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August 17, 2023
Looking to build out your food service strategy? Get advice from industry leader Sodexo during this can’t-miss Natural Products Expo East Buyerside Chat. In addition to being one of the world’s largest food service providers, Sodexo is also a pioneer in sustainability, committed to reaching net zero by 2040 and driving plant-based innovation.
Director of Culinary Innovation Jennifer DiFrancesco and VP of Innovation Rob Morasco will be chatting with New Hope Network’s VP of Content Jessica Rubino about how to build out your food service distribution strategy and stand out in the areas of innovation and sustainability. They’ll also share how Sodexo is supporting sustainable farming, cleaning up supply chains, designing “low-carbon” recipes and reducing food waste. Prepare to connect with the Sodexo team in Philly by tuning in to this live event—our guests will answer questions from the audience throughout the chat, so ask away!
Sign up to catch the live event on LinkedIn at noon ET on Friday, Aug. 25.
Jennifer DiFrancesco is director of culinary innovation for Sodexo Campus, leading the development of student menus using insights and innovations to transform dining on campus today and tomorrow. Prior to this position, Jennifer was the culinary program manager for the Humane Society of the United States. In this role, she was responsible for identifying menu gaps and diversifying recipes with delicious plant-based options for food service companies.
Today, Jennifer continues to drive plant-based developments and sustainability actions through Sodexo Campus menus with a goal of helping achieve the company’s global commitment to make 33% of menu offerings plant-based by 2024. While attending the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute, Jennifer loved creating plant-based variations of dishes she was learning, especially in baking, and continued that passion beyond the classroom. She has spent over 20 years in the food service industry, starting her culinary career at Wegmans Food Markets, before transitioning to the college and university segment. Jennifer’s previous higher education experience includes cooking for students at the University at Buffalo, Canisius College and Buffalo State College.
Rob began his career with Sodexo in 1997 at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He spent 17 years with the universities division, progressing through roles as district chef, area chef, director of culinary for the segment and senior director of offer development.
Rob then spent seven years leading Culinary and Offer Development for all of Sodexo's North American business before returning to the Campus Segment last year.
In his new role, Rob leads the efforts in driving innovation to achieve tangible results for our operators, clients and customers.
A big part of innovating for Gen Z, Rob strives to get a better understanding of their wants and needs as it relates to food. That discussion, which almost always revolves around sustainability and plant-based eating, is a driver for innovation with Rob and his team at Sodexo.
Jessica Rubino is a natural products industry expert and content strategist with more than 15 years experience in media, events and natural products. As New Hope Network’s vice president of content, Jessica oversees digital and print content, conference programming and branded content for CPGs, retailers, investors and service providers. Jessica is passionate about using innovation as a force for good and leveraging content to spark the changes we want to see in the world.
Natural Products Expo East LogoNatural Products Expo East begins Sept. 20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. In addition to the traditional education sessions and trade show, New Hope's Innovation Experience debuts this year. Attendees can enjoy the Harvest Festival, Pitch Slam, a Fun Run through the streets of Philly and a concert with Grammy Award-winning musician Wyclef Jean. Learn more about Expo East's agenda, exhibitors, retail buyers and registration.
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