CTW 2018: Brimming With Innovation In New Orleans

Dec. 7, 2018

NAMA’s 11th annual Coffee Tea and Water Show in New Orleans was brimming with innovation, new products and education focused on emerging trends and technology, according to Lindsey Nelson, Vice President of Programs and Services.

More than 900 industry members from across the country convened at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans to learn, network and grow their businesses. In addition to record attendance, the largest show floor to date boasted 126 exhibiting companies, 45 of which were first-time exhibitors at CTW.

“We are thrilled with the increased engagement at CTW this year,” Nelson said. “From the sold-out NAMA Foundation Coffee Crawl to packed education sessions to participation in the New Product Zone and People’s Choice Awards, attendee excitement was palpable, relationships were forged, and business got done at the show.”

New This Year

Exciting new elements were introduced at CTW this year, including the NAMA Foundation Coffee Crawl, the CTW Café, the New Product Zone and the People’s Choice Awards.

The NAMA Foundation hosted its inaugural Coffee Crawl where attendees experienced the finest flavors of New Orleans and learned about its colorful culture and rich coffee history. A sold-out group of 93 participants visited four coffee shops, including the world-famous Café du Monde. Led by professional historians, the crawl took attendees through the French Quarter and included a ride on the city’s famous street cars.

Another new feature, the CTW Café, provided a convenient networking space for attendees, where they could try new products and test out new machines and technology. The café was a highly-visited area for breaks between education sessions.

The New Product Zone showcased 20 new products serving the workplace across a variety of categories. Attendees had the opportunity to see, touch and taste the new offerings being introduced into the channel and vote for their favorites.

The 2018 CTW People’s Choice Award Winners:

o Beverages Category – Nitro Cold Brew Coffee - Oak Milk Latte, Boylan Bottling Co.

o Brewing, Dispensing, Filtration Equipment Category – Roundabout Single-Cup Dispenser, InOne Technology

o Creamers, Sweeteners, Syrups Category – Silk Dairy-Free Vanilla Creamer, Danone North America

o CTW-Related Food / Snacks Category – Vega Protein Snack Bar, Danone North America

o Micro Market / Pantry Category – The 46, Three Square Market

Education Highlights

This year’s education lineup included a new program – The Essence of Coffee– and fresh topics in the areas of consumer trends, sustainability and innovation.

The opening general session featured Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks Coffee, North America, author and renowned business leader, in an interactive dialogue with Liz Williams, president of the National Food & Beverage Foundation. Behar shared his leadership philosophies, focusing on the concept of servant leadership and putting employees and customers first. “It’s all about the people,” Behar said. “We’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business, serving coffee.”

The following session topics were standing room only draws: Bean2Cup Strategies - Where Profitability and Sustainability Meet, Technology Trends in OCS, What’s in the Cup: Trends in Flavors and Enhancements, The Bean to Cup Movement: How it Supports a Culture of Sustainability, and Water: The Foundation to a Perfect Cup.

The show closed with an engaging session, led by Jim Watson of Rabobank, on what consumers are looking for in a beverage, changing consumer trends and innovations and how those changes impact the industry, as well as growth opportunities in ready-to-drink coffee and the future of bean to cup.

Education session handouts are available for download here: https://www.coffeeteaandwater.org/sessions-and-handouts/.

Coffee Legend - Mike Tompkins

Mike Tompkins was recognized as the 2018 Coffee Legend during the opening general session. Mike and Linda Tompkins started Coffee Products Associates in 1995 to support the import, sales and distribution of coffee beverage equipment. When Newco Enterprises bought Cafe 98 in 1998, Mike worked for Newco until 2008. He has since continued to consult with stakeholders in coffee businesses, providing market research and recommendations by contract. Mike participated in curriculum development and training at the SCAA, and he developed the QCCP program for NAMA. He continues to present coffee supply chain training for NAMA at CTW and to individual food service companies as requested. Mike and Linda have five adult children and they live in Bloomingdale, Illinois.


NAMA’s Women in the Industry (WIN) hosted “NAMAste – Power Yoga with Powerful Women.” The early morning event featured a yoga class, yogurt breakfast and roundtable discussions to foster peer-to-peer networking.

The Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) hosted a networking evening at Saints and Sinners to bring together current members from around the country and meet potential new members.

“We thank our Coffee Services Committee, sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, speakers and volunteers for your support, participation and leadership – we couldn’t do it without you,” Nelson said.

“Make plans to attend CTW 2019, November 18-20, in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Marriott,” she concluded.

Founded in 1936, NAMA is the association representing the $25 billion U.S. convenience services industry. With more than 1,000 member companies – including many of the world’s most recognized brands – NAMA provides advocacy, education and research for its membership. Visit NAMA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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