Program 2020

March 2-3; Chicago, IL

7:45 AM - 8:45 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:45 AM - 8:55 AM

Chair's Opening Remarks

Dan Howell, Director of Product Development, La Terra Fina USA

Introductory remarks by the Chair in the plenary room

8:55 AM - 9:30 AM - Keynote

R&D & Formulation

The Sustainabilty Plan at Lindt & Sprüngli - Our Commitment for a Better Tomorrow

Sarah Keller, Vice President, R&D/QA, Lindt & Sprungli Inc

Sustainability is a top priority for Lindt & Sprüngli and plays a key role in ensuring our business success. With almost 175 years of history, we have proven ourselves as a long-term-oriented company that continues to perfect and deliver traditional, exquisitely manufactured products with high quality. However, for us, preserving our traditions does not mean stagnation, but rather continuous improvement. As we do this, we also consider the dynamics of sustainable development. Challenges, priorities and stakeholder expectations change constantly due to new insights and developments.

We have developed the Lindt & Sprüngli Sustainability Plan to equip us to handle these changes as good as possible: Our commitment for a better tomorrow.

This presentation will provide an overview of this plan, will share the successes of the last years, the outlook into the future and some challenges the industry faces.

9:30 AM - 10:05 AM - Keynote

Innovation & Technology

The Future of Food - Introducing Eclipse Foods

Aylon Steinhart, CEO, Eclipse Foods

Thomas Bowman, CTO, Eclipse Foods

  • Creating a dairy replacement, not an alternative
  • Following the Impossible Foods/Beyond Meat foodservice to build the Eclipse brand
  • Looking beyond ice cream at the larger dairy category

10:10 AM - 10:45 AM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Ripe for Disruption: How Daily Harvest Anticipates and Exceeds Customer Needs

Ricky Silver, Vice President of Culinary Innovation, Daily Harvest

At Daily Harvest, customer desires and feedback are the driving factor of every decision. Learn how their proprietary eCommerce platform and direct-to-consumer model allows them to collaborate directly with consumers on new recipes and continuously iterate on their food, supply chain, and service.

This session, led by Daily Harvest’s VP of Culinary Innovation Ricky Silver will dive into how they use data and technology to develop hypotheses, hone in on customer needs, and react swiftly. By pairing this data with real life customer interactions, Daily Harvest is able to understand the motivations behind every insight, ultimately informing recipe development and optimization, improving their digital experience, and building a loyal community.

Innovation & Technology

High Performance Innovation: Fueling the Speed of Innovation through Creation of High-Performance Technical Teams

Natalie Roesler, Vice President of Innovation, Surlean Foods

In today’s world of innovation everything is moving faster than before due to technology and the changing needs of consumers. All companies including competitors have access to equipment, tools and processes of innovation. The only way to differentiate one business from another is through its people. This session will focus on how to create high performance technical teams to fuel faster and more relevant innovation.

10:45 AM - 11:35 AM

iSolve Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:35 AM - 12:10 PM - Solution Spotlights

Consumer Insights & Marketing

A Front Row Seat to the Revolution – What Incumbent CPGs must Learn from Emerging Brands

Sean Bisceglia, Chief Executive Officer, Curion

Paul Earle, Principal, Earle & Company

It is the same story, time and time again. Entrepreneur creates a revolutionary new product in a crowded market. Everyone tells them they are nuts for dedicating so much time to it and that it will never be successful. Emerging brand breaks through barriers and beats out competitors, some of who have been around for decades. Big company tries to compete with the introduction of a similar product and, ultimately, buys the once emerging brand instead.

Corporate flagship brands are under threat of stagnation of innovation. As a contributor to Forbes Magazine and adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Paul Earle spent 12 months closely profiling 12 founders of the most revolutionary and boldest companies in the industry for his new book, ‘A Front Row Seat at The Revolution’.

