Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative

Hyde Park, NY


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 held each January in cooperation with the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health.

Other CIA initiatives have further enhanced the college's position of leadership on these vital issues, including Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives®, a continuing medical education (CME) conference co-presented by the CIA and the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health; and Menus of Change®, a ground-breaking leadership initiative launched in 2012 by the CIA in collaboration with select partners who are working to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice sector and beyond.

Since 2010 the college has been advancing its support of healthy menu solutions for our industry by facilitating the work of The Culinary Institute of America Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative (HMC). The Collaborative is taking information and lessons from previous CIA health and wellness programs and working with a small "dream team" of volume foodservice leaders and other experts to craft highly targeted, sector-specific, practical solutions that significantly contribute towards expanding healthy food and beverage menu choices within the foodservice industry.

Members include operator members and corporate members. The operator members are culinary, procurement and nutrition leaders from U.S.-based volume foodservice operations while the corporate members are companies and organizations that provide healthful foods and ingredients used in volume foodservice operations. Membership is limited, and invitations are issued by the CIA. Members meet twice a year, in January and June, and they work collaboratively throughout the year via conference calls and online meetings.

In June 2011, members voted to approve a charter to guide their work. The charter was updated in 2017 after a year-long strategic planning exercise. The HMC purpose, vision, and mission are as follows:


  • HMC members come together as industry leaders to leverage their unique combination of influence and experience with the single-minded goal of finding practical solutions that help expand the availability and sales of healthy menu choices.


  • HMC members seek culinary innovation, insights, and inspiration in support of their commitment to providing healthful and flavorful food and beverage choices that enable their customers to live healthier lives.


  • HMC members collaboratively engage with foodservice industry leaders, resource specialists, manufacturers, and other suppliers to identify and explore non-proprietary culinary insights, applications, strategies, solutions, tools and resources that can help large volume foodservice providers fulfill their customers’ desire for delicious and nutritious menu choices.
  • HMC members influence the restaurant and on-site foodservice industry, and increase awareness in the public health community of the positive role the foodservice industry is playing in addressing diet-related public healthy issues.

Working Groups

In January 2017, after a year-long strategic planning process, members voted to approve the formation of five new working groups to facilitate greater collaboration, innovation, and insights.

Plant-Forward Menus

This working group is focused on creating and innovating culinary strategies and solutions that increase plant-based food and beverage consumption in foodservice operations by collaborating with partner companies to operationalize a variety of sustainable, affordable, scalable, and executable offerings our customers crave.

Process and Ingredient Purity

This group is focused on being a collective voice for sharing solutions, providing guidance, defining a process and path, identifying common language, and telling the story of “clean labels” in foodservice.

Protein Quality

This working group is using consumer insights to define 3-4 major platform areas around quality animal and plant protein for which volume foodservice operations can provide case studies, research, programs, and culinary solutions.


This group is focused on providing members with updates on pending and current local, state, and national policies impacting the foodservice industry and the challenges these policies may present, and promoting collaboration that helps members comply.


This group is collecting and promoting the best practices, goals, and initiatives of HMC member companies to internal stakeholders, policy makers, and external stakeholders and influencers.

For more information, please contact Amy Myrdal Miller, Director of the CIA Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative at



Past Member Meetings

HMC, January 2018

HMC, June 2017

HMC, January 2017



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For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

For information about Sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

Shara Orem
Director – Sponsorship Planning and Outreach, Strategic Initiatives and Advancement

(707) 967-2439