Onions are well-represented at this year’s IFPA Foodservice Conference in Monterey, CA, where organizers are expecting more than 1,800 attendees from across the foodservice produce supply chain.
Running July 28-29 at the Monterey Conference Center and Portola Hotel & Spa, the event will include exhibitors from various sides of onion production and distribution, including Lipman Family Farms, Lakeside Organic Gardens, L&M Cos., Tanimura & Antle, RPE, Green Life Farms, Gills Onions, Markon Cooperative, Baloian Farms, Christopher Ranch, Varsity Produce, Kingston Fresh, Idaho-E. Oregon Onions, Hitchcock Farms, Wilcox Fresh, River Point Farms, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Veg-Fresh Farms, Bonduelle, Coastal Fresh Farms, Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic Farms, Spiceology, and NationFresh.
The organization’s website notes that more than 75 percent of the show’s attendings, “including distributors, operators and growers/shippers, influence or recommend purchases. Both buyers and suppliers highly value the opportunity to connect and conduct business during the event.”
This year, the site says, more than 500 buyers and influencers are expected to attend, “as well as an exciting new audience of menu planners and foodservice directors from several of the nation’s largest K-12 school districts looking to revamp their menus.”
Buyer attendees include foodservice operators (restaurant chains
and groups, colleges/universities, lodging,
institutional, airlines, healthcare); foodservice distributors and wholesalers; K-12 representatives; retail foodservice/deli; chefs and menu developers; and travel and tourism operations.
Supplier attendees include growers-shippers and processors; transportation companies; technology providers; and packaging solutions.
The July 28 conference schedule consists of field tours and forums, buyer sourcing meetings with lunch, a Fresh Ideas Showcase, and a general session featuring Robert Irvine, star of Food Networks “Restaurant: Impossible.” The site notes, “During his time in the Royal Navy and his 20 seasons on the hit show, Irvine has discovered some universal keys to achieve ongoing success and navigate change. You’ll learn about setting clear goals, the significance of the image, and the importance of quality. Robert will inspire you with the passion he brings to everything he does.”
In addition, winners of the Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program will be recognized during this general session. The day’s schedule closes with a networking reception at The Barns.
July 29 includes more of the Fresh Ideas Showcase and a general session entitled “Monterey Bay Live!” Guests include Leslie Sbrocco,
award-winning author, speaker, consultant, and television host; Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms; Michel Nischan, founder and chairman of Wholesome Wave; and Vincent Huynh, Culinary Director, and Agricole Hospitality. The day will also include opportunities to meet in the networking lounge, the Foodservice Produce Expo and a closing reception and Wine for a Cause Auction benefiting Brighter Bites.