Conference Beat™- Expo Milano: Milan, Italy May – October 2015

This six month world exposition was designed to create and encourage an international discussion about feeding the world and sustaining the resources needed to do it.  The conversation was as much about feeding the hungry as it was about enlightening those who suffer from the effects of poor nutrition and excessive food intake. Over 140 countries were represented at this six month long Universal Exposition in Milan, Italy.


Lofty goals and high ideals were the order of the day, yet realistic conversations about small measures that empowered individuals left those attending the Expo with a glow of inspiration and great intentions.  Our exploration focused on finding ideas and inspiration for food industry professionals who want to become leaders in educating and engaging their consumers today and tomorrow.

The Goals of Expo Milano:

  • Identify and collaborate on solutions to feed the world population of 9 billion by the year 2050.
  • Identify actions that can empower individuals to lead more sustainable lives.
  • Inspire governments and global corporations to collaborate on solutions to make healthful, sustainable food available to people around the world.

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Conference Beat™- NACS: Las Vegas, October 2015

Convenience retail is in demand around the world and the NACS show boasted attendees from 60 countries this year.  The aisles were filled with products and services that one would expect in a traditional convenience store.  Yet the growth of niche products, natural, gourmet and unconventional offerings point to an evolution of this market.

Hot Topics for Convenience Stores

  • The idea of a typical c-store is evolving. C-stores on education campuses can be more of a general store for young consumers, and other operators are responding to their communities by creating stores fit for fun and family.
  • The trend toward quality fresh food programs and premium foodservice offerings continues to grow.
  • New delivery models like click-and-collect and home delivery were a hot topic among c-store operators looking for ways to up the ante on convenience for their customers.

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Conference Beat™- Chicago Ideas Week: Chicago, October 2015

Members of the Culinary Visions Panel set out to be inspired by entrepreneurs, industry leaders, celebrity chefs, restaurateurs and cultural icons during Chicago Ideas Week.  There were hundreds of events around the city covering a wide range of topics including:  architecture, urban farming, city planning and the future of retail technology.

Hot Topics for Culinary Change

  • Fast food is shifting to “food served fast,” bringing freshness to the consumer and enriching the planet.
  • Communicating clean label ingredients are key for food service growth in the new millennium.
  • Technology continues to reframe how people interact with food systems – from manufacturing to distribution to consumption.
Expo Milano 2015- Milan, Italy


Conference Beat™- IFT: Chicago, June 2015

More than 23,000 food professionals from around the world attend this conference with over 1,000 exhibitors to network and learn about the latest innovations, emerging trends and most recent advancements in the science and business of food.


Hot Topics in Food Innovation

  • Exploring new and varied forms of protein, plant-based proteins in particular
  • Creating relevant and credible claims on consumer packaged goods
  • Managing sustainability on a broad scale
  • Exploring Kokumi, the emerging taste concept that can deliver a heartiness to foods
  • Expanding unexpected applications for vegetables in a wide range of foods and beverages
Conference Beat™- IDDBA: Atlanta, June 2015

Leaders in the dairy, deli and bakery business gathered in Atlanta to be inspired by industry leaders and celebrity speakers and learn about the latest new products and opportunities for deli and bakery operations.

Hot Topics for Dairy, Deli and Bakery

  • Balancing convenience and value based on understanding consumer needs
  • Food safety and gaining consumer trust in an environment of recalls and litigation related to consumer injuries caused by listeria
  • Understanding how to use technology to enable personal connections with customers
  • Catering to millennial consumers and creating experiences they value
  • Delivering a fresh and flavorful experience throughout the day, every day
Conference Beat™- NRA: Chicago, May 2015

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show has also branded itself the NRA International Foodservice Marketplace, as the foodservice industry and the audience for this show have evolved. The show has indeed become a marketplace of buyers walking the aisles with their shopping lists, designers, and consultants ready to make decisions.


More than 2,100 exhibiting companies demonstrated their goods and services to a crowd of more than 63,000 chefs, restaurant owners and other foodservice professionals at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. The show floor was a great place to spot new trends.… More

Sweets & Snacks Expo – Chicago, May 2015


National Restaurant Association Show Highlights – Chicago, May 2015


Mindful Dining – How consumers’ values influence their meal choices away from home

Today’s foodservice consumers have many choices when they dine out, and they have high expectations.  They expect a warm welcome, delicious food whether it is healthful or indulgent, good service and fair prices wherever they dine.  With so many options available, consumers are beginning to scrutinize the provenance of their meal or snack and the treatment of everyone who plays a part in bringing it to the table.


Culinary Visions® Panel surveyed over 1,200 restaurant consumers about ordering habits and their perspectives on issues like local, organic, natural, non-GMO, sustainable, fair trade, vendor reputations, community support, employee satisfaction and others factors that impact their decisions.  This study explores the factors that drive consumers to choose a particular restaurant and the impact of specific menu claims on what they choose to order.… More