The show hosted 28,000 attendees from more than 100 countries around the globe. The show featured more than 1,200 exhibitors on 1.2 million square feet of floor space. A significant measure of success this year was the show's popularity among food and beverage manufacturers, packers, processors and bottlers of all kinds.
"This year's show has yielded the highest number of qualified buyers as a ratio of total attendees in the history of Worldwide Food Expo -- all the way back to 1997," said IAFIS President Charlie Bray. "More than a third of our audience over the four days of the show were processors, packers, bottlers and manufacturers looking for new technologies on the show floor."
The Expo was also the most varied ever in terms of the types of processing, packaging, equipment, ingredients and services.
"This was truly a worldwide, food-wide event, particularly with the added involvement of IBWA and AFFI representing bottled water and frozen foods, and with several other significant organizations taking part in the event," said IDFA President and CEO E. Linwood Tipton.
Several dairy suppliers introduced brand new product innovations, and impressive exhibit features. Safeline's new mobile training lab made for quite a show in itself, and gave Expo visitors a chance to see the latest models of the company's X-ray and metal detection equipment. The ever-popular Pecan Deluxe booth featured samples of the company's expansive flavor ideas, new ice cream culinary creations and a beautiful display of a Gelato line that the company represents. Samplers lined up deep as always.
Portola Packaging unveiled three innovative container closures.
The organizers of Worldwide Food Expo had some exciting news of their own as they held a Champagne toast to launch the promotion of BevExpo 2004.
The new beverage industry trade show will be sponsored by IAFIS, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), IDFA and Beverage Marketing Corporation. Scheduled for September 29-October 1, at the Tampa Convention Center, BevExpo 2004 will be the largest U.S.-based beverage industry trade event devoted exclusively to showcasing suppliers in the areas of distribution, production and quality control; ingredients and formulation systems; and sales and marketing supplies.
The new biennial trade event is designed to attract the full range of beverage manufacturers, bottlers, marketers and distributors of bottled water, soft drinks, milk, juices, enhanced beverages, coffee and tea, beer and other beverages, throughout the United States and Latin America, and around the world.
At Worldwide Food, other associations co-located conferences and programming with the major global food technology exposition, and more than 80 educational sessions were held in conjunction with the show.
"AFFI's first year of involvement in the Worldwide Food Expo has been a tremendous success," said AFFI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. "We look forward to enhancing our involvement in Expo, in continuing to offer high-quality, valuable events for our member companies."
A new feature of this year's show was the BevExpo Zone, which featured equipment, supplies and services for the diverse beverage market, and helped build interest in BevExpo 2004.