2010 May: Commentary

It’s now May as you hold this issue of Pizza Today in your hands, but I’m writing this column in March … just days after returning from the International Pizza Expo 2010 in Las Vegas. And let me tell you, my head is still spinning from the three days of informative mayhem!

I don’t know how my colleagues who assemble and run International Pizza Expo manage to make the show bigger and better every year — but they do. This year they raised the bar yet again.

I just got a look at the final numbers, and they’re dazzling. A near-record 6,067 attendees walked the show floor in 2010, making this year’s Expo the third largest in its 26-year history. Looks like the recession is a sidebar to what’s happening in the pizza industry.

The mood at this year’s Expo was upbeat and positive. I talked to hundreds of pizzeria operators from across the nation, and they aren’t fretting over their bottom lines like they were in 2008. They’re feeling good about the remainder of this year. They’re confident they’re turning a corner and that better days are ahead.

I talked to some exhibiting companies at International Pizza Expo who said they signed more deals on the show floor in 2010 than ever before. The pizzeria owners are banking on their gut feelings by buying again. This is very encouraging for the entire industry.

It’s been a rough ride, and it’s not over. But the end is near, and International Pizza Expo 2010 is proof of that. I’m extremely proud of what the Expo folks accomplished this year — more seminars, more critical topics, more prize money at the competitions, more competitive fl air, more attendees … more of everything!

For a recap of all the action at International Pizza Expo 2010, take a look at the article on page 70. If you missed this year’s show, don’t make the same mistake in 2011. The show will run March 1-3, and it’s never too early to start planning for it.

On another topic: Have you heard about Matt McClellan? He owns an independent pizzeria in St. Petersburg, Florida, called Tour de Pizza. He recently went on a 30-day diet in which he ate nothing but pizza, and worked out rigorously. He’s in great shape, and he wants the world to know pizza can be part of a well balanced, healthy diet. To spread the word, he’s cycling up the East Coast this summer in an attempt to gain awareness and improve the public’s perception of pizza’s nutritional value. Check it out by looking at the ad we designed and placed on page 32.

Best,

Jeremy White, editor-in-chief

jwhite@pizzatoday.com

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