Category Track Speaker

Jessica Williams

Founder & CEO
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Food Forward Thinking LLC

Jessica Williams founded foodservice and beverage consultancy Food Forward Thinking in 2017. Her company partners with travel centers, truck stops, convenience, restaurants, and groceries to bring ideas to life and feed hungry travelers.

Williams supports retailers by designing profitable new menus, planning new product pipelines, reinventing menu items, selecting equipment and planning back of house design, calculating nutrition facts, and training new products. Extensive international travel, multi-unit scaling and commercialization, and product launches on global, national, regional, and start-up scales provide an unmatched perspective to product development in the convenience industry.

Williams enjoys working with teams across the country to create new menus, teach product development, and troubleshoot the unique challenges faced by the convenience and truck stop industries.

Williams formerly led new product development at Yum! Restaurants, International where her roles included food and equipment innovation for global applications for Kentucky Fried Chicken, an international assignment in Dubai to launch new products and platforms in the Middle East, and leading the reinvention of the nostalgic Chicken Littles sandwich for KFC in the United States with Yum! Brands. Williams also led fresh food innovation for Thorntons convenience chain where she was responsible for overseeing quality, and creating and launching dozens of products. Williams has a degree in food science and resides on her family’s farm in beautiful Central Kentucky.