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NAPICS: Pizza and Ice Cream and Freebies…Oh My!

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 25, 2009

Pictured above is my “swag” from the North American Pizza and Ice Cream Show (NAPICS). This food industry event has called the Columbus Convention Center it’s home since 2004. For a sense of what is offered see the slides in the link below.

Pizza Marketplace slides from the 2008 NAPICS

NAPICS is the only pizza show in the Midwest, it draws over 5000 people each year from Ohio and surrounding states and it attracts companies from around the country.

Here are some interesting pizza points to ponder:

“Ohio has the largest concentration of pizza and ice cream shops per capita of any state in the country”.

“More than one-fourth of the nation’s 63,000 pizzerias are located in Ohio and the five surrounding states”. I believe Columbus has about 450 pizza slingers.

NAPICS also hosts the annual Pizza Pizzazz competition. Winners of this contest receive cash prizes and the opportunity to try out for the US Pizza Team and in turn head to Italy for the World Pizza Championship.

For the last two years I have attended as a member of the “Press” by marking “other” on my ticket application. I could sense the change in the economy based on the types of promotional items offered, the density of the crowd and the topics of the seminars. I scored some good loot last year, this year – not so much. My pass provided admission for two days. Each booth had something to offer including samples of all the pizza, pepperoni, meatballs, sausage, cheeses, sauces, ice cream, desserts and such I could stuff in my stomach. There are also competitions to watch – pizza making, dough tossing, etc.

Here are a few more links of interest.

PMQ – Pizza Magazine: Sporty Slices (about Columbus pizza)


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