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FNCE 2016 Recap and Food Trends

Happy Friday ya’ll! Last Friday I posted a recap about the Boston views and food, and today I’m talking about the actual conference itself.

fnce recap 2016, fnce, boston


The actual conference didn’t start until Sunday, but I arrived Friday night. On Saturday, I went to a more intimate session about recipe writing.

It was very helpful and included some hands on group activities. I also got to meet some other RD’s before the conference, so it was a great ice breaker! 

We were given ingredients (kind of like Chopped) and had to make something out of them. Our group went with a smoothie bowl.

smoothie bowl, fnce recap 2016, fnce, boston
fnce recap 2016, fnce, boston

Sunday morning started very early for a Siggi’s breakfast event, where I got to hear Alexis, Kylie and Jenny speak about being the trailblazers they are. Siggi was there too, and there was, of course, a yummy yogurt bar! These ladies all gave great insight about being entrepreneurs, the power of being real in blogging, and how they got to where they are.

Siggi's yogurt
Siggi's yogurt

I spent most of the day at the Convention Center for FNCE, sitting in on educational sessions, walking through the expo and getting SO MUCH SWAG, trying every sample I could, and even networking after hours. It was a long day.

FNCE 2016

Thankfully, the Academy recorded all of the sessions. This was so helpful because there were 15-20 sessions happening at once, and there were always 4-5 that I wanted to go to.

So, I’ll look forward to relistening to those sessions. I went to some sessions on nutrition communication and social media, exercise training adaptation (i.e. the low carb, high fat training), telehealth, microbiome and more.

Nutrition is so fascinating, ya’ll!

hellofresh, fnce recap 2016, fnce, boston

Obviously, I spent a good chunk of time at the expo, too. There’s so much to take in there and foods to try. Additionally, I enjoyed talking to some new brands and learning more about different products (both for myself and for clients). I also ran into some former classmates at UNC, so it was nice to see familiar faces!

FNCE 2016

I am so happy I was able to attend FNCE this year. It really is an incomparable event for dietitians, and a great way to meet dietitians from around the country. Part of me wishes I traveled with some dietitians I knew, but on the other hand, traveling alone forced me to go just beyond my comfort zone and learn to promote myself. I feel that I will be so much better prepared for next year. These are some tips I’d recommend to those who plan to attend FNCE, and also for myself in the future!


  • Pick out your educational sessions ahead of time and have a back up (in case it wasn’t what you thought). I actually left a few sessions because I didn’t think they would benefit me as much as I had originally thought, and walked into my second choice.
  • Be professional – you’ll have the opportunity to not only network with other RDs and food influencers, but also brands and possible future job opportunities.
  • Bring business cards! They are essential for networking and showing you are professional. Even if you don’t have a blog or job title, they are a great giveaway for keeping in touch with others.
  • Go to educational sessions beyond your direct expertise – take in some of the other research topics, or sit it on something clients ask you about often, go to a cooking demonstration, etc.
  • Save a lot of time for the expo. I originally thought I could come and go during the 30 minute breaks between sessions but it’s so easy to get lost in there and get caught up in all the excitement (and samples). Plus, depending on which booth you’re talking with, there may be a long line for samples or pictures.
  • Find the balance that works for you. There are so many opportunities for networking and going to events after hours, in which you’ll want to be “on” for. But, don’t be afraid to say no or sneak in some extra sleep. There will always be other events and opportunities and if you’re tired, you won’t make the most of it anyway. I don’t’ think I would have functioned the last two days if I didn’t do that. It’s a jam packed, exhausting four days!
  • Pack extra room in your bags, or bring a whole other bag – you’ll get a TON of samples
Food trends, FNCE 2016, FNCE recap
  • Watermelon seeds (I had no idea how high in protein they were; 10 grams of protein per ounce!). Go Raw had sprouted watermelon seed bars and I have loved the flavors I’ve tried so far! (I took a bunch home) and they are DELICIOUS!
FNCE 2016, fnce recap, go raw
FNCE 2016, fnce recap, go raw
  • Legumes and dried bean snack packs! They have just as much protein as a pack of almonds so they are a great on the go protein snack! These snacks were really tasty. I’m a sucker for crunchy things, too. I’ll be buying more of these!
Fnce recap, broad beans
beet juice, FNCE 2016, fnce recap
  • Whole grains. These were demonized for so long but I’m so happy that they are trending again (Sorghum, freekah, quinoa, etc). Praise whole grains..and carbs!
  • Individually packed peanut butter powder (Remember my obsession for PB2?) Much more competition now, and just about every brand has a portable peanut butter pouch too!
FNCE recap, FNCE 2016, food trends
  • Portable pre and probiotic pouches! Probiotics and the microbiome (our gut) is getting sooo much attention now. I love my kombucha’s but they are pricey. This may be another alternative if you buy a bunch in bulk!
FNCE recap, FNCE 2016, food trends
  • Low FODMAP food alternatives! I’ve had a few clients I’ve discussed this with, and it’s nice to see brands and companies are creating options for these products.
  • Bars with greens and veggies in them! I don’t know how I feel about these – I don’t want people to be discouraged from eating the actual veggies and think this is an equal replacement – it’s not. But, I guess if it’s someone with a baseline of zero intake, this will be good.
Food trends, FNCE 2016, FNCE recap

