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International Dairy Deli Bakery Association's Whitney Atkins Talks Supporting Specialty Sector Growth

International Dairy Deli Bakery Association's Whitney Atkins Talks Supporting Specialty Sector Growth


MADISON, WI
Friday, September 29th, 2023

Our world is constantly changing, and along with it, the specialty food industry. The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) has served the evolution of the specialty industry for decades. In fact, 2024 marks the association’s 60th-anniversary milestone. To find out how the organization aims to support specialty suppliers, I checked in with Whitney Atkins, Vice President of Marketing.

Whitney Atkins, Vice President of Marketing, International Dairy Deli Bakery Association“Today’s marketplace continues to change. The way our member base and industry conduct business has been forever changed due to the impacts of the pandemic, technology, and automation. Yet, inflation, workforce challenges, and most importantly consumer behavior must be considered,” shares Whitney. “IDDBA’s mission is and has always been to expand our leadership role in promoting the growth and development of dairy, deli, and bakery sales in the food industry. Our vision is to be the essential resource for relevant information and services that add value across all food channels for the dairy, deli, and bakery categories.”

Throughout the last year, IDDBA has focused on understanding the needs of our industry and its members. This includes exploring its members’ needs from year-round resources to its annual flagship event, digging deeper to understand the current competitive landscape and what it may look like in future years.

International Dairy Deli Bakery Association will be marking its 60th-anniversary milestone next year, continuing its mission to expand its leadership role in promoting the growth and development of dairy, deli, and bakery sales in the food industry

“It started with our Education team, introducing IDDBA’s 5 Guiding Trends in the annual What’s In Store resource, which is available digitally,” Whitney adds. “Some of the biggest challenges members faced post-pandemic were data to support trends, understanding consumer behavior, and the future of technology and innovation. Historically, our What’s in Store publication was printed and released annually. With the need for insight into what’s happening currently, this publication is now available digitally and updated monthly and quarterly.”

These 5 Guiding Trends include:

  1. Whole Health, Whole Self, Whole Heart

  2. Consumer Defined Convenience

  3. ABCs of ESG

  4. Worth the Value

  5. Innovation and Technology

“In April of 2023, David Haaf took the helm of the association. With his retail and foodservice tenure and knowledge of the changing marketplace, he brought with him challenges and changes to better serve and reflect how we serve this evolving specialty industry,” Whitney explains to me.

IDDBA brings resources and insights to the industry through its 5 Guiding Trends and the annual What’s In Store resource

Considering the defined 5 Guiding Trends and the evolving industry, Haaf introduced a focus on several growth areas:

  • Food Service

    College and University Food Service

    Convenience Stores

    Independent Grocers

    International Audiences

Under the leadership of Vice President of Education, Heather Prach, the association’s year-round education product portfolio has also continued to evolve. IDDBA’s webinar series has grown into a weekly series of events that occur on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, in which industry experts bring audiences data, business solutions, and leadership skills.

Led by the association’s Event team, the annual IDDBA show also provides an opportunity to explore all that the specialty sector has to offer, with exclusive spotlights such as the New Product Showcase for exhibitors, the ever-popular Visionary Pavilion, and the What’s in Store Live experience.

The association’s year-round education product portfolio continues to evolve, with the annual IDDBA show also providing an opportunity to explore all that the specialty sector has offer

“Looking forward, IDDBA continues to create opportunities for members and the industry to grow connections and business, whether it be on-site at the show or through these year-round resources,” Whitney concludes, teasing more resources on the horizon.

For more updates from across the industry, keep clicking on DMN.

International Dairy Deli Bakery Association
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