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IDDBA Houston Wrap-Up and Event Highlights

IDDBA Houston Wrap-Up and Event Highlights


HOUSTON, TX
Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Houston, Texas, welcomed our bakers, butchers, cheese makers, and everyone in between these past few days, as thousands from around the world flooded to the 2016 IDDBA Expo.

This year the International Deli Dairy Bakery Association outdid themselves in entertainment and offerings, with an emphasis on educating our industry in food safety and food allergy awareness.The 2016 IDDBA Expo was held at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo Source: FedEx)
A full scope of keynote speakers entertained and enlightened attendees, from “supermarket guru” Phil Lempert’s practiced insights and the belly-wrenching antics of Jerry Seinfeld, to the projections of Anthony Bourdain and dynamic theories of Simon Sinek, there wasn't a single speech that I didn't take a favorite moment from.

Full house in attendance to see Jerry Seinfeld on the first day, Sunday, June 5th, of IDDBA.And the numbers spoke for themselves, according to association Chairman John Cheesman.
John Cheesman, Chairman, IDDBA“Last year we had 9,322 attendees, this year we anticipate over 10,000,” he told everyone during the opening speech of the IDDBA Expo.
Last year, the show saw a marked manufacturing attendance, with the following categories:

  • 21% Bakery
  • 10% Retail
  • 17% General Food
  • 13% Equipment Packing
  • 10% Broker

With this year on the up from last, and the number of industry members who told me they made quality connections on the floor, 2016 promises to have topped even that.
So what was the industry abuzz about, and what can we anticipate in coming trends?

Standing room only at the Show and Sell Workshop as Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain speaks to attendees. (Photo Source: IDDBA)
Awareness and sensitivity to allergies, and the loyalty generated by catering to the consumer demographic, were heavily emphasized topics, with a whopping 60% of surveyed consumers reporting that they would return to a story that met those needs.

And according to world renowned chef and food connoisseur Anthony Bourdain, the worlds of hot flavors and Asian cuisine are those to look out for in the years to come.
Anthony Bourdain, Celebrity Chef"The heat level Americans want has gone up and up," Bourdain told attendees. "Sriracha was just the beginning."
He added that funk and fermentation are a favorite for chef experimentation right now, and that the chefs are who we should watch for the next big thing in food.

A well-populated show floor as industry members from all over peruse more than 1,900 exhibits.
From what I saw on the floor, he was spot on. Already the industry is gravitating towards the trends Bourdain and the other experts cited, often showcasing an allergen-friendly, vegan, or gluten-free option to reach that branch of shoppers that need such alternatives.
What a great three days to sip, bite into, and otherwise explore where our industry is and where it is going! Stay tuned for more coverages from the Houston show floor, and mark your calendars for next year in Anaheim, California.

IDDBA