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Deep in the heart of Texas: the 2016 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo in Houston rustled up lots of innovative products and merchandising ideas for retailers.

THEY SAY EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS and that was definitely the case at the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association's 52nd annual Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo held in early June at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Almost 9,300 attendees, including top-tier retail buyers, executives, brokers, distributors and other industry professionals walked the floor, visiting the record-breaking 1,926 booths, representing 739 companies.

For those who could not attend IDDBA in person, Grocery Headquarters walked the floor. Here is just a sample of the innovation that we found:

ADUSA

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ADUSA offers a comprehensive portfolio of Omnichannel technology solutions for fresh foods, which includes the OrderHUB OmniChannel Integration Server, Self-Ordering Kiosks, Order-Taking Tablets, Online and Mobile Self-Ordering, Queue Management, Basic Queueing and the latest addition: Digital Menu Boards.

"Digital menu boards have been practically non-existent in grocery stores, and it's our aim to change that with this new product line," said Juan Perez, president and CEO of the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company. "Our digital menu boards are centrally maintained, giving retailers much-needed flexibility in terms of initial configuration and ongoing maintenance. They are also compliant with the FDA's upcoming menu labeling law, so retailers have a cost-effective way to deal with the requirements of this new law."

ARTHUR SCHUMAN

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With all that fuss of having to open a tinfoil wedge, eating blue cheese puts Millennials in a blue mood. Arthur Schuman has cheered them up with the introduction of Brilliant Blue--Wisconsin blue cheese marketed in a twin pack that is a single-serve use. "With Brilliant Blue you don't have to do any of the things that require labor to enjoy our blue cheese," said Jim Gregori, Midwest sales manager, for the Fairfield, N.J.-based company. Brilliant Blue also comes cubed in a cup, with a flip-top lid, so consumers simply can shake it out on a salad or however they wish to use it.

BAKE'N JOY FOODS

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Bake'n Joy has introduced The Original Boston Coffee Cake Cinnamon Swirl, billed as having all the deliciousness of a layered cinnamon coffee cake without the nuts. "This cake was developed so that it would be no nuts on the shelf and for more success outside of New England," said Tara O'Leary MacCarthy, marketing manager for the North Andover, Mass.-based company.

Bake'n Joy has also introduced Your Private Label 24-ounce gourmet coffee cakes in blueberry, cinnamon walnut and marble that are designed for retailers to sell under their own private label. "The labels come in the box and the retailer can use the label or their own label and they can put it out there as their own cake," said O'Leary MacCarthy.

BOULART

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Known for its high-quality breads, Boulart has introduced focaccia made from its classic ciabatta dough, with added olive oil and fine herbs. "It is very versatile and can be used for dips, or consumers can take some of the dough out and use it for pizza crust," said Camille Fortier, assistant brand manager, for Lachine, Quebec-based Boulart. The bread is shipped frozen, fully baked to retailers who can sell it thaw-and-sell or warm it in the oven for a few minutes to make it crispier. "Our classic breads contain only five ingredients--flour, water, salt, yeast and barley," Fortier said. "Our other secret ingredient is time because it takes a lot of time to ferment and for the flavors to meld."

BUTTERBALL

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Butterball is hamming it up with a line extension of sliced-to-order deli hams marketed under the Butterball name. Currently in Walmart and rolling out to other retailers throughout the summer, Butterball Hams are available in Virginia, Honey and Black Forest varieties. "Butterball previously only had turkey and chicken, now we are introducing ham, so it really completes the whole deli line," said Michelle Lieszkovscky, deli brand manager for the Garner, N.C.-based company. "These are 96 percent fat-free premium hams with no fillers that are very high-end and made from premium pork cuts."

CARR VALLEY CHEESE

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Carr Valley Cheese has gone back to the future. Red Abbot cheese is made with Wisconsin cow's milk using an ancient Cistercian Monk recipe where the rind of the cheese is washed with Brevibacterium linens to give it a subtle red hue and a robust flavor that compliments the smooth interior. "Red Abbot Cheese is very robust and earthy, with a very soft creamy texture," said Beth Wyttenbach, sales manager for Carr Valley Cheese, based in LaValle, Wis.

