The Inaugural 2020 PMA Foodservice: Delivered Wraps Virtual Event
VIRTUAL UNIVERSE - 2020 is proving to be a year of firsts, keeping us industry folk on the edges of our seats as we anticipate what will come next while simultaneously building a foundation of solutions to bolster fresh produce progress from innovation to connection. Joining this tidal wave of firsts was the Produce Marketing Association's Foodservice: Delivered, an inaugural interactive, digital "restaurant week" offering fresh content that explored and addressed the demands and challenges facing the foodservice landscape of today.
“During the past few months, everything around PMA has changed but our vision has remained the same. We are now, more than ever, committed to growing a healthier world and that means healthier menus, but it also requires healthier businesses,” Cathy Burns, President and Chief Executive Offices, Produce Marketing Association, shares. “The Foodservice: Delivered virtual conference was not how we initially expected to bring together the foodservice community this year, but I believe it’s what was needed in terms of connections and community. Going virtual allowed us to expand our audience to more people than ever before across 40 different countries. While I know how much I miss Monterey, California, in July, it was amazing to see many familiar faces and meet so many new members of our industry that are making a huge difference with their creativity, resilience, and their passion for fresh produce.”
Approximately 3,000 guests attended the virtual event with 22 percent of registered guests tuning in from outside of the U.S. Additionally, 42 countries were represented and PMA shared that one-in-four registrants came from a buyer company.
The digital show platform brought attendees live-streaming educational opportunities and ZOOM sessions that addressed everything from diversity in the workplace and data-driven insights in the new norm to labor challenges and their imperative solutions.
Additionally, unique aspects like PMA’s Solutions Sampling theater provided buyers and attendees alike the chance to experience and discuss answers from foodservice suppliers across issues that included operator challenges in menu development as well as labor, deliveries, cost, supply consistency, and ingenuity in produce.
Just as it is in-person, the crowds also digitally converged to learn about the coveted new awards that made some of our industry-leading suppliers the stars of the show. Here are the winners of the PMA Foodservice: Delivered “Best Served” awards, which spotlighted a solutions sampling participant and were selected by a panel of seven industry judges.
Operator Challenges in Menu Development, Labor, and Deliveries
Winner: Taylor Farms
“The focus on touchless innovation is a key in this COVID era. This is taking social distancing to a new level,” the panel of judges agreed.
Supply Chain Challenges
Winner: Mission Foodservice
“Their solution page was professional and engaging; they displayed innovation, were solutions-based (shelf-life and waste being an important part for anyone in the supply chain), and brought expertise which made us want to give them a call,” the judging panel noted.
Fresh Ideas and Innovations
“Based on the state of the industry, Produce IQ offers innovation and solutions in assisting the entire supply chain,” the panel shared.
The panel of PMA Foodservice: Delivered judges were:
- Joe Orellana, Purchasing Consultant, Flagship Restaurant Group
- Jacqueline Chan, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.
- Drew Zabrocki, CEO/CTO, ApRecs (Centricity)
- Tom Casas, VP of IT and Strategic Planning, Tanimura & Antle
- Erin Lieu, Key Account Manager, Vesta Foodservice
- Evan Nash, C.P.M. CPHS, Director of Purchasing, Johnson & Wales University
- Caitlin Webster, Director of National Sales, Fresh Concepts
Congratulations to the 2020 PMA Foodservice: Delivered honorees!
The range of attendees spanned the supply chain from the supply-side to the foodservice operator, and we just had to know what some of them thought. With the virtual restaurant week abuzz, we asked some of our friends for their impressions, insights, and the new expectations of today...
Denis G. Jennisch, Senior Director of Produce Operations, US Foods
“As this was the first time for PMA to go virtual, it went very well. I thought the Sourcing Roundtable meetings provided time to meet new potential partners and catch up with current partners. As our industry always does, we adapt to the needs of our business and evolve. The challenging part of COVID-19 is the fact that we are a close-knit group that enjoys and values the face-to-face connection.”
Christina Ward, Director of Global Brand Marketing, Sunkist Growers
“When it comes to foodservice, we're all having to adapt by listening and learning. The team enjoyed hearing different perspectives, especially the corporate chefs and their POV on how suppliers can make their jobs easier in terms of product and packaging. We also found value in the breakout sessions because it took you behind the scenes.”
Bryan Garibay, Foodservice Sales Manager, Mission Produce
“The virtual format of PMA Foodservice: Delivered was a great and safe alternative to face-to-face customer interaction. It was great having the opportunity to listen to and collaborate with foodservice industry professionals about the challenges we all face as we navigate through this pandemic.”
Kyla Oberman, Director of Marketing, California Giant Berry Farms
“It’s wonderful to see and hear from our colleagues in the foodservice sector, many of whom have been deeply affected by the pandemic, come together and prove their resilience as an industry. The creativity, strong work ethic, and dedication among this group is inspiring.”
Mark Filauri, Director of Sales, Grimmway Farms
"PMA Foodservice: Delivered touched on a common theme: We need to think outside of the box. Produce is a key component on everyone’s menu so we need to continue focusing on innovation and developing fresh ideas, especially during these times of uncertainty."
Content and Sampling Solutions platforms will be accessible through August in case you missed it!
With our laptops screens a-light these days with innovation, discovery, advocacy, and unity—I cannot wait to see how our industry takes the challenging opportunities of today and leads us, with strength, into a fruitful future!