Y-Pulse brings you the latest trend reports and executive summaries from the major trade shows and conferences. We attend more than 20 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.

Conference Beat™ – National Restaurant Association Show, 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.

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Conference Beat™ – SIAL Montreal, 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.

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

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

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Conference Beat™ – Late Winter Conferences 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.

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

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Conference Beat™ – Winter Fancy Food Show, San Francisco, 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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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.

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Conference Beat™ – Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Newport Beach, CA, October 2017

Members of Les Dames d’Escoffier International gathered in Newport Beach, California for their international conference. This is a diverse group of culinary professionals in the food, fine wine and hospitality industry. It was a week of tasting, exploring and debating the hot topics and latest trends. There are always lively discussions and rarely unanimity on any issue when this group convenes.

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Conference Beat™ – National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show, Chicago, October 2017

Every year the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show attracts nearly 24,000 industry professionals. The attendees converge on the show floor and see the new trends, products and technology available for convenience stores.

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Fast, Fresh & Fun Convenience Retail Tour, Chicago 2017

Our recent consumer survey from Culinary Visions® Panel revealed that 84% of the consumers surveyed agreed that while convenience is important, they won’t compromise on taste. With this guide, you won’t have to compromise either.

This self-guided tour includes our choice of deli counters, marketplaces, gourmet sandwich shops, cucine and grab and go stations best exemplifying the fast, fresh and fun trends. And of course, they’re all delicious.

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Conference Beat™ – Foodscape, Chicago, August 2017

The future of food was the focus of this conference, where industry leaders and entrepreneurs with cutting edge new businesses met to share fresh ideas and new thinking on food and technology.

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Hot Spots & Hidden Treasures Restaurant Guide 2017

We are delighted to share some of our favorite culinary experiences from the richly diverse neighborhoods of Chicago. There are always plenty of hot new restaurants around town, and our 2017 edition includes a special section on Food Halls that you may enjoy exploring as this trend heats up around the country. A recent consumer survey from Culinary Visions® Panel revealed that 60% of the consumers surveyed like to roam around with a beverage and absorb the whole environment of the market. We think you will too.

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Conference Beat™ – Education Segment Conferences, SNA and NACUFS, July 2017

K-12 Schools, and Colleges and Universities serve some of the most involved and demanding consumers in the foodservice industry. Leaders in both markets gathered in Atlanta at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (SNA) and in Nashville for the National Association of College & University Food Services National Conference (NACUFS) to discuss the hot topics related to feeding tomorrow’s tastemakers today.


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    Winter Fancy Food Show

    January 21 - January 23

    San Francisco, CA

    International Association of Culinary Professionals Annual Conference

    February 26 - February 28

    New York, NY

    Research Chefs Association Conference

    March 26 - March 28

    Savannah, GA

    Worlds of Flavor Annual Conference

    April 18 - April 20

    Napa Valley, CA

    Salon International de l'Alimentation (SIAL)

    May 2 - May 4

    Montreal, Canada

    National Restaurant Association Show

    May 19 - May 22

    Chicago, IL

    Sweets & Snacks Expo

    May 22 - 24

    Chicago, IL

    International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show

    June 10 - June 12

    New Orleans, LA

    School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference

    July 9 - July 12

    Las Vegas, NV

    National Association of College & University Food Services National Conference

    July 11 - July 14

    Providence, RI

    Institute of Food Technologists' Annual Event and Food Expo

    July 15 - July 18

    Chicago, IL

    National Association of Convenience Stores Show

    October 7 - October 10

    Las Vegas, NV

    Les Dames d' Escoffier International Conference

    October 11 - October 14

    Seattle, WA

    Salon International de l'Alimentation (SIAL) Paris

    October 21 - October 25

    Paris, FR

    International Foodservice Editorial Council Annual Conference

    October 24 - October 27

    Raleigh, NC

    Private Label Manufacturers Association Show

    November 11 - November 12

    Chicago, IL

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    For insight beyond younger consumers visit
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