From Beyond Meat to Peloton to Halo Top, Paul identified these companies as extraordinary in their very early stages. Their creators reflect with Paul on what set them apart and ultimately resulted in a valuation of over $12 billion, collectively. Amongst these characteristics are 7 markers for success that all of them have in common.

In their presentation, you will learn from Curion’s CEO Sean Bisceglia and Paul, the steps that even the largest global CPGs can take to innovate from within the company instead of searching for the next emerging brand to buy, how to make a brand a successful experience and not just a product and how even the largest companies can get closer to their consumer to give them what they want.

Innovation & Technology

Innovation’s Surprising Driver…Regulations!

Brent Cutler, President & COO Americas, SpecPage, Inc.

  • Necessity, Mother of Invention….and innovation as well
  • Digital solutions to enforce F&B innovation
  • Accelerating time to market rapid development of product design

12:15 PM - 12:50 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Building a Winning Team - Working on Culture As A Way To Continuously Improve Performance

Kevin Addesso, Senior Director of Research & Development and Food Safety & Quality, Johnsonville Sausage

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, is a phrase originated by Peter Drucker, an American management consultant.   A winning culture is the foundation for producing sustained results.  In the best of all worlds, what does a great culture look like for your company, business unit, project team(s) or your critical innovation function? 

The Johnsonville Way, started by our 2nd generation owner, provides us with our cultural framework.  Our company mission is to “fully develop our God-given talents and help others do the same”.  The Technical Team at Johnsonville strives to be a championship team of technical professionals committed to continuous improvement and delivering superlative results in harmony with our culture.  We have used tools such Human Synergistics Organizational Culture Inventory®, Great Place To Work® Employee Survey, and Member Focus Groups to measure our culture.  How does operating culture compare to aspirational culture? The gaps identified serve as opportunities for improvement.  A recent Harvard Business Review Article, “The New Analytics of Culture”, describes how studying language used in electronic communication and social media may be a more reliable measure of actual company culture.

A great workplace culture can be a sustainable competitive advantage.  Fostering an environment where people feel empowered, assume a greater sense of personal accountability, possess a strong desire to make a difference and operate at a high level, contributes to superlative culture.  We call it the desire to “stretch and grow”.

R&D & Formulation

Mission Driven Product Development: Nutrition and Consumer Focused Innovations for Toddlers

Magdalena Bartosik, Director of R&I, Happy Family Organics

Happy Family Organics® has been on a mission to change the trajectory of children's health through nutrition since the company launched on Mother's Day in 2006. As the largest and fastest growing organic baby food brand in the country, we are constantly innovating to provide families with the best possible products, solutions, and resources for their evolving needs. This presentation will focus on our recent innovations in the toddler category, highlighting key criteria of successful mission driven & consumer centric innovation approach.

12:50 PM - 1:50 PM

Networking Lunch

Roundtable led by: TraceGains

Be Safer and Faster: Supplier Management Now Includes Market Hub

Moderated by:
Bob Hudson, Director of Strategic Accounts, TraceGrains

1:50 PM - 2:25 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Innovating a Stale Category

Kunal Kohli, Co-Founder & President, BOU Brands

  • Bringing life to a stale category
  • How to market a century old item 
  • What the challenges were in entering a category that hadn’t seen innovation in decades and how BOU overcame them.
  • Some of BOU’s early wins and challenges faced 
  • How BOU has pivoted to keep up with current trends and plans for continued growth

Innovation & Technology

The Jackfruit Company: Leadership through Focus (on Uncharted Territory)

Annie Ryu, Founder, The Jackfruit Company

  • Founding story: Initial vision for impact, & expansion over time in tandem with discovery of new food applications/product opportunities
  • First-mover challenges for a new food: pioneering both ends of the supply chain (supply and demand) simultaneously
  • First-mover opportunities that can be leveraged through focus and speed: jackfruit dominance across categories & channels, and with brand (consumer/customer mindshare)

2:30 PM - 3:05 PM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

The Next Generation of Plant-Based Proteins

Sarah Browner, Lead Analyst, FutureBridge

The use of alternative proteins offers an ideal solution to a more sustainable food production system. Today’s consumers are ready to embrace plant-based products in their diet, but will only do so if taste, texture, and nutritional composition remain uncompromised.

