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® – Private Label Manufacturers Association, Chicago
The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) themed The Store Brands Phenomena was a sold out show that drew over 13,000 attendees. 600 new exhibitors were among the more than 2,700 exhibitors.
International pavilions dominated the show with almost half of the exhibitor floor filled with suppliers outside of the U.S. The Italian pavilion was by far the largest trade delegation of the 40 country pavilions. In total 60 countries were represented.
Conference Beat®–The Future of Food Conferences, Chicago
The Wall Street Journal’s high profile, high energy gathering of food industry celebrities and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) that attracts the best and brightest in food science and product development gathered in Chicago for two conferences to explore the future of the food business.
The agendas included a wide range of topics and encouraged a robust discussion of differing opinions related to consumer food lifestyles, processed food, sustainability and nutrition.
Conference Beat®–The National Restaurant Show, Chicago
The National Restaurant Show opened with the news of new management with the Informa acquisition of Winsight. Speculation about the future dominated conversations among exhibitors and media companies. Restaurant operators, looking for what’s new and what’s next to delight their customers, were treated to many of the time honored tasting events and hospitality functions.
Conference Beat®–Private Label Manufacturers Association Chicago
The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) returned in-person after three years of virtual engagement. If the growth rate in private brand sales continues at the current rate, it is expected to increase 9% this year – almost twice that of national brands. Inflation and consumer financial pressures are forces driving the momentum.
Conference Beat®–Les Dames d’Escoffier International Conference, New York
Delivering the World on a Plate was the theme of this year’s Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI) Conference in New York. Members gathered to connect with each other and delve into the global culinary experience offered up at the conference and around the city.
Conference Beat®–National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) , Spokane, WA
Year Round Sustainable Produce is in demand for veg-centric menus and suppliers are responding with vertical farming installations to deliver fresh and local produce throughout the country.
Conference Beat®–Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Chicago
Professionals from a wide range of disciplines in the food industry gathered for the first time in three years for their annual conference in Chicago.
Programs were designed to encourage a robust discussion of differing opinions related to processed food, sustainability and nutrition.
Conference Beat®–Foodservice, Retail and Global Innovation–Conferences, Chicago, IL
Three major food industry conferences convened in Chicago this month. The National Restaurant and Sweets & Snacks Shows were exuberant reunions of industry colleagues and friends that packed the show floors and events all around city. The Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food was a sold out conference that attracted a local and international audience.
Conference Beat® – SFA’s Winter Fancy Food Show, Las Vegas
The Specialty Food Association’s Winter Fancy Food Show returned to an in person event with all of the excitement and fanfare the new location in Las Vegas had to offer. Professionals in a wide range of retail and foodservice businesses emerged from behind their computer screens to explore flavor trends and sample new products. There was plenty to enjoy even though many exhibitors were challenged with missing shipments. Here are some of the favorites noted by the Y-Pulse® team at the show:
Les Dames d’Escoffier International, San Antonio
National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Chicago’s McCormick Place
Conference Beat® Plus – Specialty Food LIVE!
Conference Beat®–SIAL Virtual Conference, Paris
Conference Beat® – Global Food Forum, Virtual Conference, New York
Conference Beat® – Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) Virtual Conference SHIFT20
Conference Beat® – Fresh Produce Insight: Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum, New York + Fresh Sart, Tucson, Arizona
Conference Beat® – Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), Chicago, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.