Total Meal Solutions Summit Delights and Inspires

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Total Meal Solutions Summit Delights and Inspires

By Jim Dudlicek - 09/20/2019

Progressive Grocer hosted its inaugural Total Meal Solutions Summit on Sept. 9-10, at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas.

Total Meal Solutions Summit Rainey Street food trucks
Total Meal Solutions Summit attendees congregate at Austin's Rainey Street food truck court

Grocery retailers started their day with a bus tour of Austin, stopping first at Easy Tiger, a bakery and beer garden that makes baked goods for sale in its own shop as well as Austin-area retailers, along with house-made charcuterie. After sampling some of Easy Tiger’s wares, the tour moved on to Wheatsville Co-op, Texas’ only cooperative grocer, focusing on natural, locally procured products and prepared foods.

The tour finished the morning at Austin’s Rainey Street Food Truck Court, where attendees sampled gourmet grilled cheese and barbecue sandwiches.

Total Meal Solutions Summit retailers
Retail panelists shared their insights about meal solutions with summit attendees

On return to home base, retailers broke into groups for their first round of immersion tours, taking face-to-face meetings with sponsoring exhibitors.

Content sessions included a presentation on menu trends by Datassential, followed by concurrent sessions focusing on meal kits, cross merchandising, tech applications and culinary influences in meal solutions.

Following a second round of immersion tours, attendees enjoyed an evening cocktail reception highlighted by the Chef Showcase, in which two chefs from Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee created dishes using a selection of ingredients revealed to them on stage. Interactive food theater and sampling brought the first day to a close.

Total Meal Solutions Summit Jeff Mauro
"Sandwich King" Jeff Mauro schmoozes with attendees following his keynote address

Food Network star Jeff Mauro opened day two with his keynote address, question-and-answer session and a meet-and-greet with attendees following presentation of Progressive Grocer’s Total Meal Solutions Awards.

Rounding out the event were a presentation by the Food Marketing Institute on its 2019 Power of Foodservice Report and original consumer research by Progressive Grocer and EnsembleIQ.

The Total Meal Solutions Summit will return to Austin in 2020 – watch the summit website for details.