My fellow colleague, Joel Schmidt, and I attended and exhibited for Outlook Group and M&Q at the International Dairy Deli and Bakery Association event in New Orleans June 10th through 12th. Thousands of attendees and exhibitors, along with numerous speakers assembled at the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center for the three-day event.
Speakers ranged from Aaron Rodgers (yes, that Aaron Rodgers) to Daymon Johns of Shark Tank, each with their own take on leadership, team work, organizational growth, and self-assurance/belief in your aspirations to succeed.
Photo Credit: IDDBA
Rodgers spoke about certain events that occur during training camp – usually “events” reserved just for rookies – that help a new team connect with each other, assuring a better team atmosphere during an upcoming season. One of those “events” might include a fire hose and the crack beneath a closed dorm room door at St Norbert College. Another may involve a fire extinguisher and an air conditioner… because if you release the fire retardant into a working window air conditioner from the outside, the room inside WILL fill up with the retardant.
Daymond John spoke about his struggle to start his company, FUBU, in the early days of hip-hop. Only after he captured a photo on his Kodak Insta-Matic camera of LL Cool J in a FUBU sweatshirt – the only FUBU sweatshirt he had at the time by the way – did he start garnering interest from the market. This took him and 3 friends to a clothing show in Las Vegas, where they took orders for over $300,000 in merchandise, leaving them to wonder how they were going to make the required product to meet those orders… a great success story.
Photo Credit: IDDBA
But IDDBA was not just all about the speakers, it was about the exhibitors and attendees. Food companies ranging from Carl Buddig (parent company of Old Wisconsin Sausage) and Hormel, to up-and-coming food companies like Waffle Waffle and Angelic Bakery (Cudahy, WI). Food producers were displaying their new products, brand extensions into new flavor profiles, and introducing new products focused on consumer convenience. Many exhibitors were showcasing their versions of pre-made meal kits, some intended to be delivered fresh, others frozen in microwavable/ovenable packaging.
The underlying focus among all exhibitors was convenience, convenience, and more convenience with an extra helping of convenience. The value proposition all were focusing on was delivering a quick, easy, and convenient meal or snack that consumers can take on the go, and eat with little effort.
The other underlying message throughout the show was healthy/wholesome options that deliver nutritional value in a convenient form. That said, there was an entire section of the show dedicated to Wisconsin Cheese makers. Participants like Hennings Cheese (Kiel), Weyauwega Dairy (Weyauwega), and Shullsburg Creamery (Shullsburg) were on display and serving samples of their exceptional products.
As for the Outlook Group booth, we featured our solutions in Folding Carton, Flexible Packaging and Label products, each of which garnered attention from various food companies. In all, the show was a success as we met a number of people representing great opportunities for Outlook Group, and ate some REALLY good samples while we were at it!
Author: Jim Woller
Market Development Manager, Folding Carton
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