This year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo taking place June 7-9 in Atlanta will be the first with new IDDBA president and CEO Mike Eardley at the helm. With a decades-long career in food retail that started at his family’s supermarket and led to positions at D&W Food Markets and H-E-B, Eardley brings a unique perspective to the association.
SN invited Eardley to share his take on what to expect at IDDBA’s show this month, including exciting new aspects of the Show & Sell Center.
Supermarket News: What’s new at this year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake?
This year’s Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo will have the same exciting atmosphere that brings buyers and sellers together that it’s had for many years. We have a top-notch speaker line up including Phil Lempert, Arianna Huffington, Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb, Martha Stewart, Harold Lloyd, Chuck Hagel and Shaquille O’Neal — among others.
This year we have launched our Safe Food Matters! food safety initiative. Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo attendees will experience the initiative everywhere, from the exhibit hall floor to the main stage presentations. Food safety is one of the biggest issues our industry faces and IDDBA is serious about it.
We’re working to add more education and focus on actionable ideas in the Show & Sell Center on the Expo floor. We will be delivering some new concepts:
• The Show & Sell Workshop: an intimate setting where attendees can listen to our experts and ask questions. The workshops will feature Walter Robb, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Lempert, Harold Lloyd, Kristina Barlow from USDA/FSIS and many others.
• Culinary Concierge: Solutions from fully chef-prepared, to par-prepped ingredients, to menu planning for attracting and retaining Millennial consumers to prepared foods departments.
• Bakery Bar: From the natural goodness of cheese as a snack to fresh bakery and deli items, our Show & Sell team is creating a concept to help deli and bakery departments capitalize on the booming snack market.
• Sandwich Station: Made-to-order and prepackaged ideas to freshen up sandwich programs — and help get them integrated with the rest of the store.
SN: How does attendance compare to last year’s show?
ME: Our Seminar & Expo floor is sold out with a record number of exhibitors. Atlanta is a great city with great facilities. The Georgia World Congress Center is an amazing venue and the area has gone through a lot of growth since we were there last time in 2009. It has a world-class airport for quick and easy travel throughout the world, and the downtown location is perfect for our dairy-deli-bakery community to meet. We’re looking forward to a great turnout.
SN: What do you plan to discuss in your remarks during the show?
ME: I’ll be introducing myself and sharing a bit about the direction of IDDBA. Association-wide, we’re driving some important new educational initiatives that I’ll be touching on.
Food safety will be a big component of my talk. Our goal for this year is to educate the industry about the dangers of Listeria monocytogenes and that’s why we’ve launched Safe Food Matters!
I will also help define omnichannel shopping and what it means to our future. We sponsored research on this topic and I’ll share some of the key takeaways.
There will be a lot of exciting things to cover!
SN: What are you most excited about for this year’s show?
ME: I’ve been working in the supermarket industry my whole life and I’ve had the opportunity to attend many Dairy-Deli-Bake shows. Each year, I’m excited about the sense of community in the dairy-deli-bakery industry. I’m looking forward to saying hi to some friends I’ve known for decades, meeting some new friends, and coming home with new ideas to help our industry grow.
SN: What is one thing retailers should look for at Dairy-Deli-Bake?
ME: One of the best things about IDDBA is the relationships it fosters between people. We have a group of members and exhibitors who have a vested interest in making each show better than the last. Dairy-Deli-Bake is about buying and selling, but it’s also about teaching and telling. It’s about building a community focused on learning and sharing. Our goal is to give every attendee — not just the retailers — actionable ideas that they can use to build their businesses.
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