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How We're Building Community and Growing the Future

By Jonathan Whalley posted 08-07-2019 12:03


“Welcome to the Community!”

“The IDDBA Community is excited to have you with us!”

“Join the Community if you’re not yet a member!”

We’ve been saying it a lot, and it’s one of our influencers: Community. But what does it mean? The dictionary says a community is “a group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived, or perceiving itself, as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.” We are certainly a group and we do offer a distinct experience for our members, and even those who only attend the IDDBA trade show without the benefits of membership. Our Community is bound together with a common interest in food and the common characteristic of wanting to grow in an ever-changing culinary landscape. Therefore, it’s important to us that our members get a positive qualitative and quantitative return on their membership, and IDDBA staff is here to help make that happen. In a nutshell, the underlying value we offer members includes:

  • Educational resources and business networking opportunities to achieve your goals.
  • Direct engagement with a focused, growing, and increasingly diverse group of professionals.
  • Financial support to invest in team growth and development.


Over the past 55 years, IDDBA members have distinguished themselves as industry investors. Their support has led to the one-of-a-kind What’s in Store trends resource, coming up on its 34th edition, (a $400 value for members) as well as nearly $500,000 per year in financial and educational support and training. What’s more, the IDDBA show has an incredibly loyal following as it moves around the country each year, for which we, and subsequently the industry, are eternally grateful. These are just a few examples of the IDDBA Community coming together for the good of the whole.

The Community has not only maintained the IDDBA trade show over the years, it has pushed it to new levels of greatness every year. The IDDBA show has grown 50% in the last 10 years. Combined with its continued focus on trends, new products, merchandising ideas, and education, the show is becoming more valuable to established and up-and-coming food purveyors.

  • The average member had five representatives at IDDBA 19.
  • Member exhibitors at IDDBA 19 saved on average $677 on exhibitor badges, in addition to the booth savings.
  • Members with four or more people at the show saved more than $1,000.

Not bad on a $450 membership! The more, the merrier indeed!


IDDBA is a great venue for networking. We created the online Community site as a year-round channel for the networking you know and love at the show. If you’ve ever been to an IDDBA show, you’ve seen how focused, yet incredibly diverse our exhibitors and attendees are. It’s a profound visual to see how the IDDBA Community reflects the new diversity within the dairy, deli, and bakery categories and the food industry overall under one, albeit giant roof. Not only are the products, ingredients, and places of origin diverse, but the knowledge base of our members is a vast resource. With nearly 1,700 members from 40 countries, our cultural and geographic diversity is an asset for the entire community. As members of IDDBA, you have access to this peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform. Given that the only people utilizing this resource are qualified industry professionals, you can be confident you’re tapping into the right audience with your thoughts, questions, and needs.

The professional diversity within our Community means IDDBA members essentially make food happen. Because we want people to get excited about what they offer the world to eat, IDDBA exists to help your team members continually grow in their profession. As an IDDBA member retailer, we will help you make food safer for your customers by investing up to $2,000 per year into food safety certification for dairy, deli, and bakery department food handlers. We will help any member reduce staff turnover with incentives like scholarships for up to $4,000 per year. We’ll invest thousands of dollars in mentoring and other professional development for our member companies because we understand the importance of growing people in order to grow business.


IDDBA is such a relationship-oriented Community that we are known to be something of a family. We strive to personalize your member experience and are here to support you in any way we can from answering simple questions to getting you in touch with your next career move, if that’s what you need. At some point, we might even be sharing photos of our kids with each other! Our office of 30 partners does it all. We work the show, we make the calls, we answer questions. In short, we know our members and our members know us.

We sincerely thank our members who have made such a profound Community. We always extend open arms to those within this great industry to join us and be part of something rooted in passion and collective success. To learn more about your current or future membership, please give us a call at (608)310-5000, visit, or email We look forward to joining you on your journey!