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Outlook 2018 registration list
(as of August 21)

Conference Registration Fees
Member $850
Non-Member $1050

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Registration Fee
Includes access to all education and networking activities on Thursday and Friday, admission to Thursday’s Evening Reception and one copy of the 2018 Production & Utilization Analysis Report.

Who Should Attend?
Outlook 2018 is specifically for industry leaders from the United States and around the world. Participants come from all segments of the apple industry, including production, packing, processing, sales, marketing and new products. It is an ideal forum for meeting and collaborating with other apple industry professionals.

Why Should I Attend?
Outlook is the only national gathering of the U.S. apple industry and is held at the beginning of the new crop marketing season – just days after the USDA August apple crop forecast. The conference brings together all sectors of the national apple industry and provides firsthand information on the upcoming crop.

Cancellations and Refunds
All cancellations and refund requests must be received in writing by August 1, 2018. Refund requests made before August 1, will be completed minus a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be made after August 1, 2018. In the event you are not able to attend, an alternate company representative can be substituted at no additional cost if you provide written notification to USApple by August 10. Refund requests should be made to Jessa Allen at

Substitution Policy
Substitution of registrations is permitted prior to the conference and onsite. Only one substitution is permitted per original registrant. The individual submitting the substitution request is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance dues) associated with that substitution as well as updating any contact information.

Family & Guests
Invite your spouses and guests to join us for Thursday’s Opening Night Reception. A special guest-only ticket is available for $85/members and $150/non-members. Please note: Guest  qualification applies to those individuals not in the industry.



Download the Outlook 2018 Conference Program.

Thursday, August 23
8:30 am – 4:00 pm Registration
1:00 pm – 5:00pm General Session I
Eating Patterns in America
Darren Seifer, Food & Beverage Industry Analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.
2018 U.S. Apple Crop
Mark Seetin, USApple
2018 European Apple Crop
Phillipe Binard, World Apple & Pear Association
2018 Chinese Apple Crop
Michael Choi, Zhonglu America Corp.
Apple Grower of the Year Award Presentation
American Fruit Grower Magazine
Apple Juice, Concentrate & Processing  Panel
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm U.S. Regional Apple Crop Discussions & Regional Director Elections
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Opening Night Reception
Apple Person of the Year Award Presentation, The Packer


Friday, August 24
 7:30 am – 11:00 am Registration
8:30 am – 12:00 pm General Session II
USApple State of the Industry & Business Meeting
Jon Samson, Executive Director, Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC)
2018 Canadian Apple Crop Outlook
Don Werden, Norfolk Fruit Growers’ Association
2018 Mexican Apple Crop Outlook
Leighton Romney, Paquime
2018 South American Crop Outlook
Rene Alarcon, Doehler North America Fruits & Vegetables
2018 U.S. Regional Apple Crop Outlook
Announcement of 2018 U.S. Apple Crop Forecast
12:00 pm Adjournment
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm USApplePAC Luncheon (separate ticket required)

Speaker Bios

Darren Seifer Headshot2015

Darren Seifer
Food & Beverage Industry Analyst
The NPD Group, Inc.

As a food & beverage industry analyst at The NPD Group, a leading market research company, Darren provides insights based on NPD’s food-related research to organizations and companies across the country. Prior to joining NPD in March 2007, he was an analyst with Information Resources, Inc (IRI). At IRI Darren spent over seven years examining consumer packaged goods trends, and worked with a variety of industry leaders covering dozens of food and beverage categories. He has authored a number of NPD food and beverage research reports that cover topics such as consumer dynamics surrounding meal delivery kits, concerns and strategies related to genetically modified foods, the profile of the organics consumer, the impact of Baby Boomers and Millennials on America’s eating patterns, and the unique consumption behaviors of Hispanics in the U.S. Darren is also a contributing writer for several food and beverage trade publications and shares his thoughts on food and beverage trends at

In addition to presenting NPD’s annual report on Eating Patterns in America, he is a frequent speaker at industry events hosted by associations and organizations including The National Confectioners Association, The California Grocers Association, Stagnito Media and others, and is quoted in numerous media outlets including NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He holds a bachelor degree from Northwestern University and makes his home in New York City.


Jon Samson
Executive Director
Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC)

Samson joined AFTC/ATA in October of 2011 and oversees the AFTC board as their Executive Director. Prior to joining ATA, Samson served as Director, Public Policy for the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA). Samson was responsible for lobbying on policy issues impacting agricultural retailers and distributors. His main focus was on transportation, Farm bill and finance related issues. Previously, Samson served as a legislative aide for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), focusing on agriculture, transportation and finance. He also served as assistant to the staff director on Senator Baucus’s Finance Committee staff. Before moving to D.C., Samson grew up on a family hog farm in southwest Montana. The family farm kept him busy on his off days during high school and through college at Montana State University. He also holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from George Mason University and resides in Fairfax, VA with his wife, Patience, their daughter, Alena and son, August


The Swissotel Chicago
323 E. Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Once you register for the conference, you will receive a confirmation email with the link to make your hotel reservation at the discounted group rate.  




USApple is pleased to offer a range of opportunities for your organization to achieve unsurpassed levels of continued exposure to the apple industry. Select the unique sponsorship package that best fits your budget and needs.   Download the 2018 Sponsorship Guide for more details.


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