312 - 540 - 4400

IFMA’s 2019 Presidents Conference was an amazing event! With record breaking attendance including over 100 Operators, and the unveiling of IFMA’s new Consumer Food Journey tool, it was conference like no other.

Decoding the Consumer

Building on the theme of this year’s conference, we heard how companies can decode the consumer and use their knowledge as a competitive advantage. We took deep dive looks into the factors that influence consumer’s decision-making journey and how their needs are evolving. We learned that opportunities exist in all aspects of our industry to meet the needs of our consumers.

Highlights from Our Speakers

Food Future 2025™: Consumer Food Journey℠

Mike Schwartz from IFMA, Jack Li from Datassential, and Art Bell from Kinetic12 Consulting unveiled the industry’s first consumer food behavior model—the Consumer Food Journey. See below for access to the new Consumer Food Journey report.

Keynote: How Understanding Consumers Helps with Innovation

Karen Dillon, author and Harvard Business Review editor, described how consumers make choices based on the “job” they were expecting the product or service to do. She gave tips on how the “Jobs to be Done” theory can lead companies to innovate to fulfill consumers’ needs.

Emerging Restaurant Consumer Trends

David Portalatin from the NPD Group informed attendees about industry outlook, trend spotting with independents and micro chains, and the frictionless food frenzy, including digital ordering and delivery.


Photo Highlights


At Presidents Conference we recognized distributor leadership and overall excellence within the foodservice industry with the 2019 IFMA Distributor Awards, along with video tributes of the winner’s achievements. We also honored some of the industry most passionate and active professionals from IFMA’s membership with IFMA Awards.

Distributor Awards

IFMA Excellence in Distribution Award – Vistar


IFMA Distributor Sales & Marketing Performance Award – Gordon Food Service


IFMA Distinguished Industry Achievement Award – The Hallam Family


IFMA Awards

Key Person Award –

  • Perry MieleNestlé Professional North America

Sparkplug Award –

  • Philip Dale Ray, LinkedIn – B&I Advisory Board
  • Lisa Kartzman, SHAKE SHACK – Small/Midsize Chain Advisory Board
  • Jim McGrody, UNC Rex Healthcare – Healthcare Advisory Board
  • Adam Russo, Prince William County Public Schools – K-12 Advisory Board
  • Rafi Taherian, Yale University – C&U Advisory Board 

Presidents Award –

  • Sherry Davenport, Steven Rodgers, Kelly Ryan, Ken Shearer, HAVI 



The Consumer Food Journey℠ Report

Learn How Consumers Make Their Food Decisions

IFMA is proud to announce the release of the Consumer Food Journey report. For the first time ever, the consumer food journey is mapped out in one 54-page report.


How consumers decide where and how to get their next meal is not a linear process. It is a journey influenced by triggers, need states, and occasions. IFMA, in partnership with research firm Datassential, has surveyed 15,000 consumers over a 12-month period to gain the insights and data needed to understand the nuances of this everyday activity.


                Access the Report               



2019 Firefly 500 Report

Identify new prospects by analyzing customer targets by segment, geography, fast growing concepts, or specific menu items. Firefly has it all – competitive and consumer environments, menu analysis, population demographics showing what foods people choose in any given area, and an enormous amount of data to back up your claims. Boost your knowledge of a foodservice operation and transform your sales game.

IFMA Members get access to preferred pricing on the purchase of Datassential’s Firefly 500 industry study.  For more information, contact Charlie McConnell at Charlie@IFMAworld.com 




Thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors and attendees! We will see you next year at IFMA’s 2020 Presidents Conference in Scottsdale!