CLEAR LAM PACKAGING

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HPP (High Pressure Pasteurization) is one of the most popular tools manufacturers are using to combat foodborne illness. So Clear Lam has developed Seal Choice PET lidding film, which is designed to adhere to PET containers that are processed under HPP. "Retailers love it because they want to move to products that are HPP processed," said James Foster, senior marketing manager at Clear Lam Packaging, based in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

DAWN FOOD PRODUCTS

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Visitors to Dawn Foods Products learned about the company's Good, Better, Best approach to cakes, based upon the richness of the ingredients. "We have three new lines--our Triple Layer Cakes; Waterfall Cakes made with 'real' ingredients, like Madagascar vanilla and real ganache and chocolate liqueur in the batter; and Mousse on Mousse Tortes, featuring seven inches of real mousse and special details like a coffee infusion in the cake," said Julie Dunmire, director, marketing--US Frozen for the Jackson, Mich.-based company.

DECOPAC

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Decopac aims to be a one-stop shop for all of its customers needs. "We're focused on driving customer-focused solutions. Technology is a big piece of that and that's where our PhotoCake comes in," said Dewey Wahlin, vice president of marketing for the Anoka, Minn.-based company.

PhotoCake is a print-on-demand decorating solution that enables retailers to increase bakery efficiency and ensure they never miss a sale with the right character, theme or custom option that is perfect for each customer. Decopac offers the hardware, inks and printer supplies, edible paper, licensed images and frames, and DecoSet backgrounds for its retail partners. The PhotoCake blog features new products, inspiring ideas and information about the PhotoCake system enhancements.

DIETZ & WATSON

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Dietz & Watson officials were showcasing Dietz & Watson Original brand of bulk service deli lunchmeats made with proteins featuring "no antibiotics--ever" along with several organic items, including chicken breasts and hot dogs, as well as cheeses that are rBST-free. "Our current customers like and know they need these products, but we are also hoping to get new customers in the natural/organic grocery channel that we really didn't have access to before with our conventional items," said Lauren Eni, vice president of brand strategy at Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson.

GONNELLA FROZEN PRODUCTS

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Irish Soda Bread is not just for St. Patrick's Day anymore, with many retailers stocking it year-round as a breakfast bread. Officials at Gonnella Frozen Products have expanded upon that with a Lemon Blueberry Soda Bread that is offered for the summer and made with whole blueberries and real lemon peel. For the fourth quarter Pumpkin Raisin Soda Bread is being introduced. "With the increase of the popularity of pumpkin, we wanted to capture some of that and offer it to our retailers as a breakfast offering," said Meg McDonnell, vice president of sales for the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company. The breads are shipped as frozen raw dough that is baked off in the store.

GRECIAN DELIGHT

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Snacking and all-natural are the two major trends Grecian Delight is focusing on this year. That can be seen in the new Hummus Plus Snack Packs that pair fresh chicken with hummus in a single-serve pack, containing a spork and napkin, in three assorted flavors. "You see these all the time with pretzels and crackers, but this is a fresh chicken solution that is high protein," said David Gacom, vice president, retail sales and marketing for the Elk Grove Village, Ill-.based company.

Grecian Delight also debuted an all-natural Gyros Kit, containing pita bread, gyro meat and tzatziki sauce. It can be sold frozen or refrigerated in the deli, along with a complete line of new flatbreads in six varieties, including white and whole wheat pita, naan and lavash.

JAMES SKINNER BAKING CO.

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The range of new products runs the gamut from small to big at James Skinner Baking Co. Mini Danish have been introduced in 10-count strawberry, lemon, cherry, cheese and apple variety packs, available in an exclusive shingle tray that prevents sticking. On the other end of the spectrum, J. Skinner is rolling out 27-ounce large seasonal rings for fall and spring. The fall ring is a rotation of pumpkin, apple and cheese Danish, while the spring ring contains lemon, blueberry and raspberry. "These are a higher retail ring from $6.99 to $8.99 and are designed to pull apart," said Gary G. Kyle, chief sales and marketing officer for the Omaha, Neb.-based company. "All of our packaging is transitioning into an abbreviated sleeve that shows more of the product. We had many customers saying, 'your product is so beautiful why do you cover it up?'"

JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE

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Natural was the key word at Jennie-O, with the company touting its new line of products free from phosphates and nitrates. Another new line is free from antibiotics and is veg-fed. "We have two products we are rolling out this summer, an applewood smoked and an oven-roasted," said Randy Braun, director of national accounts, Deli Division, at Jennie-0 Turkey Store Sales, based in St. Cloud, Minn. Jennie-O has also introduced a line of refrigerated turkey snack sticks targeted to Millennials.

KLONDIKE CHEESE CO.

