandise in this special display. With 1,378 new products, attendees got an all-encompassing look at the latest cutting-edge products, packaging, and services.

Another exciting learning opportunity was the “Expert Neighbourhood,” where attendees had one-on-one consultations with experts from various industries. Questions regarding leadership, business, regulations, and marketing were answered through these appointments. Experts included CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors, and specialists who have the experience and knowledge of navigating through business challenges.

The Show and Sell section of the convention presented fresh examples of how businesses can engage and appeal to customers through merchandising ideas, concepts, and demonstrations. Trends and research were depicted through displays using real products from their sponsors.

Leading up to the show, teams of volunteers donated months of their time and talent to create the merchandising concepts displayed throughout the Show and Sell section. From donut samplings with unique toppings to pairing ideas and customized meal kit options, these concepts helped attendees experience out-of-the-box approaches and learn new ways they can engage shoppers. A taco bar, internationally-inspired sandwiches, and a fully functioning restaurant were a few highlights from the merchandising idea haven.

In the Show and Sell Workshop, live demonstrations from our Show and Sell teams and presentations from industry professionals offered attendees insight into a variety of topics. These workshops are geared to educate attendees and provide actionable ideas to grow their business.

Three top American supermarket decorators competed in a three-day Cake Decorating Challenge where they created a variety of themed cakes. Attendees were able to vote for their favourite cake decorator each day for the People’s Choice Awards. The People’s Choice Award winner for Sunday was Randy Stratton, of Dillons based in Wichita, Kansas. The People’s Choice Award winner for Monday was Lindsay Anderson, of Lunds & Byerlys, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The People’s Choice Award winner for Tuesday was Natasha Damm, of Garden Home Market Place, in Portland, Oregon.

The winner of IDDBA’s 23rd Annual Cake Decorating Challenge was Lindsay Anderson of Lunds & Byerlys. Second place went to Natasha Damm of Garden Home Market Place. Third place went to Randy Stratton of Dillons.

New this year was the Best Tasting Cake Award. Joshua John Russell from in2food judged this competition and presented the award to Natasha Damm on Sunday, June 10.

IDDBA will host next year’s show in Orlando, FL, between June 2 and June 4, 2019.

Print this page


Stories continue below


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *