Menus of Change Program Overview

The 2019 summit takes place June 18-20, 2019 at the CIA's Hyde Park, NY campus. Stay tuned for the key themes and draft schedule.

In the meantime, the 6th Annual Menus of Change Leadership Summit schedule can be found here. The 2018 conference included a special emphasis on the following topics:

  • Plant-Forward: Focusing and Accelerating an Industry Mega-Trend. Advancing broad acceptance of a definitive definition and positioning of “plant-forward”—including a very brief, compelling summary in TED Talk format about what nutrition and environmental science tells us about the optimal composition of our diets; the (optional) role of limited quantities of sustainably produced meat in our recipes, menus, and diets; consumer insights about diner perceptions of plant-forward menus and plant-based foods (including the best consumer-facing language to support these directions); and the results of the forthcoming EAT-Lancet commission report to be released in advance of the summit that will set out specific dietary and planetary targets around animal-based foods. We’ll also take up the question of whether, or to what extent it is possible to consider, as part of our menu brand promises, concepts of “sustainable animal production practices” that are independent of reference to the size and total global impacts of the animal agriculture sector on climate change and other world resource issues.
  • Scaling Change: Driving Better Practices in High-Volume Agriculture and Food Production. Supply chain transparency, including specific strategies for how operators can best reward better agriculture, animal husbandry, and fisheries practices, what those practices should be (from regenerative agriculture to a focus on biodiversity), and how the stories that illuminate these practices and approaches can be shared with diners in simple but credible ways.
  • Integrated Organizational Change: Case Studies from the Field. Operator case studies in change that represent an integration of multiple MOC principles, by foodservice sector: what is working, who are the market innovators and segment leaders, and how are they achieving results, from healthcare and campus dining to QSRs and fast casual.
  • Disrupting Menu Structures: Culinary Strategy and the Protein Portfolio. A deep dive into successful, innovative culinary strategies that support new menu categories and approaches to either leverage minimal or significantly reduced (1-2 ounce) quantities of meat, pair “meat as a condiment” with plant protein, or employ other related strategies to animate the protein portfolio framework delineated in the Menus of Change Protein Flip infographic and Protein Plays documents. Also to be included here are discussions of cost/value strategies around “less meat, better meat”—where higher per-ounce meat budgets are paired with lower overall quantities of higher quality, sustainably raised animal products resulting in overall budget-neutral purchasing innovation. This will include more case studies and lessons learned—both positive and negative—from operators who now have some experience with plant-forward dining.