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Heat has been a trend across all 1 food categories as consumers have been more willing to experience new flavors in recent years. Klondike Cheese Co. is heating up the cheese case with its Odyssey Sweet Heat Feta. "Customers looking to add a new dimension of heat to their dishes can achieve this with Odyssey Sweet Heat Feta," said Luke Buholzer, vice president of sales for the Monroe, Wis.-based company. "Our newest addition of feta provides a kick of flavor without washing out the rest of the meal."

Odyssey Sweet Heat Feta features red, green and habanero peppers that bring on the heat. Created from Wisconsin cow's milk and crafted authentically in the Greek tradition by Master Cheesemakers, it is available in a 6-ounce crumbled retail cup.

LINDAR

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Lindar's food packaging solutions grabbed the attention of IDDBA attend ees, said Dave Fosse, director of marketing, key account development for the Baxter, Minn.-based company. OPTICA lenticular material for on-packing labeling and the Simply Secure line of tamper obvious food containers were two items in particular that caught the eye of retailers.

"The OPTICA lenticular material with on-package labeling and POS banner was received very well by retailers and processors at the IDDBA," Fosse said. "All attendees saw the eye-catching motion graphics that the OPTICA labels and banner can create to increase sales."

The Simply Secure bar and brownie packages are available in 8-, 12- and 16-count in two-piece and hinged varieties.

NESTLE PROFESSIONAL

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Retailers can turn excess proteins from the meat department into deli department gold with the new Home Meal Solutions Kits from Nestle Professional. Available in Stroganoff, Tuscan Cavatappi and Chipotle Macaroni & Cheese, the kits are shipped frozen in cases of four, and packaged in bags combining the pasta and sauce (Stroganoff features egg noodles packaged separately); retailers simply have to cook meat, add it to the sauce and package it. The kits also include pouches of shredded cheese.

Under its Minor's brand, Nestle Professional has introduced a line of Ready to Flavor products that are "tested ready-to-eat" allowing deli operators to enhance flavor across the menu without the added step of cooking. "This one container can make 25 gallons of soup, and you simply add frozen vegetables or any over production into the soups and you are ready," said John Ricci, corporate executive chef at Nestle Professional, based in Rogers, Minn. It is a very simple way to flavor. Just change your profile by whatever you have in-house. It would really take an extra 30 ingredients to make one of these sauces, so we simply take the stress out of the kitchen for the professional chef."

NORSELAND

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Norseland's Jarlsberg brand is the No. 1 brand of specialty cheese in the U.S., said John Sullivan, president and CEO of the Darien, Conn.-based company. "Today the biggest purchasing group are the Millennials, 18-to-30 year olds, who are not as familiar with specialty cheese because they're not at home entertaining yet. It's just not the world that they live in yet," Sullivan said. "Our objective has been to expose our brands to that group, who are a much more mobile group. Our strategic direction is to bring younger consumers to our brand, but it's not going to be with just a hunk of cheese. Were creating new versions of our product that are much more mobile, on-the-go and more convenient."

The brand's new Cheese Snacks are an example of how the company is meeting these needs. The individually wrapped cheese snacks are mild, mellow and nutty. About seven 6-ounce pieces come in the pack, which has a suggested retail price of $6.99.

ORGANIC VALLEY

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Organic Valley officials responded to the growing snacking trend by showcasing Grassmilk Yogurt in 6-ounce cups and Mighty Organic Beef Jerky.

"Both of these products hit on two important trends," said Dawn Burns, associate brand manager for the La Farge, Wis.-based company. "Consumers want simple, sensible and healthy snacks in the ready-to-eat category--in a word, convenience. Secondly, they want the great taste and amazing nutrition of 100 percent grass-fed meat and dairy. Our Grassmilk Yogurt and our Jerky are 100 percent grass-fed, and that means higher omega3s and CLAs. So with snacks like these, we can offer premium taste and quality and single-serve convenience in an organic snack--truly a win-win-win."

PEARL VALLEY FARMS

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Cage-free eggs are the latest industry sensation, but Phil's eggs from Pearl Valley Farms have been cage-free since 1959. "Our Phil's DHA Omega-3 egg is one of the healthiest eggs in North America with 350-mg per egg of omega-3," said Mitch Cooper, marketing manager for Pearl Valley Farms, based in Pearl City, Ill. "Many egg cartons say they have X amount of omega-3, but you want to look at the DHA level. What people don't realize is that omega-3 and omega-6 share the same pathway into the bloodstream and if the ratio is too far skewed, benefits of the omega-3 negate themselves. On this egg we have a two-to-one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, creating an even pathway to the bloodstream." Phil's liquid eggs are being launched in half-pint, pint and quart cartons in the Midwest this summer.

