The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has long been a leader in bringing innovative, compelling healthy menu solutions to the foodservice industry through its groundbreaking Worlds of Healthy Flavors® Leadership Retreat, which is presented each January in collaboration with the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health. Launched in 2004, Worlds of Healthy Flavors has provided the nutrition science foundation for significant food and beverage changes within the U.S. volume foodservice industry.
In 2010, the college created the Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative to further facilitate work that advances the development of healthy menu solutions for restaurants and other foodservice operations. This member-based initiative was designed to take inspiration, information, and insights from other CIA health and wellness initiatives and craft highly targeted, sector-specific, practical solutions that contribute towards expanding healthy food and beverage options.
Members include a small "dream team" of volume foodservice culinary, food science, supply chain, and nutrition leaders, resource specialists, and industry manufacturers and suppliers. Members meet in-person twice each year, in January in conjunction with Worlds of Healthy Flavors and in June with Menus of Change.
HMC leadership is provided by three co-chairs and multiple working group chairs who provide strategic oversight and practical guidance for the initiative. The working groups collaborate throughout the year to share information, insights, and solutions.
HMC is and always has been chiefly focused on advancing delicious and nutritious menu R&D within high-volume foodservice. That said, as it is part of an ecosystem of CIA thought leadership initiatives for supporting the best possible future for the overall foodservice industry—including staying ahead of emerging, high-impact trends and issues—the 24 Menus of Change Principles serve as the reference point for this broader ecosystem and provide guidance and direction as issues of health, sustainability, and food ethics arise. For more information about Menus of Change, a ground-breaking initiative launched by the CIA and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health two years after HMC was founded, visit menusofchange.org. You’ll find a suite of resources related to menu design, culinary strategy, sourcing, and operations.