School Nutrition Professionals to Preview Foods, Resources & Equipment



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  


School Nutrition Professionals to Preview Foods, Resources & Equipment  


SNA’s Annual National Conference features largest exhibit of hot trends for school cafeterias

ATLANTA, GA (July 7, 2017) – On Monday, July 10, School Nutrition Association (SNA) kicks off an exhibit of nutritious foods, beverages and cafeteria tools to help school nutrition professionals continue improving meal programs for students. More than 6,500 from across the country are gathering in Atlanta for School Nutrition Association's (SNA) 71st Annual National Conference (ANC). The event features the largest exhibit floor in school nutrition, with 200,000 square feet of exhibits from 408 companies, non-profits and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Media wishing to attend ANC must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at to register for the conference. Media guests must meet the published Press Registration Policies (pdf). The Exhibit Hall will be open for pre-registered media on Monday, July 10 and Tuesday, July 11.

Attendees will taste-test a variety of healthy, student-friendly menu items and participate in culinary demonstrations to learn new recipes and ideas to make school food appealing to a variety of student tastes. They will also preview technology and equipment to support menu planning and cafeteria operations and gather resources to further expand student access to nutritious meals. School nutrition professionals come to ANC in search of appealing recipes and menu items that meet federal nutrition standards and cafeteria solutions that help minimize costs to fit within tight school budgets.

Attendees will discover exciting trends on display, including:

  • Cleaner Label Options: As school cafeterias seek to mirror retail trends, exhibitors will offer menu choices with fewer artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Attendees will sample foods including grass-fed beef burgers, chicken raised without antibiotics and MSG free sauces.
  • International Flavors: Students expect their school cafeterias to serve the diversity of flavors they are accustomed to in restaurants. Attendees will test recipes including Chicken Tikka Masala and Thai Style Fish Tacos, Spicy Korean BBQ strips and Southwest Chili con Carne.
  • Lower-sodium choices: As schools continue to reduce sodium in their menus to meet future requirements, exhibitors will preview kid-favorite recipes prepared with less sodium, ingredients like low-sodium, gluten-free sweet & sour sauce, and salt-free seasonings like spicy jalapeno and chipotle chile that allow students to add flavor while customizing their meals.
  • Produce Solutions: Fruit and vegetables are required on every school lunch tray. Some exhibitors will preview equipment to quickly and safely chop fresh produce; others will offer samples of pre-sliced, ready-to-eat or frozen fruit and vegetable choices. With a nationwide push toward local sourcing, vendors will offer to process locally-grown foods for schools that have limited staff or provide resources to connect schools with farmers in their communities.
  • Versatile ingredients: Schools want to streamline inventory to limit costs, so many exhibitors will offer versatile ingredients paired with a variety of recipes and serving options to help schools diversify their menus while minimizing orders. Options include low-sodium sauces that can top a wide range of entrees and clean label, pre-seasoned meats that can be used in a variety of made-to-order recipes.
  • Allergy Free Options: With food allergies on the rise, attendees will find more options certified as nut-free and gluten-free, including packaging clearly marked for young students. Exhibitors will also preview menu software and apps that allow parents to conveniently screen school menus for potential allergens from their mobile devices.
  • Grab and Go Resources: Attendees are in search of menu options, equipment and supplies that will help them reach students outside of the cafeteria too. Exhibitors will offer everything from whole grain foods for breakfast in the classroom and after school snacks, to milk coolers and grab and go bags for hallway kiosks and summer meal sites.

Attendees will peruse the popular Produce Pavilion, Dairy Way, USDA Lane and Alternative Bites Aisle, offering options to serve students with special dietary needs. The Partner Pavilion will allow attendees to gather resources from allied organizations. In the Wellness Village, attendees will gather health and insurance information and participate in CPR demonstration sessions.

About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 57,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information about ANC, visit


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