PMA’s Foodservice Conference Will Apply Innovation and Fresh Produce

This summer, foodservice and produce industry leaders will come together to explore how innovation – and a healthy dose of fresh produce – can help sustain and grow their businesses when the Produce Marketing Association’s 2013 Foodservice Conference & Exposition convenes July 26-28 in Monterey, Calif.

This year’s conference – the only event dedicated to produce in foodservice – will explore three aspects of innovation: the customer experience, menu design and digital branding. It will combine those cutting-edge education topics with the foodservice industry’s best networking.

“This particular event has been designed to promote and connect the foodservice and produce industry,” says Mark Allison, senior manager, Produce & Fresh Seafood Procurement, The Cheesecake Factory. “Emphasizing the value of creativity while focusing on increased produce usage, new concepts like the Corporate Chef Panel will help open our eyes to potential growth.”

The Corporate Chef Panel, led by Culinary Institute of America’s Amy Myrdal Miller, comes at a good time. According to the Culinary Institute of America’s latest research, “Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative,” 94% of the foodservice industry has highlighted the mission to use more produce in their restaurant operations. The most commonly identified “greatest challenge” to integrating more produce into menus was the prep skills required.

Tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Disciplined Dreaming – A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity author Josh Linkner will deliver the opening session on innovation on Saturday, July 27. Chip Bell, a consultant specializing in and author of several books on customer relationships, will offer his insights on innovating the customer experience. Maeve Webster, senior director at Datassential, will explore menu trends and innovation.

Sunday, July 28’s agenda will feature social media maven Carisa Miklusak’s no-nonsense, step approach to digital branding. The day’s and the conference’s agenda will conclude with an afternoon expo featuring 160+ exhibitors showcasing the produce industry’s finest.

Register by June 21 for early-bird savings; advance registration closes July 12. Foodservice operators can receive significant discounts on conference registration rates. The deadline to book housing is June 25. For more information and to register online, visit fsc.pma.com.

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