Conference Beat™ – International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), New York City 2018

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference is where food influencers and content creators meet to be inspired and challenged as they examine issues related to food and the impact is has on modern lifestyles and culture. This conference defines the context of culinary conversation for the year ahead.


Next Frontier of Food Products

Scalable sustainability will push the boundaries of food systems as we know them today. New product concepts in ideation phase include using lab-grown meat technology to grow endangered species; for example shark fin soup is still culturally relevant but dubious in current sourcing practices. Another idea is a crop rotation cracker: using a different bean or legume in the formulation based on the principle of rotating crops to maintain the longevity of the soil.

Authenticity Debate

According to the most recent Mindful Dining study from Culinary Visions® Panel, 94% of consumers agreed at some level to the statement, “it’s important to me that an ethnic restaurant’s food is authentic.” Possibly the most powerful and disputed word in foodservice today, authenticity is powerfully appealing to consumers. Yet the debate on defining what is an authentic experience among food professionals rages on.


Trend Spotting

What’s Out the term “ethnic” is out in favor of more fully defining authentic experiences from Asia and Latin America. One would never expect to hear Western European Ethnic, and countries around the globe are striving to define their unique cuisine.


What’s In – extra sensory dining experiences. Chefs who seek out unique and hard to find spices and ingredients and add a handmade touch to dishes that cannot be replicated at home are defining the new haute cuisine.


The American Palate – there is no dispute that Americans enjoy a much more diverse diet than they did even a decade ago, yet certain things just don’t work with a mainstream audience no matter how trendy they are with foodies, i.e. organ meats.


Rise of Casualization – has transformed foodservice where fine dining no longer sets the trends. Yet, snob-appeal has no limit with modern consumers seeking out experiences that are inaccessible to the mainstream with exclusive access, secret entrances and no reservations policies.


Dairy as Cutting Edge Eco-Packaging

The milk protein casein could be a future plastic alternative in applications where it’s formed into thin wrappers similar to the ones around string cheese.


Implications for Food Marketers

Invigorating the Classics – flavor and form twists on pantry staples can add new appeal to old favorites; think giant French fries or smoked olives.


Transformative Influences – cheap travel and digital photography are making the world accessible to a new generation of consumers.


Language Matters – diplomacy and cultural sensitivities are shaping the way we talk about, describe and interact with food and the people who serve us. Monikers that imply hierarchy or “otherness” are being replaced with more inclusive language.


Taste Talk Tweet

Twitter chatter included:

  • Recipes are a snapshot in time, the portrait of a moment
  • Connections between cuisines: “Because of vanilla and chocolate, all desserts are Mexican”
  • Exotic fruit revelations that the majority of it is edible: fleshy fruity part, seeds, and stringy fibers


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