The Core - A Blog by DMA Solutions
DMA Solutions Team
Posted by DMA Solutions TeamJuly 22, 2019 12:51 PM

In just one short week, produce industry professionals and foodservice buyers from across the country will be converging on Monterey, California, to attend PMA Foodservice, one of the most anticipated annual opportunities to cater (pun intended) to the “chef audience.” Following the success of Foodservice 2018, which featured hits like Shake Shack founder and CEO Danny Meyer and the special touches PMA added to the show last year, the DMA travel team is looking forward to this year’s experience now more than ever! From what was already popular to what’s new, here’s what to expect at Foodservice 2019:


PMA Foodservice: What’s New in 2019

Revamped Event Schedule

After many requests from attendees, the event is now being hosted Friday-Saturday, instead of Saturday-Sunday. This change will allow attendees and exhibitors to travel home on Sunday and be back in the office on Monday morning.  Don’t forget to download the Foodservice mobile app, which includes helpful tools for you to use when managing the show! Simply go to your App Store and search “PMA Foodservice Expo.”


In terms of the event schedule, here are some of this year’s most new exciting conference and expo features:

Friday, July 26


  • Keynote Speaker: Ted Allen, 11:00 am
    • Emmy and two-time James Beard Award-winner; Host of “Chopped” and “Chopped Junior” on Food Network; Author
    • Will deliver a keynote address, followed by a fireside chat with a moderator and audience Q&A
  • À la carte education sessions: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
    • Attend the PMA Foodservice breakout educational sessions that matter most to you and your business, including these featured topics:
      • Sustainability Corner
      • Top Technology of Tomorrow
      • Talks on Talent
      • Protecting Your Business
      • Next Generation of Produce Safety Education
      • Taste the Trend
    • Networking Reception at the Barns: 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
      • Located 3 blocks from the conference center, this brand new networking reception takes place in the late afternoon--just after the a la carte educational sessions--and provides an excellent opportunity for networking in beautiful downtown Monterey. The reception, which is open to all attendees with a full conference pass, includes live entertainment, drinks and appetizers.


Saturday, July 27

  • Keynote Speaker: Dan Buettner: 9:00 am - 10:15 ampma-foodservice-2019-dma-solutions-3
    • Explorer; National Geographic Fellow; Award-winning journalist and producer; Author
    • Delivers a keynote followed by audience Q&A
    • Will speak about Blue Zone Projects, which are well-being initiatives that apply lessons from the Blue Zones to entire communities. These projects focus on changes to the local environment, public policy, and social networks.
  • Expo Lounges:
    • In the expo lounges, expect loads of fun and ways to win cool prizes throughout the show, including:
      • Enter for a chance to win an iPad, Bose Sound Sport Bluetooth Headphones, or a Fit Bit Versa. Drawings take place at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
      • Test your produce and pop-culture knowledge against your colleagues and see who will be the produce trivia champion!
    • 12:00 pm to 2:00 p.m.: Taste the latest trends in produce and cheese pairings
    • 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Social hour featuring local Monterey wine tasting (If you need us, you’ll know where to find us!).
    • 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Social hour featuring local Monterey beer.


Plan your show schedule, strategically armed with knowledge of which buyers are attending the event.  PMA makes this simple by offering this downloadable list of buyer attendees:


Back By Popular Demand

Friday, July 26

  • Chefs Lunch Competition: 12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    • Four chefs will compete to see who has created the best recipe featuring produce. Put your taste buds and voting to work to determine the winner and come hungry!

Saturday, July 27

  • Expo Highlights:
    • Don’t forget that this year’s expo will take place on Saturday instead of Sunday! This shift in the show schedule highlights PMA’s attention to membership feedback and willingness to make positive changes that benefit us all.
    • The Fresh Ideas Showcase, located just off the show floor, is the largest in the history of the show, with 36 companies slated to showcase their newest products and services. This milestone is important for us as marketers as it denotes progress and innovation in the fresh produce industry.  These are truly exciting times to market “fresh!” Nearly 30 new companies will be exhibiting at PMA Foodservice this year (giving our team even more to blog about upon our return!).
    • PMA will feature a new, more open flow in the Serra Ballroom, with a large lounge serving as a hub in the middle of the show floor. We anticipate this allowing for better traffic flow.


Throughout the show, the team from the Center for Growing Talent by PMA will host multiple events that not only provide great networking opportunities but also will enable you to give back to the industry to help attract, develop and retain talent for generations to come. This year, CGT will host 16 students from 4 different schools at PMA Foodservice through the Career Pathways Program, so be sure to connect with them and give them a warm fresh produce industry welcome.


Whether you’re walking the show floor or showcasing your company in a booth, connect with us and tell us more about the products or services you’re showcasing during PMA Foodservice. We’d love to connect, learn more and consider your company for our popular What Blew Us Away post (#WBUA) following the show!


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Topics: Fresh Produce Industry, Tradeshows & Events

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