To position your company in today’s refrigerated foods and beverage marketplace, it’s imperative to stay abreast of current market trends, food safety regulations and technical issues. 

That’s why the Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA) works toward “Advancing & Safeguarding the Refrigerated Foods Industry” through events such as its 38th annual conference, which will take place March 4-7 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The event is attended by presidents/CEOs, sales and marketing, quality assurance and quality control, operations management, technical services, general managers, research and development, new business development, purchasing, executive chefs and anyone looking to build valuable relationships and network with  industry leaders, learn about current trends and regulatory issues in the chilled foods industry, receive practical, up-to-the-minute food safety information and discover the newest offerings in ingredients, packaging, equipment and services.


The conference kicks off with keynote speaker Mike Abrashoff, former commander of USS Benfold and author of “It’s Your Ship.” Abrashoff will educate attendees on how to look for practical and usable ways to take organizational performance to new heights.

Dr. Lee Johnson, vice president of technical services for West Liberty Foods, West Liberty, Iowa, will discuss how raw material inspection is managed, what internal programs are in place to address contamination and how West Liberty Foods monitors and tracks challenges and problematic areas.

The symposium will also host a clean label forum, led by Larry Levin, executive vice president, consumer and shopper marketing and thought leadership for IRI, Chicago, and Mark Cornthwaite, marketing manager for DuPont Nutrition & Health, Wilmington, Del., to discuss ingredient labels, clean label benefits, consumers’ perceptions of clean label and more.

Martin Mitchell, managing director of Certified Laboratories, Melville, N.Y., and RFA’s technical director, will reprise his technical update on food safety, as he informs attendees of everything needed to know to keep companies up to speed with current technical and regulatory changes.

Meanwhile, Manny Picciola, managing director and partner of LEK Consulting, Chicago, will address long-term trends rooted in macro tradition, focusing on modern family dynamics, home meal delivery and more.

Michael Eardley, chief executive officer of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), Madison, Wis., will identify what’s in store for retail, touching on super-consumer opportunities in dairy, deli and bakery.

Also part of the conference is RFA’s Tabletop Display, which enables attendees to explore solutions in packaging, equipment, ingredients, services and more. 

And, the show’s one-on-one CEO sessions allow associate members to meet with chief executive officers of manufacturer member companies for 10 minutes to network and discover problem-solving solutions.

Other activities include the annual golf tournament at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club, a field trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific and a tour of Certified Laboratories’ Turlock, Calif., facility. 

RFA also partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, Orange County, Irvine, Calif., to assemble hygiene kits for those in need.  

Go to for more information on the show, educational programs, exhibitors and more.