MADISON, Wis. — The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association has chosen three finalists to compete against each other at IDDBA’s 18th Annual Cake Decorating Challenge at its 2013 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo in Orlando, Fla., June 2-4.
This year’s finalists, selected from 68 entrants from 31 supermarket chains, are Kelli Coleman, Dillons , Lawrence, Kan.; Dawnette Costa, Giant Eagle , Erie, Pa.; and Rebecca Lougheed, K-VA-T’ s Food City, Greeneville, Tenn.
The finalists, all with years of decorating experience, much of it at their respective stores, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to IDDBA’s Seminar & Expo in Orlando where they will compete in a three-day, hands-on, decorating challenge on the show floor.
Competing on the show floor requires not only decorating skills, but also stamina and people skills, since attendees will be observing the decorators as they participate in three phases of the Decorating Challenge.
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On Sunday, June 2, each contestant will decorate enough cakes to fill one multi-tiered, 8-foot bakery case. On Monday, June 3, each contestant will decorate a wedding cake. On Tuesday, June 4, a “Decorator’s Choice” theme event is featured, and the first-, second- and third-place winners will be announced that afternoon.
Gallery: 2012 IDDBA Cake Contest 
IDDBA executive director Carol Christison expressed pleasure in the knowledge that supermarket cake decorating is becoming more popular and that more supermarkets are encouraging their decorators to enter competitions such as IDDBA’s Decorating Challenge.
“Based on the ever-growing number of photos that are being included in the albums decorators send us for review, we can tell that the popularity of in-store cake programs and the skill level of execution are growing by leaps and bounds,” Christison told SN. “Supermarket cake decorating has reached new highs and we only see continued growth ahead.”
Read more: By Design: Hy-Vee's Cake Decorating Challenge 
Christison also commented that supermarket management is getting more fully involved in IDDBA’s Cake Decorating Challenge.
“This year saw a huge leap in the number of supermarket chains that ran internal cake-decorating contests or offered extra store support to help their decorators enter,” Christison said. “One chain had over 300 decorators in their internal contest. They use this [the internal contest] as a development program and to select the best-of-the best to enter the IDDBA Challenge.”
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