PMA Revamps its Foodservice Conference and Expo
- by Robert Schaulis
NEWARK, DE - Produce Marketing Association’s 37th annual Foodservice Conference and Expo is scheduled for July 28-29 in Monterey, CA. The conference is revamping its look and approach to generating conversations around foodservice. This includes a new schedule, format, and layout in the renovated exhibit space at the Monterey Conference Center and Portola Hotel & Spa.
“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!”
Core events offer networking, information and insights to help businesses grow. They have been consolidated into a two-day program on Saturday and Sunday:
Saturday, July 28:
- Keynote Speaker Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Shake Shack founder “Whoever Wrote the Rule,” will address strategic risk taking, embracing change, and welcoming disruption.
Sunday, July 29:
- Panel conversation on “The Rapid Pace of Change” in foodservice, moderated by Jet Tila, Chef and Food Network Star. 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.
- Expo spread out on two levels, featuring more than 185 exhibitors: 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 AM. The first floor of the expo opens at 11 AM. Both close at 4:30 p.m.
- Best of Show, second Best of Show, and Best Product Promo Awards announced.
According to a press release, each of the exhibit spaces will house a lounge, equipped with conversation starters to spark ideas around food 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.
“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 have the chance to enjoy related fundraising events to support Center for Growing Talent (CGT) initiatives.
On Saturday, July 28, activities include a Strolling Brunch from 11 AM to 11:45 AM, a Networking Reception from 1 PM to 2 PM, and an all-new Hands-on Fruit & Vegetable Training from 2 PM to 6 PM. CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception is also scheduled Saturday, July 28, from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.
Registration is also open for CGT fundraising events: The Bocce for Talent Tournament scheduled 4 PM to 8 PM Wednesday, July 25, at the Custom House Plaza. The Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament scheduled 7 AM to 2 PM Friday, July 27, at the Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course. And 5K Race for Talent scheduled at 7 AM Saturday, July 28, at the Promenade between Fisherman’s Wharf and the Portola Hotel.
For more information on registration, click here.