PLACON

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Placon is offering endless merchandising options to its customers with its GoCubes Insert Tray Packaging, said officials for the Madison, Wis.-based company. GoCubes are made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled material and feature five bases and three universal inserts available in clear and black. A universal clear anti-fog lid is also available.

"GoCubes containers are remarkably versatile and provide a custom feel to standard stock food packaging containers," said Jeff Lucash, vice president of sales. "Because wet and dry foods are separated, GoCubes also makes food stay fresher longer, ensuring high customer satisfaction. You can even use the base without the tray for even more packaging options."

RESER'S FINE FOODS

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Reser's Fine Foods is removing artificial colors, flavors and ingredients from many of its products this year. The company has also re-designed the packaging on its side dishes to offer a simplified, clean consumer-friendly offering. "We are also adding a little special flair to our products, like adding Gruyere cheese to our scalloped potatoes and Asiago cheese to our creamed spinach, and we have introduced a Hatch Green Chile version of our mashed potatoes," said John McCarthy, Jr., category manager for the Beaverton, Ore.-based company. "Hatch Green Chiles can only be grown in one valley in New Mexico and are known for their flavor and smell."

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Trends and flavor have also been added to Reser's service deli items. "We added elements that both consumers and retailers want, like a little more color and healthy benefits," said Nathan Roe, category manager. "Our Three Grain Edamame Salad has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in a unique combination of flavors. But we still offer traditional macaroni and potato salads because retailers still want their bread and butter."

RICH'S

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Rich's, based in Buffalo, N.Y., launched a variety of items across its product portfolio, which includes toppings, icings, cakes, desserts, pizza, appetizers and snacks. However, Rich's officials were excited to share the news about its line of clean label buttercremes, icings and cakes.

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"Shopper demand for clean labels throughout the grocery store is growing exponentially. Taste, indulgence and quality are paramount in desserts," said Ann Boyd, director of marketing, component desserts. "The Rich's Simply Bettercreme and Simply Allen clean label icings and cakes deliver the delicious indulgence shoppers crave with only a few simple clean ingredients."

SABRA

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Sabra is tapping into a new occasion with the launch of its Sabra Spreads, which are hummus-based spreads made for sandwiches. While mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup top the list of preferred sandwich spreads, Sabra is aiming to tap into the market with its hummus-based spread that is 75 percent less fat than its leading competitor, mayo, which is made up of oils.

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"With the Sabra Spreads, were taking the classic American sandwich and elevating the flavors," said Eric Greifenberger, director of marketing for the White Plains, N.Y.-based company.

The spreads come in three flavors: Garlic Herb, Honey Mustard and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. The spreads are packaged in a squeeze bottle to make it easier for consumers to add it to their sandwich. They will be on store shelves nationally in the fall.

SANDERS

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What is old is new again as Sanders reintroduces its Sanders Almond Tea Ring, a coffeecake that was very popular in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. The vintage packaging is shown on the back of the box. "We decided to bring back this product and make something that is retro back in style again. It is made with real almond paste and is a great product that can be merchandised frozen or thawed," said Walter Pilon, director of sales, bakery and frozen foods, at Clinton Township, Mich.-based Sanders. "It has a three week ambient shelflife. It brings back a lot of fond memories for people and we just wanted to bring it back." The cakes are sold frozen to retailers, six per case and is being introduced as a fourth quarter limited time offering.

SANDRIDGE FOOD CORP.

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Sandridge Food Corp. manufactures more than 600 different items, but the company focused on key categories, including component kits. "Because we have HPP and sous vide items we can cook some items and cold pack some items into a nice component so all the retailer has to do is mix them together," said John Becker, senior director of marketing for the Medina, Ohio-based company. One area of concentration is fresh Mexican food. "Some retailers have approached us and said they would like to do a Chipotle-style station in their stores and we put together a Chipotle-like alternative," Becker said. "We had a store test it and they are now getting ready to roll it out to all of their stores."