Some other fun finds include flavored individual tuna and salmon packets, individual hemp seed packets (vanilla flavor!) and portion controlled oil blends.

FNCE food trends, FNCE recap

Have you ever been to FNCE, or another niche conference, or do you plan on going to one?

What are your thoughts about throwing greens in bars – do they discourage eating actual veggies?

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  1. Thanks for posting your FNCE tips! I am hoping to go next year.

    I love RD conferences and getting to meet new people who have the same passion for nutrition. I went to the ASPEN conference in January and it was truly amazing.

    I don’t mind throwing greens in bars as long as it is viewed as something ‘extra’ and not a way to get your vegetable servings. I think when someone disliked vegetables, they may not have tried them prepared in certain ways that could make them more appealing.

  2. so jel of all those free samples you got! I love those go live probiotic packs. And those enlightened crisps are so good! Perfect little snack. I’m glad you had a good time at the conference Sarah!

  3. Ahh, FNCE sounds like such a fun event! :]!! I hope I can go to it someday! 😛 (I really need to get on making business cards for my blog. ._.) I’m so glad whole grains are finally getting good recognition again! I never understood the hate for em’!

    I’m a fan of throwing greens into most things–nothing wrong with having em’ in bar form too! 😛

  4. So many awesome samples! Love that they make powdered PB pouches and had no idea about watermelon seeds being high in protein (or honestly, even being edible!) This sounds like such a cool experience!

  5. So.many.yummy.snacks. Also I am obsessed with Siggis! I put it on a piece of Ezekiel bread every morning with homemade dried apple chips. I can’t start my day without it! This whole conference looked amazing. I am jealous of all that incredible swag, but thankful to live vicariously through you! Now to get my hands on some watermelon seeds… Thanks for sharing it with us! <3

  6. I just recently tried watermelon seed butter for the first time and it was so much better than I expected – and roasted broad beans and chickpeas are one of Jesse’s go-to healthy snacks as they’re the perfect alternative to chips!

    I am so with you on the greens in other foods thing – I feel like often people use them as an excuse not to eat veggies!

  7. Great tips- especially the one about planning for a back up session. I’m excited for an opportunity to go in the near future! That picture of you with the yogurt is fream-worthy.
    Veggies in bars is really fun to me. It wouldn’t discourage me personally from eating real veggies, but people love to find the easy way out!

  8. These are some great tips for the next time I attend an expo event. The food trends stole the show for me. I love beet juice; I hope that product comes to a store near me soon. I had no idea watermelon seeds were packed with protein. I like the veggie bars; I will not substitute them for actual veggies, but I would enjoy them after a hard workout, instead of a cliff bar.

  9. I loved going to the expo at the IDEA World conference. It was so neat to see all the health food trends, I remember seeing those watermelon seed bars and was fascinated by them too. But I’m not a fan of them putting veggies in bars, I’m a believer that people need to eat the real thing!

  10. Man oh man, seeing all you bloggers talking about this weekend has really been cool. This was the first time I saw pictures of the actual centre and all the booths though – its huge!! I would have been totally overwhelmed. But in a good way. Like Christmas for foodies?!
    Too much to say. I’ll just have to live vicariously through you and all the swag and samples you got to try.

  11. Great tips for FNCE. In the past I have totally experienced that need to balance saying NO to events/opportunities because it is exhausting! Wish I could have gone this year, but definitely looking forward to Chicago next year!

  12. OMG this looks amazing!! I’ve actually never been to any sort of conference which totally bums me out but I’m kind of a loner and like to stay home lol Sad truth! Love the tips you gave though – I’ll have to keep them in mind if I ever DO get to a conference!