Conference Beat™ – Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum, New York, December 2018



The New York Produce Show and Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum brought together thought leaders in the domestic and international produce business with leading retailers and restaurateurs to explore what’s hot now and what’s on the horizon for fresh food.  This year’s conference focused on the unique perspectives of different demographic groups related to fresh food and produce.

Fresh Perspectives

A new study by Culinary Visions® presented at the conference noted that more than 80% of consumers of all age groups consider locally sourced foods to be the freshest.


Product Highlights

Vegetable Candy – conveniently packaged grape tomatoes, branded “handy candy”, make it easy to grab and go with a healthy snack.


Fresh Veggie pastas – butternut squash rotini, kohlrabi linguine and sweet potato fettuccine offer chef-inspired cuts, low calorie and
gluten-free options.


Bold Beverages – made with fruits and vegetables, these beverages are setting out to replace energy drinks with benefits like detox, unwind, de-stress and energize.


Big and Little Bento Boxes – individual snacking or large parties, put vegetables front and center both everyday and for special events.


Nourishing Bowls – with curated mixes of fresh produce, they are filling the desire for endless varieties of bowl meals served hot or cold.


Gen Z Breaking In

Gen Z consumers are watching food programming on traditional and digital media. According to Y-Pulse® research 56% of 15-18 years and 39% of 8-14 year olds try to cook some of the meals they have seen in short-format “Tasty” style videos.


Boomers – Substance Over Style

55+ consumers continue to wield their purchasing power. According to Culinary Visions® 87% would like to get more produce into their diets and 36% enjoy dining at restaurants in trendy areas.


Implications for Food Marketers

Omnivores enjoy veg-centric food. Vegetables are moving to the center of the plate, but meat still plays an important and satisfying role for the vast majority of consumers.


Open kitchens cue freshness. Vegetable centricity is driving restaurant design with fewer freezers and open kitchens. When consumers see restaurant kitchens with lots of fresh prep, it enhances their fresh perception of the restaurant’s food.


Convenience Versus Flavor. Younger consumers, 18-34, are more willing to sacrifice flavor for convenience when making food decisions on the go, according to a new study from Culinary Visions®.


The Next Trendy Vegetable

Trend presentations at the conference suggest that the next new vegetable may be a time honored favorite that has been taken for granted – cabbage, carrots, cauliflower – reinvigorated with bold cooking and preparation methods.  Examples include: roasted cauliflower steak, carrot tartare and charred cabbage wedge, served warm.



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