The innovative, discussion-based format of this event will foster networking at a deeper level than a typical industry conference, allowing you to make real connections with peers across the industry. Conversations are designed to be industry-level and forward-looking, to avoid sharing any sensitive or proprietary information

In a series of four Idea Germination and Cultivation discussions on key business issues we’ll cover topics such as:

The Evolving Customer

Health and wellness
Social impact

Global Food Production


Combating Food Loss

Food deserts 
Smart packaging

The Blurring Boundaries of Foodservice

Home delivery
Meal kit services


Participants will be divided into small teams of retailers and suppliers. During each session, an industry thought-leader or panel will provide leading-edge perspectives on the subject. Professional facilitators will pose questions or challenges related to the topic for teams to discuss. Key findings will be shared with other teams and thought-leaders; subject matter experts will share their reactions. To encourage networking, team members will change after each 2-hour discussion.

To provide maximum value from this unique experience, we’ll capture and aggregate the findings and share them exclusively with attendees after the event. These insights can help shape your own response to some of the most significant industry trends and position you and your company for future success.

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Welcome Reception at ACE Hotel

Sponsored by Hussman

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Partner Dinners (On Your Own)

6:30 AM - 7:30 AM

Breakfast at ACE Hotel

7:15 AM - 7:35 AM

Transportation to Catalyst Ranch

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome to the Idea Farm


8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

Planting Seeds: Innovation Strategy and Effectiveness

How can fresh companies generate bigger, bolder innovations that make a real impact on the industry? Join Larry Keeley, Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, president and co-founder of its innovation practice, Doblin, and author of The Ten Types of Innovation and The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs to uncover a methodical approach that combines knowledge of internal capabilities, analysis of the competitive environment, and identification of gaps and potential opportunities to construct genuine and impactful breakthroughs.


9:15 AM - 9:30 AM


9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Idea Germination and Cultivation: The Evolving Consumer

It’s no question that the shifting mindset of consumers is having a huge impact on fresh companies. This discussion will explore potential consumer trends over the next three to ten years, and may include topics such as physical and digital transformation of the customer/consumer experience, increased demand for transparency, and the influence of
factors such as health and wellness and social impact.



11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Idea Germination and Cultivation: Global Food Production

How can organizations better understand the most significant trends affecting the global value chain for fresh food production? Discussion topics may include growth and transport of fresh products, social and environmental issues, and the dynamic regulatory and trade environment. 


2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Idea Germination and Cultivation: Combating Food Waste

Confronting the challenges of food loss and food waste within the fresh ecosystem.

Discussion topics may include opportunities to capture or re-purpose sources of loss, applications of technology and analytics, and collaborations between established fresh companies, start-ups, and governmental / non-governmental agencies.

  • Dr. Frank Mitloehner - Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis
  • Jason Wadsworth - Manager of Sustainability, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Mack Tilling - President, Relish Works, Inc.
  • Pete Pearson - Director, Food Waste, World Wildlife Fund

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Idea Synthesis

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Transportation to ACE Hotel

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Cocktail Reception and Dinner at ACE Hotel

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

6:45 AM - 7:45 AM

Breakfast at ACE Hotel

7:30 AM - 7:50 AM

Transportation to Catalyst Ranch

8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Idea Germination and Cultivation: Blurring Lines of Foodservice

In today’s world, navigating the changing landscape of foodservice and the reshaping of traditional retail channels for fresh food is more exciting than ever. Join a discussion that may include topics such as the emergence of home delivery and meal service kits, growth in commissary and alternative marketplaces, and partnerships between retailers and suppliers. 


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Idea Synthesis

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Food for Thought: Ignite Organizational Change

Many organizations have built up bad habits that masquerade as “best practices,” wasting precious time and money on processes and activities that don't create value. In this keynote, Geoff Tuff and Steven Goldbach, leading strategy and innovation consultants at Deloitte Consulting LLP, will discuss concepts from their recent book, Detonate: Why – and How – Corporations need to Blow up Best Practices (and Bring a Beginner’s Mind) to Survive, and present an approach and mindset critical for companies in the fresh industry to successfully compete in an era of profound technological advances and uncertainty.