Probing Generational Desires To Ignite Sales

Ideation Fresh Header 2018

December 13, 2018

7:00 am through 4:30 pm • New York Hilton

7:00–8:00 am:  Registration

8:00-–8:30 am:  Continental Breakfast

8:30–8:45 am:  Welcome Remarks/Introduction

8:45–10:15 am:  Produce on the Menu Trends Report: Chandra Ram, editor of Plate magazine, and Gerry Ludwig, corporate consulting chef, Gordon Food Service

10:15–11:15 am:  Discussion Panel 1 — Generation Z — Ready To Launch

Coming on strong and following closely on the heels of the Millennials, Generation Z is now of college age. This demographic isn’t taking a back seat to Millennials and, is in fact, creating a dining revolution of its own. Generation Z is the most ethnically diverse group and that is reflected in how these young folks choose restaurants. While the group loves a variety of ethnic cuisines — the authenticity of the dish is especially important. These young consumers seek fresh, natural foods with a variety of options, and they want to know where the food is from, how it’s grown and who made it. Generation Z isn’t afraid of experimenting, which offers plenty of opportunities to savvy restaurant operators.


John Coker, senior vice president of supply chain management, Compass Group

Ciaran Duffy, vice president, corporate executive chef, Moe’s Southwest Grill

Steve Hammel, dining services program manager, U.S. Navy Regional Southwest

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and chief executive, Produce for Better Health Foundation

Rafi Taherian, associate vice president, Yale Dining

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

11:15–11:30 am: Conversation Break

11:30 am–12:30 pm: Discussion Panel 2 — Millennials Coming Of Age — What’s Next?

According to research, 40 percent of Millennials, or roughly 32 million people, are parents. How are today’s restaurants attracting young families with children, and how does produce fit into the menus addressing Millennials? Nine out of 10 Millennials consider eating healthy foods to be one of the pillars of wellness, so much so that 77 percent of Millennials exclude from their diet what they think could be harmful. How are savvy restaurateurs using this information to cultivate loyalists for their brands? How is this most influential demographic changing the way America eats out?


Dan Coudreaut, former executive chef and vice president of culinary for McDonalds and now founder, Coudreaut and Associates

Jessie Gideon, corporate chef, chief operating officer, Fresh To Order

Dennis Kihistadius, chief executive, Produce Technical Services

Jann Dickerson, president and founder, Think Food

Rick Van Warner, chief executive, Tijuana Flats

Panel Moderator: Amy Myrdal Miller, founder and president, Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, Inc.

12:30–1:15 pm: Chef Demo: Bob Karisny, vice president for menu strategy and innovation, Taco John’s

1:15–2:45 pm:  Breakout Luncheon; Facilitator Tim York, president of Markon

2:45–3:00 pm: Presentation of Produce Business’ First In Fresh annual award by Jim Prevor

3:00–4:00 pm: Discussion Panel 3 — Lucrative Leftovers — Catering To Boomers And Beyond

At more than 70 million strong, the Baby Boomer generation has plenty of disposable income and they love to eat out. Boomers prefer substance to style, and they see life after 50 as some of the best years of their life. This age demographic is a big fan of breakfast and is largely responsible for the restaurant revolution, which began when Boomers learned to cook. Boomers were the first to explore the world of produce and are considered the original foodies. Even healthy food advocate Alice Waters is a Boomer.


Mary Angela Miller, administrative director, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Paul Muller, chief culinary officer, Lazy Dog Restaurants

Brandon Cook, executive chef of Culinary R&D, The Cheesecake Factory

Debra Olson, senior manager recipe development, Golden Corral Corporation

Sharon Olson, executive director, Y-Pulse

Kevin Ryan, chief executive, executive director, International Corporate Chefs Association

Panel Moderator: Ellen Koteff, vice president editorial, Produce Business

4:00–4:30 pm:   Wrap Up Conversation