The International Dairy Foods Association has announced plans to issue a call for entries for the 2009 Achieving Excellence Awards during the first week of May. The annual awards, which honor the dairy industry's top marketing, public relations and advertising efforts, will be presented by IDFA and co-sponsor Dairy Foods magazine at Worldwide Food Expo, October 28-31, 2009, in Chicago.

“Because Worldwide Food Expo will be one of the biggest dairy marketing events in 2009, we thought it be a great venue to recognize and highlight the best creative dairy marketing strategies and the wide array of innovative new products that are being introduced,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.

Last year, the popular awards program featured more than 200 entries ranging from best new product and best school marketing campaign to the overall award for marketing excellence. The “Best of the Best” award in 2008 went to Turkey Hill Dairy for its mixed media campaign to launch Duetto, a blend of vanilla soft serve ice cream and one of four flavors of Venice ice.

Entry forms for the 2009 program will be available in print and online next May. The deadline for early-bird entries will be June 10, and all entries will be due by July 10. Winners will be notified at the end of August, allowing plenty of time to make plans to attend Worldwide Food Expo for the awards ceremony.

Worldwide Food Expo is the largest food, dairy and beverage technology event in North America. Held every other year at McCormick Place, the expo is the place where dairy decision-makers come to see the latest innovations in food and beverage processing and packaging. For more information about the expo, visit www.worldwidefood.com.