Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NRA Show 2014 Report: General Observations

Fro-yo girl here. Since the frozen yogurt industry doesn’t have a large scale tradeshow devoted to frozen yogurt, the National Restaurant Association (NRA Show) is the best place to learn about new trends, new technologies and new products in frozen yogurt (and the foodservice industry in general). This year was my first time attending the NRA Show, the nation’s largest foodservice show, and I went with several goals in mind: (1) to serve as an expert judge for Revel Systems’ inaugural Swirl of Excellence Frozen Yogurt taste competition, (2) to meet others in the frozen yogurt industry and learn about new trends, products, and technologies, (3) to sample frozen yogurt, (4) to have fun and see a few chefs that I admire.

Because there’s so much to report, I’m planning multiple posts that cover the NRA Show. These posts will be on the IFYA blog (

  • Swirl of Excellence Frozen Yogurt Competition Sponsored by Revel Systems
  • New Frozen Yogurt Trends, Products & Technology: Frozen Yogurt Mixes
  • New Frozen Yogurt Trends, Products & Technology: Frozen Yogurt Machines, Packaging, POS, Franchises

General NRA Show Observations and Tips

If you do attend the NRA Show, don’t bother to make lunch plans. There’s so much free food being handed out and you’ll be so tired that you won’t have room or energy to get lunch elsewhere. They had pizza, flatbread, burgers, Chicago dogs, seafood, mini tacos, hummus, gyros, bagels, pastries, noodles, and of course desserts – frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelato and cookies. You can also buy food at the pizza place, Starbucks and Mc Donald’s but why bother when you’re surrounded by free food?

Wear comfortable shoes and grab a map/download the NRA app so that you can find your way around. You’re going to be doing a lot of walking – or you can rent a motorized wheelchair.

I attended several chef demonstrations (Art Smith, Ming Tsai, Marc Forgione – none of them made froyo) and those are worth going to. You can watch the chef in action and hear personal stories. Few people in the audience want to ask questions, so if you’re a fan of a chef, do attend and ask a question. You can also meet them one on one at the book signings.

Tomorrow’s post on Revel Systems’ Swirl of Excellence Frozen Yogurt Competition will appear on the IFYA blog.

You know you love me. X0 X0, fro-yo girl.

Looking for more frozen yogurt news, discussion boards, and resources? Check out the International Frozen Yogurt Association website at The IFYA is the independent voice of the frozen yogurt industry.

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