FutureBridge extensively covers the alternative protein market place, providing insights into the current landscape of the plant-based protein market and looks into the future of novel protein applications. From chickpea to mungbean, we are providing a breakdown of the leaders and laggards of protein application – both from a nutritional and a functional perspective.

Join our session to gain insights into most pressing questions in this space:
  • Why is there a need for ingredient innovation in the alternative protein sector?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges of plant-based proteins beyond soy, pea, and wheat?
  • Where to look for leading technologies and disruptive innovations in this space?
  • Who are the players embracing these ingredients into their new product development?

Innovation & Technology

Analytics Utilization in PLM for Project Visibility and Decision Support

Michael Frankel, Vice President of Sales, North America, Selerant Corporation

  • Formula-based product lifecycle management (PLM) is a vital end-to-end platform for new product development in food manufacturing companies
  • How Analytics capabilities in PLM systems are effectively used throughout the food enterprise for Project Visibility and Decision Support in areas such as KPI metrics and dashboards
  • Technologies for customizing Analytics for product development
  • Potential areas of high return and performance for food manufacturers through the extended deployment of PLM analytics

3:05 PM - 3:55 PM

iSolve Meetings & Networking Refreshments

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

Capturing Industry Trends in New Products: Plant Protein for Kids

Jessica Grelle, Senior Vice President of Innovation, The Safe + Fair Food Company

  • Outlining the process of capturing several industry trends in the new product development process
  • Case study: Plant Protein for Food Allergic Kids

Innovation & Technology

Innovating for the Future of Food

Andria Long, Board Member | Former VP of Innovation, Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network | Sara Lee and Johnsonville

Driving innovation in today’s fast-paced world requires more than just understanding the trends. Our industry is facing massive changes from digital transformation, unexpected competitors and changing consumer preferences, all of which will shape the landscape for the future of food.

The pace of change is rapidly accelerating and learning quickly to evolve for the future is essential. Understanding the shifts in consumer behavior and the drivers of change propelling disruption will be critical to compete successfully today.

Insights will be shared on:
  • How changing consumer needs will impact the future of food
  • Designing innovation for the new consumer reality
  • Identifying the indicators for category disruption and unexpected competitors

4:35 PM - 5:10 PM - Solution Spotlights

R&D & Formulation

Accelerate Growth and Time to Market Through AI and Automation

Gary Nowacki, CEO, TraceGains

  • How much of your data is actually outside of your control
  • How companies can digitize and automate their data
  • How R&D can innovate more quickly
  • How to convert data into actionable insight and automate business processes to innovate and compete more effectively

5:10 PM - 5:55 PM - Panel Discussion

Innovation & Technology

Speed to Market: How can you Align Internal Processes to Launch Products Quickly and Effectively?

Dan Howell, Director of Product Development, La Terra Fina USA

Jessica Grelle, Senior Vice President of Innovation, The Safe + Fair Food Company

Leah Lambrakis, Vice President, Research & Development and Innovation, Simmons Pet Food, Inc.

Will Nitze, Founder & CEO, IQ Bar

  • Why is it imperative, more so now than ever before, to be able to launch new and reformulated products into the market quickly?
  • How do you identify a new and sudden opportunity in the market?
  • What are the initial steps and measures put in place once a new or reformulated product has been decided to launch?
  • How can you most effectively and efficiently bring together the various departments, information and knowledge involved in NPD in order to ensure a successful and quick product launch?

