. — Registration is in full swing for the Newark, Del
2017 PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo, the premier gathering of the fresh produce supply chain in foodservice in Monterey, Calif., USA. The event, which offers the networking, information and insights that help businesses grow, features sessions on trends and innovation as well as an expo of 175 exhibiting companies with the latest in foodservice products and services.
PMA’s 2017 Foodservice event will be held July 28-30 at the Monterey Marriott and Portola Plaza Hotel. The conference and expo, now in its 36th year, continues to draw strong participation because of business networking opportunities, proximity to Salinas Valley, access to influencers, and a fun, informative approach to helping foodservice industry professionals gain inspiration and keep the pulse on customer demands and product trends.
To save 10 percent, register by June 23 – save even more by registering two or more people from your company at the same time. Foodservice operators, menu developers, retailers and chefs can participate in the three-day event at a 75 percent discount.
Highlights of the event include: hands-on produce training, chef demos, and menu tastings; insights on new culinary trends and flavors; a dynamic expo; and multiple opportunities to network with customers and potential partners at the conference/expo, as well as related fundraising events to support Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA) initiatives.
“The networking opportunities with suppliers and customers alone provides significant ROI,” said Jeff DeBoer, Regional Vice President, Added Value, FreshPoint, following last year’s conference. “When you add in all the other events that you can attend from education, expo, tours, hands-on experience, it’s simply the best value imaginable. PMA Foodservice is the top premier event where learning and networking is optimal, and there is truly a return on investment.”
A total of 175 exhibitors will present the latest in products and solutions at PMA’s Foodservice Expo. In addition, 24 companies will participate in PMA’s Fresh Ideas Showcase this year, where attendees will get a sneak peek at products that could be the next trend-setting flavor, variety, or convenience product in foodservice meal preparation.
Fresh Ideas Showcase products include: cone cabbage, veggie hash, citrus “caviar,” ginger herb crystals, chef-ready bell peppers, quick-cook brussels sprout halves, beet powder, radish coins, lettuce blends, lettuce that delays pinking, specialty peppers and herbs, and finely diced ready-to-blend mushrooms. Visit PMA’s Foodservice page for a complete list of Fresh Ideas Showcase products.
On Sunday, Best of Show, second place Best of Show, and Best Product Promo awards will be announced.
Participants in PMA’s
Hands-On Fruit & Vegetable Training
on Friday, July 28 will enjoy a menu and trend review session followed by five ingredient learning sessions, plus a networking lunch. This year’s sponsored ingredients include radishes, celery, microgreens, mini watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, and berries. Sponsors will share info on the latest menu trends, and will provide tips on care, handling and usage of fresh fruits and vegetables to help foodservice providers learn news ways to “innovate the plate” with global flavors. Participating chefs include: Jill Overdorf, Todd Fisher, Eileen Campbell, Dave Woolley, Michael Banks, and Tony Baker. Separate registration is required; seating is limited.
Get ready to tune up your taste buds during the Chef Talks
: A Strolling Lunch Saturday, July 29. Top-notch chefs Hugh O’Malley, Domenica Catelli, and Kyung Carroll will showcase ways to fill at least half the plate with fresh fruits and vegetables using sponsored ingredients from Apio, Inc., Zespri and 2016 Chef Talks winner Hollandia Produce respectively. Attendees can interact with each chef at action stations in the reception, and attendees will also vote for their favorite dish. The Chef Talks Award will be presented at the end of the lunch.
PMA Foodservice Conference and Expo was first held in response to growth in the foodservice industry brought about by the rise of family incomes in the 1970s and changes in consumers’ eating habits. The event continues to evolve in response to consumer trends and needs of the evolving foodservice industry. Trends PMA will address this year include organics, rise in demand for vegan menu choices and acceleration of the blurring lines between foodservice and retail.
“I believe the insights regarding market trends and innovative ingredients is very useful information, and [the Foodservice Conference & Expo is] a great experience for our marketing and culinary teams,” said Maggie Miller, Quality Assurance Product Manager, Dine Equity, after the 2016 event.
The event attracts a wide range of buyers (over 100 this year), including Pro*Act, Sysco, Chipotle, Wegmans Food Markets, Blue Apron, Meijer, FreshDirect, HelloFresh, LSG Sky Chefs and The Cheesecake Factory.
Education to Inform and Grow Businesses:
Attendees will hear from fresh produce and foodservice experts to gain insight on foodservice trends affecting the industry. These include strategic marketing, product development and popular menu items.
“Let’s Talk About Trends, Baby” — Joseph M. Pawlak, Managing Principal of Technomic, a foodservice research, fact-finding and management consulting company, will share the latest trends. Pawlak’s research has caught the attention of Business Week, NPR and CNN. His expertise includes market trend analysis, forecasting and implications development. He will present on the latest foodservice trends, including: What do college diners crave? Are meal kits worth the hype? And is clean eating finally becoming affordable? The trends that shape customer’s demands are all here. From dining to retail, from fresh to prepared, participants will learn what’s now and what’s next, with the inspiration to shape decision-making. Pawlak will then moderate a panel discussion focused on a hot topic in foodservice -- responding to customer demands in the university sector, as well as shaping the palates of university students. Participating on the panel are: Ronald DeSantis, Director of Culinary Excellence, Yale Hospitality; Evan Nash, Director of Purchasing at Johnson & Wales University; and three university students from California State University at Monterey Bay.
“No, You Are Not the Smartest Person in the Room” Part I & II — David Nour, CEO of The Nour Group, Inc., will present about ideation and how to differentiate through cocreation to remain relevant, sustain viability, and have fun! A noted growth strategist and thought leader on Relationship Economics® – the quantifiable value of business relationships – Nour will explore collaboration development strategy, and participants will learn actionable processes they can apply back on the job with supply chain partners. Following a brief break, Nour will lead participants in a hands-on, collaborative exercise to put what’s learned to use.
“Innovate the Plate? Why Stop There?" — Executive Chef Jill Overdorf will lead a panel of innovative disruptors who will share their experiences with food waste reduction and gleaning, how they’re shaping healthy eating habits of economically disadvantaged communities and the palates of university students, and ways to innovate and cultivate customers, including using vending machines to dispense plant-based meals. Expect to gain insights on staying ahead of industry and consumer trends.
Related activities to network, learn, and support talent development leading up to and during the event include:
related news release on CGTbyPMA fundraising and networking events. Need art for your Foodservice advance? Download 2016
highlights pictures, expo floor images, and shots from the 2016 5K Race for Talent fundraiser on PMA’s Flickr page.
Fresh Ideas Showcase companies, contact information and product descriptions are available. Editorial staff who wish to cover the event can contact PMA’s PR Team for a complimentary press pass.
Plan your coverage. A complete list of
exhibitors is available.