Still Exceeding Expectations 

by Tim Hulsey
Tortilla Industry Association
Over the past few years, the tortilla industry has experienced widespread growth, and there appears to be no slowdown in sight for this dynamic industry. Our product has become globally successful, and our market share continues to increase as tortillas become more and more diversified.
The Tortilla Foodservice Usage Study, a recent study conducted by the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA), reports an increase in the use of tortillas and related products in practically every U.S. food business segment.
According to the study, 62% of both commercial and non-commercial businesses reported using prepared tortilla products in their operations. The study also found that more than half — 58% — of the commercial foodservice businesses surveyed reported using tortillas. More than three quarters (78%) of fine dining restaurants and 74% of casual/family dining restaurants reported that they include tortillas in their menus. Non-commercial operations reported tortilla usage at 67%, with colleges and universities reporting 83% and schools at 76%.
The study is just one example of the many proactive efforts TIA engages in to help members of the tortilla industry succeed in this rapidly expanding industry. TIA is committed to providing resources such as market research studies, technical workshops and conventions that enable industry members to effectively produce, promote and meet the demands of this high-growth product category.
TIA’s newly reformatted technical workshop incorporates traditional elements, such as speeches and presentations, and it now also offers hands-on tortilla-processing instruction on topics ranging from formulation to process parameters to finished product analysis. Attendees of the 2004 workshop received instruction on how to create low-carb tortillas, replace trans fat in tortillas and create shelf-stable tortillas. A CD-ROM of the presentations is available for purchase.
The 2004 TIA annual convention, this year held jointly with the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), was a huge success with more than 1,850 professionals from the grains-based foods industry taking part in the numerous learning and networking events held throughout the meeting. Planning already is underway for the 16th Annual TIA Convention to be held Nov. 10-12, 2005, in Grapevine, Texas.
As always, TIA’s mission is to assist member companies, and the industry as a whole, in efficient growth and development. Our strength comes from the ingenuity of our members and we are ever grateful for our members’ willingness to welcome new opportunities. We encourage you to become a part of this dynamic group and join our association today. More information on TIA is available at or by calling 1-651-994-3881.