The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston will be the site of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) 2016 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo, to be held June 5–7. The annual event targets serious buyers, merchandisers and executives who have a shared passion for food and the industry, and offers them a venue where they can sell and buy new products and services, attend presentations, network, and glean insight into the industry.

As in past years, the show’s centerpiece will be the Show & Sell Center, an interactive marketplace that provides best-in-class merchandising, creative new concepts for retailing food, invaluable takeaway tools, inspiration, education and practical information. To keep the venue fresh, the layout and department highlights of the center change each year. Some of the new merchandising ideas that will be showcased this year include:

  • Cheese: Attendees will be able to view merchandising concepts for multiple occasions and uses, focus on comfort foods and learn how to educate consumers on types of cheese.
  • Cakes: Visitors can learn about the history of cakes, the integral and recurring role of cake in life-event celebrations, see live decorating demonstrations, and uncover best practices for displaying tiered cakes.
  • Bakery: Attendees will be able to focus on ancient grain and organic breads, discover bread and butter pairings, learn how to introduce branding in the in-store bakery (ISB), delight in a premium doughnut program, and engage with an ISB pizza program focusing on crust.
  • Deli: Participants can rediscover the deli with a sandwich program featuring ISB bread and unique ingredients, learn about the pho bar, and explore charcuterie flights.
  • Meals: Visitors can tour the grocerant piazza, indulge in ethnic-inspired rotisserie meals, discover efficient and consistent sous vide solutions and blast-chilled entrées, and venture to the taco truck for new possibilities.

While at the Show & Sell Center, visitors can also attend a number of interactive, 30-minute workshops designed to promote learning, community and networking. The workshops will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, and at noon on Monday, June 6. Speakers include Lidia Bastianich, a chef, TV host, author and restaurateur; Anthony Bourdain, American chef, author and TV personality; Phil Lempert, an author and speaker known as “The Supermarket Guru”; Harold Lloyd, retail specialist and speaker; and Max McCalman, a cheese expert and author. Additionally, Loretta Carey, an FDA consumer safety officer, will discuss menu calorie labeling.

Seminars focusing on the dairy-deli-bakery industry, the economy, consumers, current trends and more will also be held from 8–11 a.m. on Sunday, June 5, and Monday, June 6, and from 8–10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7. Scheduled speakers for Sunday are John Cheesman, chairman of the IDDBA board of directors; Phil Lempert; Sherry Frey, senior vice president, Nielsen; Lori Greiner, TV personality and entrepreneur; and comedian Jerry Seinfield. Monday’s speakers will be Harold Lloyd; Mike Eardley, president and CEO, IDDBA; Anthony Bourdain; and Simon Sinek, leadership speaker and author. The seminar lineup will wrap up on Tuesday with presentations by Randi Zuckerberg, founder, Zuckerberg Media, and Justin J. “JJ” Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, an NFL football team. Visit for complete list of speakers and topics.

According to IDDBA, this year’s expo will be bigger and better than ever, with more than 1,900 booths jam-packed with the food, services and ideas that drive business. Expo hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on June 5 and 6, and 8–10 a.m. on June 7.

Also taking place during the 2016 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo will be IDDBA’s 21st Annual Cake Decorating Challenge. The three-day event begins with contestants Nayeli Cruz of Vons, Carlsbad, CA; Paige Thornton of Green Valley Marketplace, Elkridge, MD; and Sara Vanderheyden of Hy-Vee Inc., Ames, IA, creating enough production cakes to fill an 8-foot-wide bakery case. On the second day of the competition, the contestants will each create a wedding cake, while on the third day, each contestant will decorate three cakes of their choosing, one from each category: special occasion, this year’s show theme (Growing the Future) and decorator’s choice. Contestants receive an all-expense paid trip to Houston, gifts, trophies, bragging rights and publicity.

For more information about the 2016 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo, contact IDDBA at 608-310-5000 or visit