Conference Beat™ – Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum, New York, December 2017



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.


Fast and Fresh

Consumers’ lifestyles are igniting demand for fresh, healthy and handheld on-the-go choices. Whether it’s a portion pack of veggies with dipping sauce, a vegetable smoothie or a custom curated bento box, consumers crave healthy options to fuel their fast paced lives.


Omnivorous Cravings

Consumers are hungry for more plants in their diets. 88% of consumers surveyed by Culinary Visions® Panel said they would like to get more plants into their diets, yet 82% of those surveyed said they love meat. Building appealing vegetable dishes with an optional add of protein satisfies
the modern omnivore.


What’s In and What’s Out

Stealth Health is out, and full disclosure is in.  Consumers want to know about ingredients, allergens and practices that relate to ethical production.


Ugly produce is in, as consumer appreciation for sustainability and waste reductions grow. Root to stem cooking is intriguing and can be delicious.


Purple is the color du jour – Pantone announced Ultra Violet as the color of 2018 just as the show began, and it ignited the conversation about colorful produce centric plates.


Veggie noodles made with zucchini, squash, sweet potato and beets are filling the endless varieties of bowl meals.


Global Cuisines trending include: Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Korean, Filipino and Israeli. Modern takes on Mexican and Chinese are energizing these long time favorites.


Kids Challenge the Status Quo

Young consumers overwhelmingly enjoy vegetables, unlike many of their parents at the same age. In K-12 schools, kids are more open to trying new foods than their parents, when sampled and presented by school nutrition professionals and chefs. In restaurants, the kids’ menu is becoming a thing of the past, except with very young children (typically under 8 years old); demand
for the kids’ menu is often driven by parents.


Implications for Food Marketers

The new competitive edge is seduction – gaining loyalty with such extraordinary food and hospitality that customers cannot resist. It’s even more applicable in non-commercial foodservice operations where customers dine every day.


Lifestyle nutrition is driving demand for special menu offerings to please both young and old with unique menu choices that cater to individual desires.


Technology is disrupting the food business at a rapid pace with ordering and delivery systems that make fresh food available on demand in remote locations.


Taste Talk Tweet

#celebratingfresh tweets:

– The mission to reduce food waste continues

– Underrated bananas predicted to make a comeback

– Catchy apple names influence consumer purchases

– Avocados are the star of healthy eating and
innovative presentation


The next show we will cover is Fancy Food in San Francisco, January 2018.
Follow us on Twitter @Olsoncomm


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