Organization to open membership across food-away-from-home industry segments


Scottsdale, November 7, 2023 — IFMA reviewed its new long-range plan today during the association’s 2023 Presidents Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. The plan, titled Level Up 2027, contains some notable changes to the group’s membership policy and promises benefit updates to match.


“For over 70 years, IFMA has focused on the manufacturing community. We are proud of that legacy and continue to view manufacturers as the heart of all that we do,” said Phil Kafarakis, IFMA President and CEO. “Going forward, IFMA will be the place where everyone in our industry can come together. To do that, we’re going to walk the talk and open up our membership ranks.”


IFMA is making changes in response to recent and profound evolution in the business landscape. Food-away-from-home, along with other large industries worldwide, went through the most norm-rocking global event since World War II – the COVID-19 pandemic – and came through it transformed. Challenges with the supply chain, labor, delivery, customer shut-downs, and more, drove innovation and greater risk-taking as food-away-from-home pivoted to meet customer demands.


IFMA examined the new business landscape and several insights helped shape its new plan:

  • Food-away-from-home spending increased from $1.16 trillion in 2021 to $1.34 trillion in 2022 and accounted for 56 percent of total food expenditures. It is a big, big business.
  • Many companies within the ecosystem need help translating data and research into actionable insights and best practices.
  • Traditional industry segments feel siloed, and there isn’t a common “home” to discuss common challenges and concerns.
  • Retail and foodservice continue to converge, and the food-away-from-home industry requires greater collaboration.
  • The industry would benefit from more than just additional channels to share information, it needs a neutral place to make new connections and take cross-industry action.


Starting in January 2024, IFMA will expand its membership from two industry categories to four. Currently only food manufacturers and service providers that sell specific services to them can become IFMA members. Beginning in January 2024, foodservice operators and those in the supply chain will also qualify for membership. All membership categories will receive specific benefits tailored to their businesses. Most will be able to “level up” their membership through tiers offered within categories.


“IFMA will address the need for the larger food-away-from-home community to have neutral, collaborative gatherings,” said Kafarakis. “We will be a coming-together place where trading partners can form true partnerships – because solutions to one’s problems can often be found in another’s best practices. Collectively, we will ensure that we can overcome challenges that threaten our ecosystem’s success.”



See IFMA’s Level Up 2027 plan now >>