It only comes around once every two years, but this is the year for Worldwide Food Expo, which calls itself the world’s largest food & beverage technology event in North America. Essentially co-located events -- the AMI International Meat, Poultry & Seafood Industry Convention and Exposition and the IDFA Food, Dairy & Beverage Expo – the show will be Oct. 28-31 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
While a few ingredient suppliers may sneak in, it’s primarily a processing and packaging show that still has heavy influence from its sponsoring trade associations: the International Dairy Foods Assn. and the American Meat Institute.
The sponsors expect 20,000 visitors, 900 exhibitors taking up some 500,000 sq. ft. of space and more than 75 conference sessions, including technical workshops and plant operations short courses. Subjects will include sustainability, food safety, consumer trends, product development, business fundamentals and regulatory updates.
There are daily keynote addresses:
- Oct. 28 (Wednesday)—Joel Makower of Greenbiz.com on sustainability.
- Oct. 29—“Animal handling” by Temple Grandin.
- Oct. 30—AMI’s General Session and Awards Program and Jeff Skiles, co-pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 (“The Miracle on the Hudson”)
- Oct. 30—“Consumer Demands for Sustainability” with Gene Kahn and Mike Sansolo.
There will be a noontime marketing luncheon – “Web 2.0 - Transform Your Marketing, Empower Your Brand” – Oct. 28 (with an extra $75 fee) sponsored by the MilkPEP marketing program.
For the first time, the show offers specialized content for corporate chefs, R&D specialists and food technologists, including daily cooking demonstrations.
The exhibit hall is open 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, the final day.
For more information and to register, see www.worldwidefood.com.