Reaching tomorrow's tastemakers today

Shows and Conferences

That We Regularly Attend

Y-Pulse® brings you the latest trend reports and executive summaries from the major trade shows and conferences. We attend more than 15 major food industry conferences at our expense every year, so we can bring new ideas and fresh insight to you. Our original research has been presented at industry conferences, published in major trade publications, by industry associations and in reports to Congress.


Regularly Attended Trade Conferences

United Fresh Produce Association FreshStart Conference
Winter Fancy Food Show
International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference
Salon International de l'Alimentation (SIAL)
National Restaurant Association Show
Sweets & Snacks Expo
International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show
National Association of College & University Food Services National Conference
School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference
Institute of Food Technologists' Annual Event and Food Expo
National Association of Convenience Stores Show
Global Food Forum
Les Dames d' Escoffier International Conference
International Foodservice Editorial Council Annual Conference
Private Label Manufacturers Association Show
New York Produce Show


Conference Beat® – Global Food Forum, Virtual Conference, New York, October 2020

October 2020

This conference gathers leaders in agribusiness, food production, consumer products, government and non-government organizations to explore key risks and opportunities shaping the global business of food. This year a virtual conference replaced the high energy conference that was characterized by spirited discussions among over 25 keynote-caliber speakers in an exhilarating and interactive one day session.

Conference Beat® – Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) Virtual Conference SHIFT20

July 2020

The goal of this year’s virtual conference was to bring together leaders from a wide range of disciplines in the food industry for a robust conversation that challenged the status quo and fostered new insight. SHIFT20 was about so much more than ingredients and processing techniques—it was about a shift in thinking that brings the world better food.

Conference Beat® – Fresh Produce Insight: Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum, New York + Fresh Sart, Tucson, Arizona

January 2020

Fresh ideas were presented in December 2019 and January 2020 at two conferences focused on foodservice opportunities for the fresh produce industry. Culinary Visions® participated in a panel discussion on Menu Innovation at the New York conference and Y-Pulse® presented research titled, Connecting with Gen Next Away from Home.

Conference Beat® – Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), Chicago, November 2019

November 2019

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) is the perfect show to review at the end of the year because it provides a glimpse into which trends spotted through our research and attendance at all of this year’s shows and conferences are becoming mainstream products. The show continues to grow with 1,500 exhibiting companies from 40 countries and 25 international pavilions. A special feature of the show, The Idea Supermarket, showcased 468 new products.

Conference Beat® – Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Nashville, Tennessee, October 2019

October 2019

Members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) convened in Nashville to taste, explore and debate the hot topics and latest trends in the food, fine wine and hospitality industry. The exclusive 2020 Trends report was released at this meeting, which is highlighted in this report.

Conference Beat® – Global Food Forum, New York, October 2019

October 2019

The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum exclusive conference gathered leaders in agribusiness, food production, consumer products economics and government to explore key risks and opportunities shaping the global business of food.

25 speakers and 13 journalists discussed, debated and enlightened the audience on trends that are transforming the food business in this exhilarating and interactive one day session.

Conference Beat® – National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show, Atlanta, October 2019

October 2019

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show attracted nearly 23,500 visitors. Industry professionals converged in seminars and on the show floor to see the cool new products and learn about trends in the convenience retail business.

Conference Beat® – American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Convention, Orlando, August 2019

August 2019

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is celebrating its 90th year and met in Orlando for its annual conference this year. ACF is the largest professional chefs’ organization in North America, comprised of more than 15,000 members. The organization is considered the leader in offering educational resources, training and accreditation to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs and pastry chefs.

Conference Beat™ – Education Segment Conferences: School Nutrition Association and National Association of College & University Food Services, July 2019

July 2019

Foodservice professionals in the education segments serve some of the most involved and demanding consumers in the industry. Leaders in both markets gathered in Denver for the National Association of College & University Food Services National Conference (NACUFS) and in St. Louis, Missouri at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (SNA) to discuss the hot topics related to feeding tomorrow’s tastemakers today.

Conference Beat™ – International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show (IDDBA), June 2019

June 2019

This family vacation destination and mega-chain restaurant dominated city welcomed leaders in the dairy, deli and bakery business to learn about the latest products and opportunities. Keynote speakers focused on personal and professional growth.

Conference Beat™ – National Restaurant Show, May 2019

May 2019

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) celebrated the 100th anniversary of its trade show, International Foodservice Marketplace, where over 2,300 exhibitors from around the world showcased their products to over 65,000 foodservice professionals.

Conference Beat™ – Sweets & Snacks Expo, May 2019

May 2019

The Sweets and Snacks Expo drew more than 15,000 industry professionals and 800+ exhibitors, 200 of which were there for the first time. Buyers represent supermarkets, mass merchandisers and specialty retailers looking for innovations that drive business success.