SEALED AIR/CRYOVAC

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One downside to taking preservatives out of fresh breads is a shortened shelf life. Officials at Sealed Air Corp. have freshened up that problem with modified atmosphere packaging that backflushes a gas mixture of C02 and nitrogen. "This gives you 30 to 40-plus days, depending on the bread," said Jerry Kelly, national business development manager--retail task force, at Sealed Air Corp., based in Duncan, S.C. "Bakery companies want to take preservatives out and by doing so you shorten the shelf-life. You counteract that with packaging that adds shelf life back into the product."

Another Sealed Air innovation showcased at IDDBA was packaging that splits a loaf of sliced bread into two separate airtight loaves, allowing one to stay sealed while the first half is consumed.

SNACK FACTORY

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Snack Factory, the Skillman, N.J.-based division of Snyder's-Lance, combined smokey bacon flavor with the heat of habanero for its newest limited edition pretzel crisps. "Our limited batch Bacon Habanero Pretzel Crisps were created to meet the tastes of Millennials, who are embracing complex, bold and spicy flavors," said Eric Van De Wal, vice president of marketing at Clearview Foods Division of Snyder's-Lance. "We anticipate that this limited batch flavor will bring in new buyers for the brand, as sales of bacon flavored salty snacks have seen 600 percent growth since 2010, according to IRI."

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SUGAR CREEK

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Officials at Sugar Creek were sweetening up retailers to sous vide--vacuum sealed proteins cooked for long periods of time in a water bath at lower than normal temperatures to achieve a consistent temperature throughout. "Sous vide lends itself to any kinds of proteins, vegetables and starches," said Jamie Edgington, brand manager for Sugar Creek, based in Cincinnati. "It is great for foodservice, the deli and back-of-the-house and right on trend with what we are seeing in the industry."

SWISS VALLEY FARMS

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The grass is greener at Swiss Valley Farms now that the Davenport, Iowa-based company has introduced a collection of grass-fed cheeses, including Grass-Fed Gouda, Grass-Fed Baby Swiss and Grass-Fed Maasdam, a Danish Alpine style cheese. "Grass-fed cheeses are a little higher in butterfat, a little creamier and have a different flavor profile because it is not blended milk, but milk all coming from the same farm that has the consistency of the grass," said Joseph Parente, national sales manager--foodservice at Swiss Valley Farms. "Because we're able to narrow down the farms where the milk is coming from, it helps keep it as clean as possible."

TH FOODS

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TH Foods handed out samples of its single-serve crisps. The company selected its three best flavors--Multi-Grain Crips in Sea Salt, and Multi-Seed Crisps in Original and Rosemary & Olive Oil--for the smaller bags. "The single-serve bags are better-for-you snacks for the on-the-go consumer," said Mary Jo Mackin, retail sales operations manager for the Loves Park, Ill.-based company.

The crisps feature 100 percent whole grain and are Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free. Additionally, the vegan crisps are free from saturated fat, cholesterol and dairy. The company also touted its seasonal Sweet Potato & Sunflower oven-baked cracker in Cinnamon & Sugar flavor.

TYSON

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Tyson took the opportunity to connect with its customers on a more personal level during the IDDBA show. Tyson opted out of showcasing its deli prepared foods line in favor of having conversations with its customers about what is going on in the industry and in the store, and how Tyson can help its retail partners find the right solution.

"We've got a lot of tools we're talking to consumers about," said Eric Le Blanc, director of marketing, deli prepared foods/bakery for the Springdale, Ark.-based company. "The conversation shouldn't be about what can I do to make you buy this product, but what can we talk about to collaborate."

An example of how Tyson is working to collaborate with its customers is through research the company is conducting to find the problem areas in retail. "The key is to ask the big questions, get an answer, take it and make it actionable for the customer," Le Blanc said.

WICK'S PIES

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After more than 70 years, Wick's Pies is still making its five ingredient, clean label, Retail Baked and Retail Unbaked pie shells, which come in sizes eight, nine and 10. "Known for our line of pie shells from 3- to 10-inch in size, we have filled a gap by developing a 6-inch deep dish pie shell," said Dylan Wickersham, who handles sales and marketing for the Winchester, Ind.-based company. "This is a great product for single- or double-serve sweet pies and works great around a quiche or a pot pie for a deli/bakery department."

The company also introduced its Trans Fat Free Peanut Butter Pie (retail frozen) during the show.
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Title Annotation:FOCUS ON FRESH
Comment:Deep in the heart of Texas: the 2016 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo in Houston rustled up lots of innovative products and merchandising ideas for retailers.(FOCUS ON FRESH)
Author:Turcsik, Richard; Wojcik, Lindsey
Publication:Grocery Headquarters
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:4154
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