The Idea Hot Spot: Get Set for SNAXPO 2007

SNAXPO 2007, the world’s largest trade show devoted exclusively to the snack food industry, will be held March 24-27 in Hollywood, Fla., bringing representatives of snack food companies together with suppliers of equipment, ingredients and services.
SNAXPO 2007, to be headquartered at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, located between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, will feature a trade show and educational program that will attract snack food manufacturers from the United States, Latin America, Europe and the Pacific Rim.
The keynote speaker for SNAXPO 2007 will be Charles Fishman, journalist and author of “The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works — and How It’s Transforming the American Economy.”
“Wal-Mart isn’t just a store, or a huge company, or a phenomenon anymore,” Fishman says. “Wal-Mart shapes where we shop, the products we buy, and the prices we pay — even for those of us who never shop there. It reaches deep inside the operations of the companies that supply it and changes not only what they well, but also changes how those products are packaged and presented, what the lives of the factory workers who make the product are like — it even sometimes changes the countries where those factories are located.”
Fishman will discuss how all of this occurs and what the implications are for the snack food industry.
Nine educational sessions will be offered at SNAXPO 2007 for three hours on Sunday, March 25. They will be presented three at a time, for one hour each. Topics will include:
• Environmental or “Green” Issues
• Energy, with Snack Food Association consultant Gray Campbell
• Nutrition, with SFA nutritionist and consultant Lisa Katic
• Consumer Issues, with a focus on obesity
• Epidemic Planning, with a focus on bird flu
• Commodity and Ingredient Hedging
• Selling to the Hispanic Market

Also on March 25, the SFA’s Circle of Honor award will be presented to a snack food industry executive who will be recognized for lifetime achievement and contributions to the industry. The winner, whose identity will not be revealed until the presentation at SNAXPO, was selected by the SFA Board of Directors during the Executive Leadership Forum in September, following nominations by member companies.
For more information about SNAXPO, including the complete exhibitor prospectus and registration details, please visit or contact the SFA’s Liz Wells at or 1-800-628-1334, ext. 202.
A Real Life Snack Food Quality Assurance Program
For those of you who have been in the industry for a few years, you may remember the Snack Food Association’s Total Quality Assurance Course, taught by the late Dr. Wilbur Gould, Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University through the late ‘90s.
The 4-day course, known throughout the snack food industry, was the only program where quality control personnel from snack food companies around the world could come and learn everything there was to know about quality assurance as it related specifically to the snack food industry. With help from the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) and The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Department of Food Science, the SFA re-launched this one-of-a-kind course in 2005 named after Gould, a former SFA food technologist. This year’s course was held Sept. 11-14 at OSU.
This total quality management course combines classroom lectures from the leading experts in food manufacturing in the mornings and practical lab work in Ohio State University’s Parker Food Science Laboratory in the afternoon. The hands-on lab session is designed to give attendees the opportunity to use testing, evaluating and problem-solving methods during the food science laboratory.
This course also provides an understanding of how snacks are manufactured, why quality is important, where to emphasize quality control, what instruments and methods can be used to measure quality, when to make quality evaluations, and who should take responsibility for ensuring quality.  Here’s an example of this year’s course topics:
• Fundamentals of Quality
• Food Laws and Regulations Related to Quality
• Food Safety and Security
• Fundamentals of Plant Sanitation
• Tools for Managing Quality
• Machines and Methods for Snack Manufacturing
• Good Agricultural Practices
• Chipping Potatoes
• Extruded Corn Snacks
• Frying Oils
• Salt, Flavors and Seasonings
• Packages and Packaging
• On-line Quality Control
• Nutritional Facts about Snacks
• Sensory Evaluation of Snack Foods

Mark your calendar now for next year’s TQM Course, Sept. 10-14, 2007, at The Ohio State University campus, Columbus, Ohio.