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Change Is the New Normal

Monica Velgos - September 2014

Cambridge, Massachusetts—Worried how California’s drought will impact your business? Wondering how trends in beef production or menuing more fruits and vegetables will affect your bottom line? Want to attract more Millennials as customers, but don’t know how to satisfy their interlocking passions for sustainability and indulgence?

Operators in every sector of the industry will want to check out the new groundbreaking report from Menus of Change, a joint initiative, now in its second year, from The Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health. Released during the initiative’s annual leadership summit, the report offers guidelines for navigating successfully through forecasted changes to the food industry, whether due to greenhouse-gas emissions, rising concerns in public health, or shifting consumer demographics.

In addition, MenusofChange.com makes available PowerPoint presentations from panelists who appeared at the June summit at the Charles Hotel, among them experts from the National Restaurant Association, the World Bank, and various industry councils and investment firms; top professors of medicine, nutrition, and environmental science; tech industry strategists; and influential chefs and owners (such as chef/consultant Suvir Saran, chef/owner Jody Adams of Rialto in Cambridge, director of culinary innovation Dan Coudreaut of McDonald’s, and co-founder/co-CEO Nicolas Jammet of sweetgreen).

“We are a rare industry whereby solving social problems, our business wins and wins really quickly,” says Arlin Wasserman, a council chair of Menus of Change and founder of the consulting firm Changing Tastes. “And here’s the good news: we just need to update our menus, which we were going to do anyway.”