Menus of Change Program Overview

Recognizing the continued, strategic importance of the Menus of Change initiative to the future of our industry—including rebuilding from the devastation of this pandemic—we will be staging our 2020 Menus of Change Summit this summer in a six-week, serialized virtual format. Our eighth edition of this CIA leadership program will feature a few hours of high-impact, interactive online programming each Wednesday beginning on July 22 and running through August 26 from 10AM – 12:30 PM PDT / 1 – 3:30 PM EDT.

The topics addressed by the new virtual series of this year’s Menus of Change Leadership Summit will be critically relevant to chefs and operators working to re-open and secure the financial sustainability of their restaurants and foodservice operations.We believe that business strategy focused on personal and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility must continue to drive innovation and change if our industry is to be successful in securing a thriving, resilient future.

This year’s Menus of Change Summit features our largest conference faculty ever, with top talent including nutrition and environmental scientists, consumer insight experts, chefs and culinary entrepreneurs, business leaders and investment analysts, industry sector innovators, journalists and climate communications specialists, suppliers large and small, food systems change-makers, world cuisine experts, policy advocates, futurists, biodiversity leaders, and more.

In collaboration with summit sponsors, we are making this Menus of Change Leadership Summit: Virtual Summit available tuition-free to foodservice operators on a space available basis.

The key themes for the 8th Annual Menus of Change Leadership Summit are as follows:

Theme #1: Understanding the Consumer Mindset in the Shift to Plant-Forward Diets and Menus—and How to Reach Diners Through Effective Menu and Marketing Language

  • Climate Action, Part 1: The Art and Science of Climate Change Communication. What to talk about when we talk about climate change: Getting through to your customers about the role of food choices in reducing global warming—especially Millennials and Gen Z.
  • Climate Action, Part 2: The Psychology of Consumer Decision-Making, Food Choice Architecture, and What Foodservice Leaders Can Learn from Madison Avenue to Drive Sales of Plant-Forward Menus. How humans perceive of long-term risks vs. near-term when making decisions, including how they think about global warming and other environmental concerns down the road vs. immediate risks and priorities in daily life, and how to position your brand marketing and menu language to resonate.

Theme #2: Design Health and Sustainability into Operations and Procedures

  • Case Studies in Effective Change Management: What Noncommercial Foodservice Sectors Can Learn from Commercial Sectors, and Vice Versa.Hear from foodservice executives across the industry about how they moved a specific change strategy forward in their operations—from plant-forward menu innovation in full-service chain restaurants to replacing single-use plastics amid the ever-growing demand for delivery and takeout options.
  • Climate Action, Part 3: Food Waste Reduction and Recovery: A Roadmap for Foodservice Professionals. Featuring the most effective strategies for waste reduction and recovery, including the relative cost savings of a wide variety of food waste reduction efforts that companies can consider taking, along with operator case studies in change management specifically focused on food waste.

Theme #3: The Obesity and Diabetes Crises and the Carbohydrate Flip: Opportunities to Reimagine Carbohydrates on American Menus

  • The Nutrition Policy Landscape: What’s New in 2020 and A Preview of What’s Likely Coming at Us in Terms of Government Regulation if We Don’t Act.An overview of the new and potential nutrition policies in the U.S., plus a primer on the science and pathways of diabetes specifically, the projections on the global diabetes and obesity epidemics, with a focus on U.S. implications and the latest forecast data among younger generations.
  • What Every Operator Needs to Know about Carbohydrates and Whole Grains: The Science, the Consumer Data, and the Culinary and Baking Strategies. You’ll leave with an understanding of both the why and the how to improve the quality of the carbohydrates you offer on your menus, while meeting the consumer demand for healthier beverage options, less added sugar, more whole-grain options, and beyond. Plus: who is defining excellence in whole grain cooking and baking.

Theme #4: Climate Change and Dietary Strategy

  • Rethinking Meat: What to Make of the Annals of Internal Medicine Red Meat Controversy, and How to Think About Technology in the Plant-Forward Future, from Plant-Based Alternatives to Cultivated Meat. Get the facts you can trust about the science of red meat, including why the MOC Principle “Serve Less Red Meat, Less Often” still stands. Plus, what to make of the buffet of plant-based alternatives in terms of nutrition and environmental profiles. And finally: how to make business decisions when scientists seem to engage in food fights.
  • Climate Action, Part 4: The Latest Science on Population-Level Dietary Shifts. Learn about the environmental policy landscape in other countries—and the leading-edge initiatives of our most progressive global cities—and how that relates to the latest modeling studies of the dietary shifts needed to remain within planetary boundaries by 2050, as well as to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Climate Action, Part 5: Carbon Farming, Best Practices in Regenerative Agriculture, and How to Be Transparent about Your Sourcing and Ag Practices. Hear from farmers and ranchers at the forefront of efforts to use agriculture as a positive force of land regeneration, improved soil health, and carbon sequestration—and how to leverage your purchasing power in support of better production practices across the supply chain. Plus: How does the science of plant-forward sync up with the science behind—and movement around—regenerative agriculture?

And much, much more—from strategies for boosting biodiversity on menus to data-driven approaches to marketing fruits and vegetables through strategic menu language.

Come for the food, the wisdom of your fellow attendees, and the insights and inspiration to shape your operations. Leave with the peace of mind that as you take your business in the direction of healthy, sustainable, delicious food choices—you’re standing on solid scientific ground along the way. 

Register now!