The workforce: In 2019, global show attendees learned nine of 10 employees were willing to earn less money if they could do more meaningful work. In a post-pandemic 2022, Burns noted that employers must create moments that matter — connecting to the company’s mission, vision and its people. She noted in 2019 that 70 percent of employees said a strong sustainability plan would affect their decision to stay with an employer. In 2022, she explained 72 percent of college seniors strongly expect (or require) employers to be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in their hiring practices. These themes continue to resonate, she said, and members that want to be or remain an employer of choice must incorporate them.
“When I look at last year’s themes,” she said, “I think about where we are only a year later.”
Sustainability — from regenerative ag to carbon to climate — continues to generate attention from consumers, industry, and regulators. “Expect to see new resources for members on these topics in Anaheim.”
Food as medicine — food pharmacy (moving from “pharm” to farm) — especially produce prescriptions, precision nutrition and healthy food bundling. “We had just come off the White House nutrition conference, where several of IFPA’s policy recommendations were incorporated in the Biden Administration’s strategies. Today the media is full of stories about produce prescriptions, personalized nutrition for consumers, and more,” she said.
Food and emotional connections — the deeply personal, the joy of fresh, the powerful connective tissue in community. "Our members hold the joy of fresh in their hands, and I am inspired by how they spread that joy through their products, services and stories," said Burns. "From the deliciousness of fresh produce to the sensory delights of floral, they are maximizing the consumer experience.”