Letter to the Industry
Capturing a share of the fastest-growing segment of the tortilla and tortilla chips segments in the baking and snack industries has become a key strategic objective for an increasing number of food companies. After all, news stories like those about how Super Bowl parties featured more tortilla chips than potato chips this year only serve to heighten awareness of the importance of the tortilla industry, now at $11 billion a year in the U.S.—and growing at 9 percent annually—and rapidly expanding in Europe and the rest of the world.
Whether you’re a newcomer seeking to make your fortune, experienced in other sectors and seeking to strengthen your business base by expanding into the tortilla market, or a veteran tortilla manufacturer striving to adopt best practices to sharpen your competitive edge, you won’t want to miss the premier event of the year for the tortilla industry—the Tortilla Industry Association’s Annual Convention & Trade Exposition.
In its 26th year, the convention will take place at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino May 5–6, coinciding with Cinco de Mayo celebrations. After several years at Caesars Palace, we are changing things up a bit with a move to this fun and exciting venue, right on the Las Vegas Strip.
The TIA Convention provides the best mix of opportunities to meet and network socially with all the leading players in the tortilla industry in a relaxed, fun setting. The event kicks off with the TIA Golf Tournament on Monday, May 4, at the Desert Pines Golf Club in Las Vegas, followed by an opening reception that evening at the Paris Las Vegas.
The daily format for Tuesday and Wednesday will consist of educational sessions in the morning and a trade show in the afternoon. Tuesday evening, the TIA Awards Banquet will be held in the Champagne Ballroom and feature the induction of two of the industry’s pioneers into the TIA Hall of Fame, among other festivities. For the evening’s entertainment, attendees will walk from the banquet room to the Paris Theater to see “Jersey Boys,” a Broadway musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
This year’s eight educational sessions, spread across the two mornings, were selected based on TIA membership surveys, indicating topics TIA’s members expressed a desire to become better informed about to help their businesses thrive in the coming year. Topics include an update on FDA labeling requirements, the latest in food-safety practices, success factors in launching gluten-free organic and kosher products, commodity price forecasts, the role of enzymes in tortilla production, distribution strategies and considerations in using employees versus independents for direct story delivery (DSD), the trend toward social responsibility certification, and more.
An exciting highlight of the annual TIA Convention is, of course, the trade expo—30,000 square feet of exhibit hall featuring 60 companies from around the world displaying everything from tortilla baking systems capable of mass producing thousands of tortillas a minute to the latest in packaging systems, ingredients, additives, and mission-critical business services. Some exhibit space is still available (at press time in late March), so come and show the industry what you have to offer!
I invite you to join us and share in the passion and profits. Go to www.tortilla-info.com to register and get the “early bird” discounts, book your hotel room at a special discounted rate or reserve your exhibit space at the trade show.
Jim Kabbani, Executive Director, Tortilla Industry Association