Thursday, December 8 • New York Hilton

The Process of
Menu Marketing

7:00-8:00 am Registration

8:00-8:30 am Continental Breakfast

8:30-8:45 am Welcome Remarks by Jim Prevor/Introductions

8:45-9:30 am Overview: What’s Trending In Foodservice: Produce & The New Omnivore
A growing number of chefs are changing their view of the relationship between meat proteins and fresh produce in new menu development, with far-reaching implications for the way Americans eat. While vegetable-centric dishes on restaurant menus continues to rise, so are the number of dining consumers who are losing the “meatless mindset” in favor of a style of eating that offers a better balance.
In this session Chef Gerry will provide his street-level view of this emerging trend with insights and menu examples drawn from the 100+ live restaurant research visits he has conducted in New York, Chicago and L.A. over the past year. 

Gerry Ludwig, corporate consulting chef at Gordon Food Service

9:30-10:45 amDiscussion Panel 1: Consumer Behaviors and the Marketing Of Fresh Produce
Learn from a panel of foodservice marketing experts how they use consumer trend information to influence marketing and menu decisions. Do consumers follow through on the health and nutrition they say is important to them when making choices while dining out? Do consumers make different menu decisions when dining in restaurants vs. settings such as on-site corporate dining or college campuses? How should the trend information best be used and by whom? Hear from the panel on how consumer trends affect their behaviors in foodservice settings. 

Stefano Cordova, vice president food operations & food business development, Starbucks
Sharon Olson, president of Olson Communications and executive director, Culinary Visions Panel
Paul Pszybylski, senior director of culinary development, California Pizza Kitchen
Maeve Webster, president of Menu Matters
Rafi Taherian, executive director Yale Dining

Panel Moderator: Ellen Koteff, vice president editorial for PRODUCE BUSINESS

10:45-11:15 am Conversation Break

11:15-11:30 am Ideation: Fresh Menu Challenge

11:30-12:30 pm Breakout Luncheon; Facilitator Tim York, president of Markon

12:30-1:00 pm Presentation of Small Groups – Led by Culinary Students

1:00-2:15 pm Discussion Panel 2: Matches Made In Heaven — Partnerships That Sell Produce
Hear examples of successful partnerships that market fresh produce throughout the foodservice channels. Learn why the role of industry catalysts at the beginning of the process is critical to the success in marketing partnerships between shippers and distributors/operators. How do produce shippers who want to promote their brand at the restaurant level partner with operators? How do commodity associations partner with operators to move more of their crop while educating consumers on the benefits of fresh produce? How are these relationships best formed and nurtured?

Steve Church, chief executiveChurch Brothers Farms
Rich Dachman, vice president of produce, Sysco
Robin Fisher, produce category manager, PF Chang
RJ Harvey, corporate executive chef and wellness manager, Compass Group — Morrison Management
Steve Kenfield, vice president, HMC Farms
Joe Loiacano, senior manager of fresh produce, Wendy’s
Peggy McCormick, president of MMM Marketing
Steve Solomon, culinary strategist for the Mushroom Council

Panel Moderator: Amy Myrdal Miller, founder and president of Farmer’s Daughter® Consulting

2:15-2:30 pm Conversation Break

2:30-3:15 pm Chef Demo: Ron DeSantis, director of culinary excellence, Yale Dining

3:15-4:30 pm Discussion Panel 3: Getting The All-Important Consumer Buy-In
What are some of the marketing strategies for introducing new produce-centric menu items? Hear examples of how operators roll out new menu items with a fresh produce focus. What is the marketing message – does it emphasize health, organics, farm-to-table, or just great flavor?  What are the internal marketing strategies to promote the item to operations down to servers at the unit level? A health message on menu items used to mean a quick death to that dish…. Has that changed with consumers’ interest in health and nutrition going mainstream? What other factors are taken into account to make savvy decisions to reach as many consumers as possible? What are some of the secrets to success?

Lenny DeGeorge, Executive Chef Culinary Development Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.
Gerry Ludwig, corporate consulting chef at Gordon Food Service
Megan McKenna, director of foodservice and marketing for
National Watermelon Promotion Board
Darryl Mickler, senior director of research and development at Hard Rock International
Don Odiorne, vice president of foodservice for the Idaho Potato Commission
Michael Sabourin, corporate executive chef for Windstar Cruises
Shane Shaibly, corporate chef for First Watch

Panel Moderator: Susan Renke, president and founder of Food Marketing Resources

4:30-4:45 pm Wrap Up