In early October, a large contingent of associates representing the far reaches of Rich’s global enterprise converged in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the International Bakery Industry Expo (IBIE). The convention, held once every three years, is the preeminent industry event, assembling the largest collection of suppliers, customers and bakery experts in North America. Just inside the exhibition hall doors, Rich’s sales, marketing and technical teams from around the world welcomed customers and visitors into a truly visionary environment highlighting Rich’s immense global footprint, market trends, the industry-leader’s extraordinary people and products and the Rich Experience.
And a Rich experience the Expo was! The booth saw high traffic volume and significant interest from around the globe. The emphasis on the people behind Rich’s global brand stimulated intrigue and connectivity, cameras were flashing as visitors eagerly snapped photos of the creative product displays and everyone walked away inspired and engaged.
“Relationship building is at the heart of every customer encounter, and the IBIE is no exception,” said Richard Ferranti, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer. “Whether we were fostering new relationships or solidifying those we’ve worked hard to develop, we used our time at the Expo to emphasize the size, scope and diversity of Rich’s business while giving customers a taste of what they can expect from the Rich Experience – speed, character and insight.”
Rich’s booth was a dynamic blend of trend-setting creative inspirations, technical product demonstrations with international flavor, and new product displays. The emphasis on Rich’s vast global network gave customers insight into Rich’s ability to develop and produce new products locally to respond to the tastes and needs of any region around the world.
“The booth was full of imagery, showing our talented associates developing new products, opening new facilities, and working with products and customers,” said Carolyn Danner, International Marketing Manager, and leader of Rich’s 2013 IBIE initiative. “Each element – the photos, the sales team working the floor, the product displays and technical demonstrations – gave customers a glimpse at how Rich’s does business, our international scope, our knowledge of food, and the technical capabilities available to help optimize and improve efficiency.”
The booth also highlighted three industry macro-trends; personal desserts, the healthy halo, and entertaining. A significant portion of the booth footprint was devoted to eye-catching product displays and technical demonstrations for creative inspiration and an iPad station where customers could email themselves recipes, scan their badge for follow-up and access Rich’s website.
The trend toward smaller, individually portioned desserts was explored and Just For Me treats like cake sandwiches, walking sundaes and poppables were displayed. A healthy halo surrounded the Permissible Indulgence feature where sugar free and gluten free products were presented alongside beautiful creations infused with super fruits, yogurt and trendy tea flavors. High-end hosting ideas were served up in the Entertainment area where big, elegant platters featured gourmet donuts and cupcakes, loaded cheesecake, and classy bar and roll cakes. It was evident that Rich’s has the products, components and technical capabilities to stay on-trend and build success.
“The show is about so much more than products and sales,” said Danner. “It’s about the conversations we have with customers, the opportunities for education, igniting excitement and sharing ideas – that’s the real value.”
Customers and associates were invited to continue those conversations during two customer appreciation events hosted by Richard Ferranti during the Expo. The casual events brought Rich’s face-to-face with customers and offered opportunities for cross-pollination and international connections.
“The real value in these types of events are the intangibles,” said Danner. “The goal is to gather international customers and associates together around Rich’s brand. The conversations and connections between customers and associates are at the heart of the Rich Experience, these relationship-building and sustaining activities are vital to growth and success.”