Live from New York, it's the FCIA Conference 2023!Registration is now available for FCIA members AND non-members. Early Bird Pricing ENDS JUNE 9, 2023.
- Early Bird Member Package $175.00 : This package provides the Associate Level Member attendee with all-day access to the conference starting at 8 a.m. until its conclusion.
- Become a Member Package - Early Bird $275.00: Bundle FCIA membership and conference registration to receive a discounted membership rate. If you buy this package, you will receive a membership to FCIA at the associate level for the rest of 2023. FCIA membership information is available at finechocolateindustry.org.
- Non-Member Package - Early Bird $325.00: This package provides non-FCIA members with all-day access to the conference from 8 a.m. until its conclusion.
- Exhibitor $3,000.00: This package provides the buyer space at the conference to show off your business. This package includes up to two (2) tickets. This package is only available until June 9, 2023.
- Late Registrations - Member $225.00: The price for member registration after June 9, 2023 increases by $50.
- Non-Member Late Registration $375.00: The price for non-member registration after June 9, 2023 increases by $50.
The event will be a day of networking, learning how to grow your business, and tasting great chocolate. The event is being held at the Institute of Culinary Education in Lower Manhattan at Brookfield Place, one of the most iconic placemaking destinations in the world, bringing together modern office space, cultural experiences, curated dining, and world-class shopping. The 14-acre commercial complex on the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan is animated year-round by Arts Brookfield, providing visitors ever-changing experiences, from art installations and live music to dining, shopping, and more.
Brookfield Place offers several dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner including Hudson Eats an upscale dining terrace featuring fast-casual concepts from 14 chef-driven eateries including Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar, Umami Burger and Dos Toros Taqueria. The 30,000-square-foot space provides seating for up to 600 guests and incorporates elements not seen in other "food halls"—including ceilings ranging in height from 14 to 17 feet with window walls offering expansive views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty.
Pre-order lunch and skip the lines.
Focused networking and visiting Exhibitor Booths:
Network with industry peers from around the world and check out our exhibitors room. If you would like to be an exhibitor, REGISTER BEFORE JUNE 1. Exhibitor packages are available for all membership levels and for non-members.
Growing Your Business: Think Outside the Box:
FCIA Members, Erin Andrews, Indi Chocolate, Jody Hayden, Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate, and Nate Hodge, Raaka, share their outside the box creative and strategic thinking that has grown their respective chocolate businesses. This session will be moderated by Kathy Wakefield.
What will attendees learn: How a business owner can assess their situation and resources to determine which opportunities align with their company strategy, personal interests and objectives for new growth initiatives and sustainable profitability. You can learn what to do as well as what not to do.
The Elephant in the Room: Businesses discuss their experience with cadmium and lead in cacao and chocolate:
Join your peers in learning the paths businesses and professionals have taken to communicate and mitigate the issues raised by advocacy groups relating to heavy metal presence in cacao and chocolate. Through an introductory presentation, you will learn from medical and soil management experts on how lead and cadmium make their way to chocolate products and affect the human body.
This discussion is led by Jose Lopez Ganem from FCCI; FCIA members confirmed on panel include:
- Dr. Keith Ayoob, Cut to the Chase Nutrition
Thalia Hohenthal, Guittard
Jenny Samaniego, Conexion
Anjuli Dharna, Uncommon Cacao
CHOCOLATE: "You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means.":
This very famous movie quote from The Princess Bride too often describes conversations we have with each other and also with clients interested in fine chocolate. This lunch and learn workshop will introduce participants to the FCIA Glossary project, how it provides room for a conversation about what terms mean in particular contexts, how to contribute as an author or reviewer and the goals for moving the project forward to serve as a resource for the broader chocolate industry. During this time, we will facilitate discussion on prioritization of terms to define and encourage participants to identify terms that they might author.
The discussion will be led by Dr. Romi Burks of Southwestern University.