Conference Beat™ – SIAL Toronto, April 2019

May 2019

SIAL Canada is the largest North American food innovation show that focuses on insight and inspiration for companies dedicated to the food and beverage business. It is one of eight exhibitions developed to extend the reach of SIAL Paris which is widely known as the global forum of food innovation.

Conference Beat™ – Research Chefs Association (RCA), Louisville, KY, March 2019

March 2019

The Research Chefs Association (RCA) conference is where new product developers, food scientists and R&D chefs meet to explore, debate, and inspire each other with ideas and techniques that will drive menus and product development in the years to come.

National Association of College & Food Services (NACUFS) Pacific Chef Net, Corvallis, OR, February 2019

February 2019

At this year’s National Association of College & University Food Services 2019 Pacific Chef Net, Shayna Snyder, the Account Director of Culinary Visions and Y-Pulse (ypulse.org), presented the 2019 Trend Forecast to College & University foodservice directors, chefs and dietitians who were in attendance.

Illinois School Nutrition Association Winter Conference, January 2019

February 2019

At this year’s Illinois School Nutrition Association (ILSNA) Winter Conference, Y-Pulse research was presented during the session titled, Understanding Tomorrow’s Tastemakers Today. The session explored the dining influences and preferences of today’s K-12 students, whether they’re eating at home, at the mall or in the school cafeteria.

Conference Beat™ – Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, January 2019

January 2019

The Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show is the first major industry forum of the year that attracts professionals in a wide range of business segments including: specialty and gourmet retail stores, supermarkets and foodservice operations. Unique features of the show include special areas dedicated to start-up ventures.

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

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.

Conference Beat™ – Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Chicago, IL 2018

July 2018

This international conference about the science of food brings together more than 20,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors including food industry, government and academia, where they share the latest research and solutions among R&D, scientific and technical titles. IFT is about so much more than ingredients and processing techniques – it’s about food that changes the world.

Conference Beat™ – Education Segment Conferences, July 2018 School Nutrition Association and National Association of College & University Food Services

July 2018

Education segments, including K-12 and Colleges & Universities, serve some of the most enlightened and demanding consumers in the foodservice industry. Leaders in both markets gathered in Las Vegas at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (SNA) and in Providence, Rhode Island for the National Association of College & University Food Services National Conference (NACUFS), covering foodservice in self-operated, contract and hybrid schools.

Conference Beat™ – National Restaurant Association Show, May 2018

May 2018

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) International Foodservice Marketplace is an annual event where over 2,300 companies from around the world showcase their products to more than 67,000 foodservice professionals. This year’s show, the 99th, was a great place to see the fascinating and forward-thinking trends driving innovation in the foodservice industry.

Conference Beat™ – SIAL Montreal, May 2018

May 2018

SIAL is the global network of trade conferences that focus on innovation, insight and inspiration for companies dedicated to the food and beverage business. The Montreal exposition is the largest food innovation trade show in North America and features exhibiting companies and educational programs for those in all sectors of the food business.

Conference Beat™ – Worlds of Flavor 20th Annual Conference, Legends of Flavor, Napa Valley, April 2018

April 2018

For the past 20 years, this conference has explored culinary frontiers and raised thought provoking discussions on global food trends, food ethics and the responsibility of culinary change makers to educate as they entice consumers with the latest food and beverage sensations. Notable at this year’s conference was the large attendance of professionals from college and university foodservice and culinary educators from high schools on a mission to educate, nourish and capture the imaginations of the consumers of tomorrow.

Conference Beat™ – Research Chefs Association (RCA), Savannah, Georgia 2018

April 2018

The most-attended Research Chefs Association (RCA) conference to date, with more than 1,200 attendees and 140 exhibitors, this is where new product developers, food scientists and R&D chefs gather to find new solutions and insights for the year to come.

Conference Beat™ – Late Winter Conferences 2018

March 2018

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and Menu Directions (MD) have uniquely different perspectives. At IACP culinary professionals gather to examine issues related to food and modern lifestyles. At MD foodservice professionals gather to share ideas on their businesses and their customers.

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

March 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.

Conference Beat™ – Winter Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, January 2018

January 2018

The Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show is the first major food industry forum of the year where buyers and sellers come to see the newest foods, flavors and ingredient trends. With over 1,400 exhibitors from more than 20 countries, this show attracts a wide range of food business segments including: specialty and gourmet retail, supermarkets, mass merchandisers, foodservice operators and distributors.

What’s In and What’s Out

Diets are out and culinary lifestyles are in.  Lifestyle diet choices are driving innovation.

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