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New and Improved

New and Improved

Lots of companies use trade shows to officially launch new products or services, and the annual IDDBA gathering is no exception. Attendees could find many of them in a special New Products Showcase inside the Show and Sell Center.

But some had to be ought out, and it was easier to to that by looking for small crowds, a knot interrupting the flow of the aisle. We found interest in #1 Fan cookies overwrapped with an actual foam finger (right) that can be customized to whatever team the retailer is promoting. The cookie shape, from EONI (Earth's Own Natural Ingredients), was introduced last year, but this is the first time that the foam fingers are included. It's an exclusive agreement, according to EONI reps.

Then there were portable, temporary refrigerated fixtures from Coolio. These promotional fixtures consist of a base unit (120v/9 amp) that can be topped with customized "fresh boards" that promote the product assortment inside. These little merchandisers are ideal for cross merchandising and their mobility breaks down a lot of restrictions that prevented pairing refrigerated foods with dry grocery items.

How about a twist on the old hot dog roll? Kangaroo Brands, a company specializing in pita and flatbreads, offered half-pita shells as "Hot Dog Pockets." On the health side, Orlando Baking introduced True Grain wheat breads that contain probiotics. A few slices of toast made with this and some yogurt and your day is off to a clean start.

One item that we found takes the current craze for cake lollipops a step up. At Alessi Bakeries, reps were offering cheesecake pops (left) flavored and enrobed in different chocolate. There are 7 flavors (key lime is a favorite), as well as one seasonal flavor. The pops are shipped frozen in what are basically oversized pizza boxes.

Finally, the Eat Well Enjoy Life booth was offering for the first time its new line of hummus that's made without chickpeas. Varieties included white bean, edamame and yellow lentil. It expands the already popular hummus category with a whole new range of healthful options.

After seeing all this, no one can complain that there wasn't any innovation at this year's show.