See the Future of Health and Wellness at SmartFood Expo

See the Future of Health and Wellness at SmartFood Expo

Food industry leaders and innovators converge over three days in June for education, networking and a product showcase, where the future of fresh, healthy and better-for-you options are on display.

With a goal of bringing to market the future of better-for-you products, the focus of SmartFood Expo – presented by the United Fresh Produce Association, Progressive Grocer and EnsembleIQ – is on food that makes a difference—in your operation, in your brand, and in the mind, body and wellness of your customers.

From snacks and entrees to packaged goods, if it’s health-conscious and better for your business and your customers, it’s at SmartFood Expo.

In its inaugural year, SmartFood Expo will co-locate with the United FreshMKT Expo, United FreshTEC Expo, International Floriculture Expo and the Global Cold Chain Expo, June 26-27 in the South Hall of McCormick Place in Chicago.

Register HERE for SmartFood Expo


And, co-located with SmartFood Expo, is Retail Dietitian’s Healthy Shopper. In its sixth year presented by Progressive Grocer, this targeted event will offer an immersive program designed to promote a 360-degree, total-store solution approach to health and wellness.

SmartFood Expo

More than 100 hours of education and dialogue will take place on the trade show floor starting in the familiar United FreshMKT, United FreshTEC, SmartFood and Global Cold Chain Learning Centers – 45-minute educational presentations during show hours on Tuesday, June 26 and Wednesday, June 27. These sessions give attendees an opportunity to hear from the experts on the knowledge and insights to help their team make the smartest decisions for their company.

When attendees and exhibitors are not otherwise engaged, they can connect in the Marketing, Food Safety and Business Management X-Changes. These destinations offer an opportunity for attendees and exhibitors who share common interests and challenges to exchange perspectives on key issues and topics, including guerrilla marketing, information technology overload, brand equity, crisis management, ag water testing, pathogen management and more. 

Check Out the full schedule of show floor education sessions


Taking place prior to the trade show is the United FreshMKT and SmartFood Luncheon & Conference from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, June 25.

SmartFood Speakers

The United FreshMKT and Smartfood Conference is designed specifically for produce and fresh foods buyers, executives and trading partners across all retail and foodservice channels looking to jump start their business models and programs with innovative ideas, concepts and lessons from the future.

The conference kicks off with a keynote address from Emanuel Lazapoulos, SVP, Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc. N.A., followed by these sessions:

  • Join the Plant-Based Foods Revolution: Michele Simon, Executive Director, Plant Based Foods Association; Dan Curtain, President, Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Green Meat Co.; and Martin Kruger, COO, Follow Your Heart
  • The Digital Retail Landscape: Arnulfo Ventura, VP of Business Development and Head of eCommerce, Califia Farms; and Dan Bourgalt, Head of Brand Partnerships, Instacart
  • Food Media, Food Culture and Making the Everyday Connection: Chadwick Boyd, Food & Lifestyle Expert, TV Host & Brand Consultant L & D Enterprises Inc.; Carey Polis, Digital Editor, Bon Appetit; Faith Durand, Editor in Chief, The Kitchn; and Lindsay Funston, Deputy Editor of and host of WTFood
  • Strategic Insights From Retail Icons: Bruce Peterson, Peterson Insights, formerly of Walmart; Dick Spezzano, Spezzano Consulting, formerly of Vons/Safeway; and Reggie Griffin, Reggie Griffin Strategies, formerly of Kroger

The United FreshMKT and SmartFood Conference concludes with the presentation of the United FreshMKT Achievement Award to the 2018 honoree, Mason Arnold, Veggie Nerd of Cece’s Veggie Co., for his significant innovations in the marketing and merchandising of fresh produce.

Monday evening, immediately following the United FreshMKT and Smartfood Conference, attendees can gather for the Post-Conference Happy Hour at McCormick Place before heading onto the annual United Fresh Opening Party at Chicago’s Field Museum.

Show Floor Education

Tuesday, June 26

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.: Maintaining Your Reputation as a Food or Beverage Company in the Fake News Era (United FreshMKT Learning Center)

11 – 11:30 a.m.

  • Produce Packaging Design Challenges (Marketing X-Change)
  • Crisis Management: What Would You Do? (Business Management X-Change)

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  • Fresh Convenience to Meet Consumer Demands (United FreshMKT Learning Center)
  • Future of Protein (SmartFood Learning Center)

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

  • The ABCs of Selling to Schools (Marketing X-Change)
  • Smooth Sailing: Preparing for and Navigating a Sale, Merger or Acquisition (Business Management X-Change)

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.                            

  • Women in Produce: Inspiring the Next Generation (United FreshMKT Learning Center)
  • Launching New Categories (SmartFood Learning Center)

1 – 1:30 p.m.

  • Produce Branding Best Practices (Marketing X-Change)
  • Measure Brand Success: Know Your Equity (Business Management X-Change)

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.                              

  • New Packaging Concepts to Appeal to Consumers (United FreshMKT Learning Center)
  • Drink Up! Healthy Beverages Innovations (SmartFood Learning Center)

2 – 2:30 p.m.

  • The Five “W’s” of Measuring Marketing Data (Marketing X-Change)
  • Leadership Journey: Growing Your Career in Produce (Business Management X-Change)

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.                              

  • The Growth of Private Label at Retail (United FreshMKT Learning Center)
  • Top Ten Trends Driving Better-For-You Foods (SmartFood Learning Center)


Wednesday, June 27

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.          

  • The State of Organic Produce in 2018 (United FreshMKT Learning Center)

11 – 11:30 a.m.

  • Take a Bite: Ask the Foodservice Experts (Marketing X-Change)
  • The Current Immigration Landscape (Business Management X-Change)

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  • Retail Observations from Visionary Produce Mangers (United FreshMKT Learning Center)
  • Smart Food for All: A Healthier Future (SmartFood Learning Center)

Noon – 12:30 p.m.

  • Taking It to the Street: Guerrilla Marketing (Marketing X-Change)
  • Building Your Workforce: Recruitment, Retention, and Recognition (Business Management X-Change)

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.            

  • The Evolution of Foodservice-Supplier Relationships (United FreshMKT Learning Center)
  • On the Horizon: Healthy Food Trends (SmartFood Learning Center)

1 – 1:30 p.m.

  • Analyzing Consumer Behavior for Maximum ROI (Marketing X-Change)
  • Don’t Fear Technology; Embrace It! (Business Management X-Change)

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.              

  • Brand Love: Building Consumer Loyalty (SmartFood Learning Center)

2 – 2:30 p.m.

  • In Store Sampling: Will It Work For You? (Marketing X-Change)
  • Capitol Hill Update: Produce Industry Government Relations (Business Management X-Change)
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