Some of the Sessions You Don't Want to Miss at on May 21

Some of the Sessions You Don't Want to Miss at on May 21 is back again this year, but it returns as an interactive media event that meets silent disco.

On Monday, May 21 in Chicago, will feature ioTalks, live podcast filmings, executive interviews, chef profiles, bartender demos and the Mix-off Challenge– all of which you don’t want to miss.

The food industry continues to evolve as new technology, food and beverage trends change the consumer landscape for foodservice. 

At, we are bringing together the restaurant industry’s best innovators for the ultimate Think Tank.

With multiple sessions being filmed at once, guests will be able to move around the venue and be a part of the immersive event as the live audience. With a pair of headphones (the ones used at silent discos,) guests will tune into whatever session they want to listen to.

It's safe to say, it will be unlike any other industry event you have ever been to.

Every year, there a new challenges that operators and foodservice professionals face. With that in mind, we are introducing fresh new topics and sessions to the IO agenda.

There will be ioTalks, a panel discussion with three guests and a host; podcast filmings featuring two guests and a host; one-on-one interviews with brand executives, innovators, chefs, and more; and bar demos.

Let's take a closer look at some of the topics that will be explored at

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How These Female Innovators are Forever Changing the Food Industry

How These Female Innovators are Forever Changing the Food Industry

Similar to our Chef Alliance list, we have compiled the Innovator 50, a list featuring the most inspiring individuals in the industry. 

This list isn't only designated for chefs or restaurateurs either. There are five categories within this special selection of individuals, each celebrating innovators in a different area of expertise.

Even though male chefs earn an average of 28.1% more than female chefs according to Glassdoor, the food industry is no longer a man’s world.

According to the National Restaurant Association, more than half of the restaurants in the U.S. are owned or are co-owned by women. 45% of restaurant managers are women, compared to the 38% of female managers found in other industries.

These numbers prove that women are leading the way. While Carin Stutz of Red Robin and Kat Cole of Cinnabon are reigning in the corporate restaurant world, our Innovators list features some of the other women changing the way America is eating.

Let’s take a closer look at the leading ladies who have helped to create some of the most successful food businesses in the country.

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Shen Tong, Founder of Food Future Co., Predicts that Food Will be More Readily Available in 2050

Today's consumers have higher expectations when it comes to the food industry as a whole. This has influenced the massive growth of specialty food companies, causing the specialty food sector to quickly grow into a $127 billion industry.

But this doesn't appear to be just a trend, these specialty food companies are helping to drive a movement. These businesses are doing their part to change the future of food for the better. 

A post shared by FoodFutureCo (@foodfutureco) on

At the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, Foodable's Paul Barron sat down with two leaders that are right in the thick of this movement to discuss what factors are propelling the sector, where they see the industry going, and how their companies are making an impact. 

Shen Tong, founder and managing partner at the Future Food Co., has created a business that fosters unique food companies. He points out that the millennial generation is driving the movement.

"There's several forces. One is that the millennials and even Gen Z, those digital natives born after 1988, they just love food. They spend more money and attention on food than anything else actually..." said Tong. "They really have this need to break things down. Food is one of those commodities that is so important to them and that they can still break down."

On the topic of future of food, Alvyn Severien, CEO of Algama Foods, chimes in on how it's up to innovative speciality food companies to change the industry for the better.

"If you were to ask me, 'what is the future of food?' I can definitely tell you that I don't know. I have no idea what's going to be a trend or something that will stick forever. This why we are doing what we do," said Severien. "Since we don't know, actually nobody knows, we need to build it."

Paul points out that the global population is expected to hit 10 billion by 2050 and he asks how the industry will address the issue of keeping the massive population fed in the future. 

"There is no problem in feeding the population. That perspective is actually the cause of our problem today. We have an over supply of production," said Tong. "It's not about feeding the world, it's about readjusting our relationship with nature."

Watch the video above to learn more about what the future may hold for the food industry.

What is Target Going to Do with Its Food + Future Lab?

What is Target Going to Do with Its Food + Future Lab?

Restaurants aren't the only businesses focusing on providing more food transparency to customers, the retail giant Target Corp. opened a Food + Future Lab in January of 2016. Unfortunately, the program is just about to be shut down if investors don't come in and save it, according to recent reports. 

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