"I come for the strong conference content and the best networking possibilities – I always learn something."

Peter Guy
Director of Sales
IWC Food Service


2018 IFDA SMart Conference

July 22 - 24, 2018 | The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club | St. Petersburg, FL

IFDA SMart Conference

2017 IFDA SMart Conference in Chicago is a wrap! A conference photo gallery is available below, plus chef and writer Amelia Levin shares takeaway from presentations by The NPD Group, Datassential, and Technomic.

2018 IFDA SMart Conference

Check out Top Trends in Food and Hospitality Revealed at IFDA SMart Conference.  In it, Jack Li of Datassential said “Fat is back,” citing Bulletproof coffee spiked with grass-fed butter as evidence of crossover into even beverages. Kathrynn Fenner of Technomic said “fresh and natural” took 45 percent of the pie among successful independents over other ingredient priorities like natural, local and even made-from-scratch. David Portalatin of NPD (shown above) said there are a number of chains who leverage digital technology well, and pointed out that top chains like Jersey Mike’s, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Domino’s, Texas Roadhouse, Panera, Moe’s, and Starbucks are leading the digital revolution.

This dynamic, peer-driven forum addresses the hottest issues facing sales and marketing pros in foodservice distribution. It also pushes the envelope with thought-provoking subjects that help you think in new and different ways about your sales and marketing. Every session at this year's conference has clear goals and clear takeaway, plus networking is woven throughout the conference from receptions to breaks and meal events.

Below are SMart Minutes featuring some of the resources from our 2017 agenda.

SMart Minute 1: Pixar's Matthew Luhn to Provide Insights on Crafting Your Brand's Story
SMart Minute 2: Cal Fussman on Building Trust With Jeff Bezos and Remembering Muhammad Ali
SMart Minute 3: Datassential's Jack Li on Flavor Trends and Foodservice at Home
SMart Minute 4: Technomic to Unveil Latest Independent Operator Findings
SMart Minute 5: Foodservice Consumer Outlook with NPD's David Portalatin

A Sample of Sessions on the 2017 Agenda:

Asking Better Questions to Get Better Results
Esquire Magazine writer Cal Fussman believes that the questions you ask make a difference. Derived from decades of interviewing some really interesting people, Fussman’s talk will inspire you to take a new look at fundamental aspects of your business.

What’s New In Eating & Drinking
Jack Li of Datassential shares perspective on the rapidly evolving foodservice industry – including the huge opportunity for “foodservice at home” and the latest flavor trends that will drive industry growth.  This session also includes a preview of what it means to “sell smart” to operators – a topic that will continue in a breakout session.

Storytelling is the #1 business skill necessary to connect, motivate, and lead people in today’s world. Matthew Luhn, a 20-year Pixar story veteran, provides practical strategies to bridge the gap between business and heart, driving your story toward one unforgettable selling point.


Sunday, July 22

Pre-Conference Networking Event

An optional networking event Sunday afternoon is a great way to start the conference. Details available soon.

Monday, July 23

Opening Day

A full day of dynamic topics are being planned including a C-Suite panel, plus breakouts for smaller group discussions and an evening reception.

Tuesday, July 24

Final Day

Our final half-day includes breakfast and morning sessions.


Registration & Brochure

Register Today

Join your peers at this exceptional conference.

Hotel & Travel

Renaissance Chicago Downtown

Join us in the Windy City for the 2017 IFDA SMart Conference.