Chart the Taste of Chocolate: Guided Tasting Experience from Cacao Farm to Chef's Kitchen
With the launch of the Cocoa Flavor Map, fine chocolate professionals have a visual tool to illustrate the diversity of flavor profiles in cacao from Latin America. In this session two James Beard Award winning chefs explore four select beans from the map making their debut in the US market which are transformed into chocolate for attendees to taste.
Chef Michael Laiskonis Director of the Chocolate Lab at the Institute of Culinary Education selected beans from four participating countries in MOCCA program to make chocolate. He will share his approach for expressing the flavor potential of these beans.
Chef, culinary historian and co-founder of International Institute of Cacao and Chocolate Tasting, Maricel Presilla, Ph.D., shares the history of each region and will guide the audience through a tasting.
Find out from Carolina Aguilar, Director of Cacao at Lutheran World Relief how to support the program and create opportunities for producers.
Selling more chocolate: Strategies for engaging the modern chocolate consumer:
Engaging consumers is the key to success for chocolate businesses, and the growth of our industry. We know that consumer interest in chocolate remains strong, and from multiple perspectives – as an affordable indulgence, a healthy food, and a special gift. We also know the ways consumers shop are changing.
In this session, Ecole Chocolat will bring together a panel of talented professionals from different segments of the fine chocolate industry, with different business models and experiences, to share what is working for them RIGHT NOW. They’ll share valuable tips and tricks to help you engage with consumers and generate sales.
- Mark Bitterman, The Meadow
- Michael Recchiuti, Recchiuti Confections
- Michelle Novosel, Pizzelle's Confections
- Monica Rogan, Goodnow Farms Chocolate
- Moderator, Alysha Kropf, Ecole Chocolat
Having More Fun Making Your Chocolate: Leveraging Your Numbers for Improved Profitability
With recent increases in ingredients, labor, shipping, utilities etc., two food industry consultants, Terry and Kathy Wakefield, will discuss how to assess and then enhance the profitability of your products and your business.
What will attendees learn: You will be shown how to use tools/templates to calculate the true costs of producing your products and running your business. You will also learn some concepts for analyzing your business so that your can make better decisions regarding allocation of your resources while having more fun and fewer headaches.
- Terry Wakefield, Catalyst4Change
- Kathy Wakefield, Catalyst4Change
Unlocking Heirloom Cacao: Tasting, Genetic Analysis, and Discovery
An interactive presentation exploring the fascinating world of heirloom cacao, uncovering its unique flavors and qualities. Experience an exciting tasting of HCP’s newest designee, HCP #17 led by Rich Tango-Lowy, HCP Board Member and chocolatier from Dancing Lion Chocolate. Gain insights into our genetic analysis techniques and the importance of preserving heirloom varieties from Lyndel Meinhardt of USDA-ARS. Witness the beauty of Kampura Farms and connect directly with the farmer behind HCP #17. Exciting things lie ahead in the world of Heirloom cacao!
Jacob Marlin, HCP President, Lead
Richard Tango-Lowy, Tasting Lead (Owner Dancing Lion Chocolate & HCP Board Member)
Lyndel Meinhardt, HCP #17 Genetic Analysis Findings (USDA-ARS)
Rodrigo Sevilla, HCP #17, Owner Kampura Farms
Chocolate Sample Table:
If you would like to contribute samples to the Chocolate Sample Table, please fill out this form so we know what and how much of your products to prepare for.
Cocktail Reception and Pairing Experience:
A Toast to the Flavors of the Dominican Republic:
Fine Chocolate and Rum Pairing
Rizek Cacao has been developing innovative profiles combining original techniques with the purpose of bringing together all of the significant elements found in the cacao ecosystem in the Dominican Republic. Barceló Rum has played an important role in one of these profiles. In this interactive experience attendees will discover how to create their perfect pairing with Dominican brands Kahkow & Barceló.
We have limited exhibitor space available. If you would like to register as an exhibitor, that package is available during the registration process for both members and non-members. If you have questions about being an exhibitor, please send an email to Cathy Ford.
If you have any issues registering, please contact Cathy Ford.