Convenient, wholesome and authentic products dominated the show floor at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) 2017 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo in Anaheim in early June. Gathering 10,280 attendees from 30 countries to explore the industry’s latest innovations, the sold-out expo consisted of 2,048 booths representing 825 companies, many of which focused on health and convenience with both retailers and consumers in mind.
The show featured an abundance of educational experiences – from fresh and trending ideas and new products – to presentations from speakers and experts who offered key insights into our business, the economy, the consumer and current trends. The insightful speaker line-up included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Molly Fletcher, Jim Belushi and The Board of Comedy, Eric Chester, Doug Rauch, Giada De Laurentiis, Eddie Yoon, Jim Donald, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, IDDBA Chairwoman Jewel Hunt of Albertsons Cos. and IDDBA President and CEO Mike Eardley.
While shoppers are often drawn to not only healthy, but authentic products, Eardley reminded companies that brand authenticity is equally important during his state of the industry presentation. With years of experience in supermarket retail, Eardley offered key insights on what he termed “The Six Influencers,” focusing on people, “super-consumers” and the importance of creating experiences for shoppers. He advised companies to be true to themselves, work hard at efficiency and, most importantly, be proud of their successes.
New to the show this year was Show and Sell Express. This area offered ideas to engage with on-the-go shoppers and creative ideas for merchandising fresh concepts in the convenience store format. It featured a milkshake vending machine and ways to enhance the customer’s convenience store experience.
Expert Neighborhood was also a new added value to the show that gave attendees the opportunity to meet with industry experts and professionals one-on-one. Experts included former CEOs, company founders and principles, authors, consultants and FDA employees. They talked with attendees about everything from regulations and menu calorie labeling to innovation and profitability.
The New Product Showcase was a destination for attendees looking for unique and innovative trends all in one place. Exhibitors had the opportunity to personally merchandise in this special display. With 225 shelves of products, attendees got an all-encompassing look at the newest and latest cutting-edge products, packaging and services.
Show and Sell showcased an interactive marketplace of merchandising ideas, demonstrations, education, and retail concepts designed to energize stores and engage shoppers. Trends and research were depicted through displays using real products from sponsors. Leading up to the show, teams of dedicated volunteers donated months of their time and talent to create the amazing merchandising concepts displayed throughout Show and Sell.
Show and Sell had everything from demos on charcuterie, cheese and olives to grocerant-style areas where attendees could order food and have it delivered to their table. There was a 4-foot Lightning McQueen cake with a scene from his movie that evolved over the course of the show. It also featured a cheese pub with different pairings and chefs offering techniques and samples during demonstrations. The Show and Sell Workshop offered live demonstrations of cooking and various techniques by celebrity chefs and Show and Sell teams and interactive presentations by current industry professionals.
Grocery Headquarters observed plenty of new products these companies should be proud of. The expo’s New Product Showcase offered an impressive display of the industry’s newest products, packaging and services. Here are a few of our personal favorites from the floor:
Under its new Kitchen Cupboard brand, Bake’n Joy Foods unveiled a line of clean-label products featuring frozen pre-deposited muffins, loaves, cookies, and scoop and bake batters, as well as bases, mixes and toppings. In response to the growing consumer demand for food made with simple ingredients and minimal processing, the North Andover, Mass.-based company developed Kitchen Cupboard clean-label products to contain no bleached flour, artificial flavors or colors, high-intensity sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, aluminum phosphates, partially hydrogenated oils, modified starches or trans fats.
“The sweet baked goods category is not going away, despite an evolving paradigm toward healthier, ‘better-for-you’ foods,” said Michael Ogan, director of business development. “Bake’n Joy has innovated high-quality bakery products for retail since 1941, and so it made perfect sense for us to develop this new line to satisfy consumer demand.”
With protein at the top of mind, BelGioioso introduced the newest addition to its Snacking Cheese line—Parmesan Power-full Snack. The individually-wrapped portions of BelGioioso’s award-winning Parmesan cheese are rBST-free, gluten-free and naturally packed with 7 grams of protein. The product is packaged in a convenient, easy-to-open thermoform, printed with the brand’s signature snacking smile logo, with a suggested retail price of $4.99 per 6-ounce package and $14.97 per 18-ounce package.
