RECORD TURNOUTS PROJECTED IN ST. LOUIS

LAUREL, Md. -- The Retail Bakers of America's 25th annual bakery-deli conference and 76th annual convention-exhibition, set for next month in St. Louis, are projected to be the largest on record.The preconvention conference will be held April 8 and 9, while the convention will run from April 9 to 12.Peter Houstle, executive vice president of the trade group based here, said the number of convention

LAUREL, Md. -- The Retail Bakers of America's 25th annual bakery-deli conference and 76th annual convention-exhibition, set for next month in St. Louis, are projected to be the largest on record.

The preconvention conference will be held April 8 and 9, while the convention will run from April 9 to 12.

Peter Houstle, executive vice president of the trade group based here, said the number of convention registrants should exceed 10,000. That's a 25% jump from last year's 8,000 attendees, he said.

Exhibit sales are also at a record high. Exhibit space is completely sold out, with a record 998 booths, far exceeding last year's record of 876 booths. The reason for the increase: Several exhibitors have expanded their booth space and the show continues to attract more deli companies, Houstle said.

Attendance for the two-day, preconvention conference is also expected to be up. Registration is projected between Continued From Page 7A

700 and 800 attendees, compared with 650 last year in Atlanta.

On the convention floor, product demonstrations will be one of this year's highlights, Houstle said. Sandwich, pizza and dessert programs are some of the product categories that will be included in demos.

Store tours will be offered April 11 and 12, and will include independent bakeries, as well as in-store bakeries, deli/bakeries and other baking-oriented establishments.