We were rollin’ in the dough at the 2019 International Pizza Expo, which took place in Las Vegas, Nev. The event, which brings together more than 500 exhibitors from across the pizza restaurant industry each year, was a real showstopper. Now that we’re back, we’re ready to share all that we tasted and explored while walking the trade show floor.
Here’s a quick recap of what hit the jackpot with our team — and our taste buds:
One of the first things we noticed when we entered the trade show were the “blinged out” woodfire pizza ovens. There was even a pizza oven that had “Pizza Expo” designed into the grate of the grill, and you could see it glistening while the fire was blazing. Needless to say, it was pretty impressive.
We saw a few commercial pizza ovens, but most of the featured samples at this year’s show were made in the woodfire pizza ovens. The smell the ovens created as you walked into the auditorium was intense — so intense that you could almost taste the pizzas before sampling them! And we loved every minute of it.
All Things ‘Za
From gluten-free pizza crusts to plant-based products, there were several on-trend ingredients for all parts of the pie. Some of our favorites included Ardent Mills Pizza Flour Mixes, Cheese Merchant’s specialty and premium cheeses, Lindsay Olives’ full line of olive-based products, The Mushroom Company’s canned, refrigerated and frozen items, and Stanislaus Food Products’ tomatoes — just to name a few.
Several booths focused on wings and pasta, which are naturally great complimentary applications for pizza. Our other favorite sides included Burke Corporation’s pork and cauliflower sausage bites and Corbion’s garlic knots and breadsticks. We also loved sampling Sweet Street’s assortment of cookies, Rice Krispies Treats and cheesecake.
One of our favorite elements of the International Pizza Expo is always the pizza games. From high-flying dough-toss challenges to outrageous dough-stretching contests, there is always a lot of friendly competition on the trade show floor — and this year was no exception.
In addition to its famous tomatoes, the Stanislaus Food Products booth featured musicians playing guitars. Likewise, Sysco Corporation’s booth had a live violinist and singer, as well as a sand artist, to draw in trade show attendees throughout the week. At the WestRock booth, an artist painted one of the booth walls as trade show attendees watched from near and far.
What grabbed your attention at the 2019 International Pizza Expo? Comment below to share your thoughts. (For tips on preparing for your next food industry trade show, download our Trade Show Best Practices report.)