“People are looking for snacking and they’re looking for convenience,” said Jamie Wichlacz, marketing public relations manager, BelGioioso. “They could use it as a snack, but they could also use it as an individual package that could be used in your cheese grater. Instead of having a large piece of cheese, you could just take that three-quarter-ounce cube to shred that amount and it actually helps you with portion control.”
BelGioioso also showed off its new Provolone Cheese & Genoa Salame Snacking Rolls, made with uncured Genoa Salame and the brand’s award-winning Provolone cheese. The snack offers 10 grams of protein per package, which includes two rolls, and is available for a suggested retail price of $1.49.
Boulder Organic Foods showcased its new Chicken Noodle Soup. The latest variety is certified organic, gluten-free and non-GMO, and is made with fresh vegetables, organic chicken and gluten-free corkscrew noodles, with no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
“We have been perfecting this recipe for some time in order to have a substantial and truly satisfying noodle that most gluten-free eaters have dearly missed,” said Greg Powers, CEO.
Chicken Noodle joins the Niwot, Colo.-based company’s organic chicken soup lineup, which was first introduced in 2016, featuring Green Chile Chicken, Chicken Quinoa & Kale and Chicken Vegetable Chili. The brand also offers eight other varieties of gluten-free soups with vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free options.
Cake decorations supplier, DecoPac, previewed its new Handheld Sprinkle containers, set to officially launch in September. Created with a baker’s convenience in mind, the new containers are comfortable to hold and are transparent, making the color of the sprinkles easy to identify, while the lid offers various nozzle options for portion control.
The smaller container also saves storage space and provides an extra food safety measure, eliminating the need for bakeries to transfer sprinkles from a large delivery to smaller containers in the back of house.
“Bakeries will love DecoPac’s new hand-held containers, created to store and dispense edible decorations with ease,” said Joanne Brockington, marketing manager at the Anoka, Minn.-based company. “The packaging features transparent sides for quick inventory identification and reorder needs. The lid supplies a consistent application with a simple 1-2-3 portion/ratio control. Storage is always at a premium, and that’s why these new containers were designed to nest together nicely and take up minimal space.”
Premium cheese and butter maker, Finlandia Cheese, exhibited two new spreadable butters, Finlandia Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil and Finlandia Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil 25% Reduced Fat. The new products are crafted with milk from family-owned farms in Finland and contain only four real ingredients: butter, canola oil, water and milk minerals called ValSa – a patented milk mineral salt that helps lower salt intake in butter. Both butters will be available nationwide in September.
“Excessive sodium consumption is the most significant risk factor in high blood pressure, the single biggest contributor to the reduction of life expectancy worldwide,” said Emma Aer, chief executive officer at the Parsippany, N.J.-based company. “After years of research and development, our team at Valio has solved that dilemma through our innovative ValSa milk mineral salt process. Now our customers can enjoy the full, delicious buttery taste of Finlandia Spreadable Butters with significantly less sodium than the others.”
Montchevre debuted its new Creamy Goat Milk Brie, available nationwide at a suggested retail price of $8.99 per 5.5-ounce package. Made with fresh goat milk and aged for nine to 14 days, the Creamy Goat Milk Brie offers a tangy flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. The product is wrapped in a white, edible bloomy rind and packaged in a rustic wooden box that is engraved with the Montchevre logo.
The Belmont, Wis.-based company has been producing goat cheese since 1989. Family-owned and operated, Montchevre has increased its network of goat’s milk suppliers to include more than 400 independent family-owned farms across Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Illinois. Montchevre products are available at independent grocers and major retailers across the U.S., including Bristol Farms, Gelson’s, H-E-B, Ingles Markets, Public, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Schnucks, Smart & Final, Stop & Shop, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods.
Nature’s Dairy showcased its Cow Candy children’s cheese snack. With natural fruit flavors, each snack contains 1- 2 grams of sugar and features natural, bold colors that are meant to excite children and encourage them to choose a healthier option at snack time, according to company officials.