5:55 PM - 6:00 PM

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Evening Drinks Reception

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:50 AM - 8:55 AM

8:55 AM - 9:30 AM - Keynote

Innovation & Technology

What Happens after Disruption? Using Continuous Listening to Nurture Innovation

John Adler, Vice President, Culinary and Physical Products, Blue Apron

Jill Fruchter, Senior Director, Consumer & Product Insights, Blue Apron

Every week, Blue Apron offers its customers 17 thoughtfully crafted recipes across two meal plans: 11 recipes on its Signature Two Serving Plan and 6 on its Four Serving Plan. Each recipe is part of a portfolio of offerings designed to satisfy different taste profiles and cooking effort requirements while also maintaining Blue Apron’s uncompromising commitment to quality, discovery, and sustainability, through its ingredient and animal welfare standards, promise to reduce food waste, and the creativity its customers expect. This balanced selection includes meals that are 30-minutes or less for busy weeknights, “carb-conscious or “plant forward” for health-focused home cooks, longer, more indulgent offerings for enthusiastic chefs, and recipes that meet a wide variety of dietary preferences.

So how does Blue Apron design for these outcomes, bringing together a combination of quantitative and qualitative data inputs and existing foundational insights about the market and its core customers? This session, led by John Adler, Vice President of Culinary and Physical Product, and Jill Fruchter, Head of Consumer and Product Insights will explore Blue Apron’s recipe for product innovation, a unique combination of the varying consumer motivations, attitudes, and preferences toward mealtime and the many business decisions involved with product innovation week after week.

9:30 AM - 10:05 AM - Keynote

R&D & Formulation

Cutting Through the Noise with Novel Functionality

Will Nitze, Founder & CEO, IQ Bar

The bar category is notoriously crowded. And yet, when you examine its offerings’ nutritional profiles – even amongst functional products – the space is revealed to be remarkably homogenous. At IQ BAR, we’ve been able to stand out by delivering a unique functionality (via brain nutrition) in conjunction with broad dietary appeal.

10:10 AM - 10:45 AM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

The Innovation Story and Strategy Behind the Recent Launches within the Sauces Category

Maroun Atallah, Product Development Manager, Barilla America, Inc.

We refer to them as tomato, red, or white sauces. However, the most appropriate name would probably be pasta sauces. In Italy, beside a few exceptions, pasta is mainly eaten with sauces. In United States, things are slightly different. Pasta is seen as more versatile and is not always served with sauces. In order to overcome this, we had to ask ourselves “How can Barilla, the Italian Food Company since 1877, help consumers enjoy a premium Italian experience through the use of sauces?.” Knowing that this is a big challenge within a crowded and saturated market, we approached it through 3 key points:
  • Our good for you and good the planet principles
  • Classic and disruptive innovation approaches
  • Boosting the Italian identity of our products

R&D & Formulation

Industry Trends and Considerations in Pet Food Formulation & Innovation

Leah Lambrakis, Vice President, Research & Development and Innovation, Simmons Pet Food, Inc.

Emerging pet food marketing and innovation trends allows for significant opportunity when formulating and creating complete and balanced foods for our pets. Leah describes the formula & nutritional requirements, ingredient, food science and manufacturing considerations when Innovating for the pet food industry.

10:45 AM - 11:35 AM

iSolve & Networking Refreshments

11:35 AM - 12:10 PM - Solution Spotlights

R&D & Formulation

Opportunities in Digestive Wellness

Alan Greensmith, US Head of Commercial Development, FODMAP, Monash University Australia

David Grotto, Sr. Manager, Wellbeing Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Kellogg Company

  • Digestive Wellness (gut health) is an important trend and a lucrative consumer opportunity for food and ingredient companies
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gut disorder and often what consumers are trying to solve when they seek digestive wellness
  • The Monash FODMAP Diet is a scientifically proven answer for managing the symptoms of IBS
  • Leading food companies like Kellogg are putting forward Low FODMAP foods and ingredients that meet the needs of consumers following the Low FODMAP diet and finding a welcoming and loyal audience
  • Solving IBS symptoms through the FODMAP diet allows many to achieve digestive wellness

12:15 PM - 12:50 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Sustainability in Seafood

Josh Onishi, President & CEO, Hana Group North America

  • Full session abstract TBC

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Food as a Lifestyle: Looking Beyond Food for Growth

