Consumer Trends | January 2015

2015 NAFEM Show Preview

A look at the foodservice equipment industry’s biggest trade show, held this year in Anaheim, California.
Quick service restaurant operators can survey equipment options at NAFEM Show.
This year’s NAFEM Show, held February 18–21, will host hundreds of booths and countless educational opportunities for equipment professionals. nafem


We spoke with officials at the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers about what attendees can expect from this year’s event.

What is the purpose of the NAFEM Show?

The NAFEM Show features foodservice equipment and supplies from 500-plus manufacturers. At the show, attendees will experience a wide range of foodservice equipment and supplies for food prep, cooking, storage, and table service. Attendees will see new products with a focus on innovation. And attendees will engage with a vibrant community of foodservice professionals.

The Schedule

Wednesday, February 18

6–8 p.m. • Kick-Off Party

Thursday, February 19

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Show Floor Open

Friday, February 20

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Show Floor Open

Saturday, February 21

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. • Show Floor Open

7–11 p.m. • After-Show Party

How would you recommend first-time visitors experience the show?

First-time attendees should prepare in advance to maximize their time at the show. They can explore exhibitors before arriving. NAFEM will launch a series of videos in early January that will help attendees prepare for the show in advance and navigate the show when they arrive in Anaheim. These videos will be excellent resources for first-time attendees. The NAFEM Show mobile app also will launch in January. The mobile app will allow attendees to request appointments with exhibitors and to plan their experience in advance.

First-time attendees and returning attendees are encouraged to follow The NAFEM Show on social media for the latest updates on the show:

What’s new at the show this year?

The “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” trend galleries take a new approach to sharing innovation with attendees. They showcase the hottest, coolest, and freshest innovations in foodservice equipment and supplies today. Four galleries are

spread across The NAFEM Show floor, each highlighting a different industry trend impacting operators.

Aside from the exhibits, what are some can’t-miss opportunities for attendees this year?

The NAFEM Show offers two can’t-miss networking events. Tickets can be purchased while registering.

• Kick-Off Party: February 18, 2015 • 6 – 8 p.m.

The Kick-Off Party is a casual, outdoor reception providing the opportunity to network with fellow attendees. All show participants are invited to attend.

• After-Show Party: February 21, 2015 • 7 – 11 p.m.

The After-Show Party features a dinner reception and live concert with three-time Grammy winners and multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band. The closing party is available to all show participants. Purchase tickets when registering for the show.

What are some trends in equipment that you expect to see most represented this year?

Trends that will be showcased in the four “What’s Hot! What’s Cool!” trend galleries are:

• Community Responsibility: We all share the responsibility to care for the earth and consider the long-term impact of our actions. Commercial foodservice equipment and supplies hold great potential to achieve these goals. Consider the way foodservice operations are designed, built, and operated. This includes imagining kitchens that support optimal preparation of fresh, local, farm-to-table, or even “cook-to-table” foods, and selecting energy- and water-efficient equipment and environmentally friendly materials.

• Health & Wellness: While there will always be room for indulgence and special occasion foods, the foodservice industry is increasingly responsible for providing healthy, everyday food choices to a substantial segment of the population. This includes options to address dietary requests or food allergies; promote health and wellness, portion control, calorie quality, whole grains, and plant proteins including nuts and legumes; and healthy oils.

• Global Flavors & Craft Preparation: Customers’ understanding and appreciation for culturally and ethnically based cuisines are more sophisticated and adventurous than ever before. At the same time, there’s a growing opportunity for operators to infuse professional expertise or add value through artisanal skills that celebrate the craft of fine food. This challenges operators to demonstrate knowledge and authority of preparation methods, processes, and service of globally relevant flavors and hand-crafted dishes. Increasingly, operators will rely on these authentic cooking methods, unique tools, serving vessels, tabletop décor, ingenuity, and even open kitchen display cooking to offer menu items that celebrate global diversity and demonstrate craft preparation.

• Productivity, Efficiency, & Precision: As foodservice challenges increase, competition demands productivity, efficiency, and precision. This requires the operation, and the person executing the task, to explore and responsibly use financial, personal, and technological resources for optimal yield. Operators need equipment and supplies that automate or simplify processes, reduce overhead, perform multiple functions, or serve satisfying menu items with consistency, flexibility, and speed.


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