“As a parent, it can be difficult to find a healthy, easy-to-serve snack that competes with the fun of many over-processed and over-sugared candies and treats,” said Danyel O’Connor, product creator, owner of DA Foods and 15-year veteran of the cheese industry. “This struggle led to the creation of Cow Candy, a nutritious natural cheese snack packed with only natural ingredients, protein, calcium and the creamy finish of Wisconsin cheese, with just a hint of sweetness.”
Available in Prime Punch, Fruit Punch Grape, Strawberry, Strawberry Orange and Honey flavors, the Cow Candy line is rBST-free, contains no artificial ingredients and is made with high-quality Wisconsin Monterey Jack cheese. Each snack is packed with 15 percent of the daily value of calcium and offers 4 grams of protein.
Italian cheese producer, Schuman Cheese, highlighted its award-winning lineup of domestic specialty cheeses, featuring its Alpine Collection, Yellow Door Creamery Hand Rubbed Fontina, Cello Asiago & Pepper Jack Whisps and Cello Copper Kettle Parmesan. The Yellow Door Creamery Alpine Collection is the Fairfield, N.J.-based company’s new specialty line developed by head cheesemaker, Christoph Megevand, who drew inspiration from the rich, complex flavors of cheese from the Swiss Alps.
Yellow Door Creamery Hand Rubbed Fontina offers a slightly spicy and smoky blend of chili, cumin and caraway seed, paired with Fontina’s nutty flavor. The product recently earned a best of class finish in the 2017 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and was named a Top 20 Finalist among more than 2,300 entries. Cello Asiago & Pepper Jack Whisps are made from just one ingredient—cheese—and baked into light, airy crisps with a nutty, savory taste, while Cello Copper Kettle Parmesan is an authentic Parmesan cheese with a rich, nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Each Parmesan wheel is hand-selected once its flavor profile has reached its peak, according to company officials.
Venus Wafers showed off its Mariner non-GMO verified Organic Saltine crackers under its brand, The Original Mariner Biscuit Company. The new product is available in 5.5-ounce and 1.5-ounce varieties and boasts the Non-GMO Project seal of approval on its retail packaging. The Mariner Organic Saltine cracker is free from saturated fats and trans fats, and has also been certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), vegan verified by the Vegan Action/Vegan Awareness Foundation and certified kosher by the Orthodox Union.
The family-owned company, based in Hingham, Mass., has been providing healthful crackers and flatbreads since 1931. From its first product, a 100-percent whole wheat wafer bread, to its Nejaime’s Lavasch CaPeachio’s Specialty crackers and The Original Mariner Biscuit Company brands, Venus Wafers provides products are made with no added ingredients.
Small-batch salsa producer, Willy’s Fresh Salsa, sampled its “highly addictive” lines of fresh, refrigerated salsas. The Original line includes Mild, Medium and Hot flavors; the Sweet series features Sweet N’ Spicy and Sweet N’ Mild; and the latest Signature line offers Just Peachy and Black Bean N’ Corn varieties. Each salsa is gluten-free and non-GMO, made with real, all-natural ingredients like cilantro, tomatoes, peppers and onions.
“We wanted to make sure our salsas don’t just taste good, but are good for you,” said Dennis Dickey, founder, Willy’s Fresh Salsa. “By not including any artificial flavors, preservatives, or pesticides, we’ve been able to create healthy salsa blends that everyone can enjoy.”
Willy’s products are available for a suggested retail price of $3.99 per 16-ounce tub, and boast a 120-day shelf life. “We have some of the top food scientists in the U.S. that we’ve worked with as consultants to our company,” said Marty Myers, president of the Swanton, Ohio-based company. “We’ve been able to use all natural mold inhibitors and products so we easily achieve a 120-day shelf life, and we guarantee it.” Willy’s also introduced its party pack, which features the four top-selling flavors—Mild, Medium, Sweet N’ Spicy and Black Bean N’ Corn—with a suggested retail price of $14.99.