Matt Godinsky, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International

Several limited and full-service brands are promoting their brands through the sale of non-food products and related experiences. Taco Bell, McDonalds and Dunkin’ have all begun to sell branded apparel as a way to reinforce their brand recognition outside of traditional foodservice. A few companies have opened limited-time holiday e-commerce shops. Taco Bell also opened a “Taco Bell Hotel” earlier this year, which was certainly a first in the industry. Packaged food companies are also becoming more involved with foodservice players, seeking to extend the reach of their brands beyond grocery store shelves to establish stronger relationships with consumers. This presentation will cover some of the most innovative examples we have seen in the industry and explore the potential benefits for brands expanding beyond their comfort zones.

12:50 PM - 1:50 PM

Networking Lunch

1:50 PM - 2:25 PM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Ten Global Trends for 2020 (and their Impact in the Food Industry)

Luis Carlos Chacón, Op-Ed Columnist | Global Consultant, Forbes Latin America | BusinessCase

In an context where the combination of climate change, pandemic menace, and economic stagnation are part of every day’s life, an ‘Emergency Back To Basics’ becomes the core trend that will determinate Ten Patterns that global society, economics, culture and consumption will follow, and determine the perspectives of a new decade, that will be a zenith in contemporary history where everything right (and wrong) of Exponential Phenomena will affect all aspects of the existence and continuity of humanity. This talk presents a description of the 2020 trends canvas, reviewing the implications of each one inside the food industry and innovations.

Innovation & Technology

Innovate or Die: Creative Ways to Encourage, Support and Fund Innovation

Monica Massey, Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff and Chief Innovation Officer, Dairy Farmers of America

When you are touting “nature’s most perfect food” what is the need to innovate? This is the question U.S. dairy was forced to ask itself as the emergence of new products began crowd the shelf space dairy has long enjoyed. This session will give you an honest look at the uh-oh moment one company had when faced with some fierce competition and will show you the why and the ways to innovate if you aren’t already doing so. What are you waiting for?

This presentation will:
  • State why innovation is necessary for a company
  • Argue innovation need not be best thing since sliced bread
  • Use Dairy as case study - as dairy faced increased competition and scrutiny and was slow to change
  • Assert that by focusing on people, partnerships, projects you can create culture of innovation
  • Encourage to not allow funding to be a barrier to innovation

2:30 PM - 3:05 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Product Integrity in Innovation: Accidental Success and Conscious Failures

Dan Howell, Director of Product Development, La Terra Fina USA

Product Integrity - an overlooked part of the innovation process that when missed, can make great ideas fail and when hit, can make unlikely products the next big thing.

Consumer Insights & Marketing

More than Burgers: What's Coming Next in Plant-Based Protein

Alison Rabschnuk, Director of Corporate Engagement, The Good Food Institute

Plant-based burgers are one of the hottest trends in the food industry. But burgers aren't the only way that plant-based is disrupting center-of-plate protein. This session will explore the motivations for meat reduction, The Good Food Institute's research into what consumers actually want in plant-based foods, highlight the best and worst marketing language, and offer predictions on the future of alternative proteins, including cultivated meat, and the benefits they will offer to consumers and the food industry.

3:10 PM - 3:45 PM - Keynote

R&D & Formulation

The Challenge of Fresh Prepared Foods: Clean Label and Shelf-Life

Claire Kerr, Vice President of Research & Development, Bakkavor USA

  • Who are Bakkavor and why are we here?
  • What have Bakkavor’s challenges been when entering the US market?
  • The challenges for food manufacturers developing and supplying clean label foods whilst dealing with shortened shelf-life

3:45 PM - 4:20 PM - Keynote

Innovation & Technology

AeroFarms: Celebrating Peak Flavor All Year Round with Indoor Vertical Farming

Marc Oshima, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, AeroFarms

  • Full session abstract TBC

4:20 PM - 4:30 PM