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Fresh ideas at foodservice conference and expo July 28-29

freshplaza 2018-06-13 18:07:23

Fresh ideas at foodservice conference and expo July 28-29

Produce Marketing Association’s 37th annual Foodservice Conference and Expo July 28-29 in Monterey, Calif., USA, will feature a fresh approach to growing appetites for bold ideas that includes a new schedule, new format, and new layout in the now completely renovated exhibit space at the Monterey Conference Center and Portola Hotel & Spa.

Core events, which offer networking, information and insights to help businesses grow, have been consolidated into a two-day program on Saturday and Sunday, with each day featuring a keynote education session.

To save 10 percent, register by June 22 – 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 at a special rate.

The expo on Sunday, which includes more than 185 exhibitors, will be spread out on two levels: on the first floor of the Monterey Conference Center and Portola Hotel and on the second floor of the conference center, which connects to the Monterey Marriott Hotel. The second floor opens at 10:15 a.m., so plan to get an early jump on the expo following Sunday’s keynote session. The first floor of the expo opens at 11 a.m. Both close at 4:30 p.m.

Each of the three exhibit spaces will feature a lounge designed to be a comfortable, inviting and inspirational area where attendees can network, share ideas, or simply sit down to take a break, recharge phones and appetites.

Lounges will feature conversation starters to spark ideas around trends and challenges in the foodservice industry. Themes include exploring bold, global flavors in dishes made with fresh produce; expanding palettes and produce-centric menu choices for Generation Z; and creative ideas for food waste reduction.

From left to right: Jet Tila, Brent Scattini; Jill Overdorf

On Sunday, the Best of Show, second place Best of Show, and Best Product Promo awards will be announced. “I truly love this show. It’s the premier gathering of the fresh produce supply chain in foodservice,” said Jill Overdorf, Director of Business Development for Naturipe Value Added Fresh and co-chair of PMA’s Foodservice Conference Committee. “All aspects of the event will focus on flavor, menu development, and providing opportunities for foodservice professionals to learn to innovate and have their curiosity satisfied. As a chef, the excitement that ideas and new produce applications generate is very exciting; it’s a can’t miss conference for foodservice professionals!”

As PMA previously announced, the keynote speaker on Saturday, July 28, is Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Shake Shack founder. Meyer’s talk, “Whoever Wrote the Rule,” will address strategic risk taking, embracing change, and welcoming disruption.

On Sunday, July 29, Jet Tila, Chef and Food Network Star, will moderate a panel conversation on “The Rapid Pace of Change” in foodservice. Panelists are: Tim York, President, Markon Cooperative, Inc.; Tamra Scroggins, Director of Food Culture at Sizzler USA, Inc.; and Charlie Lousignont, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Brinker International, Inc.

“I’m very excited by what we have lined up for our 2018 event,” said Brent Scattini, vice president of sales and marketing at Mission Produce, Inc. and co-chair of PMA’s Foodservice Conference Committee. “Our speakers are well known in their fields and have made significant impacts in the foodservice industry. This event has been designed to maximize time and opportunities for networking, learning and connecting buyers and suppliers.”

Participants will also enjoy menu tastings, networking, as well as related fundraising events to support Center for Growing Talent initiatives.

On Saturday, July 28, in addition to Meyer’s keynote, activities include a Strolling Brunch from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., a Networking Reception from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and an all-new Hands-on Fruit & Vegetable Training from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information:

Cassidy Taylor


Tel: +1 (302) 781-5852

Publication date: 6/13/2018