Program 2021

March 29-30, 2021; All timings in Central US Time

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings

9:00 AM - 9:05 AM

9:05 AM - 9:50 AM - Panel Discussion

How has COVID-19 Changed the Food Industry and what Lessons are we Taking Forward?

Gideon Ashworth, Head of Food Defence, Bart Ingredients

Staci Willson, Owner, Sunnyland Farms

  • What kind of disruption has COVID-19 caused to food supply chains and to food suppliers/partners?
  • How have food innovators responded to people’s changing eating habits (less eating out, more home cooking)?
  • What is the most important lesson you have learnt during this period that will affect your work going forward?
  • Employee training as a major component of staying in compliance – how did you manage your teams?

9:55 AM - 10:25 AM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

The Human First: Food & Beverage Innovation Opportunities

Abbas Arslan, Global Senior Director Human Insights, The Coca-Cola Company

  • We are living in the best of times for innovations. People have never been as open to trying out new things as they are now
  • While innovation can be successful because of technological advancements, understanding human context first is critical to identify long term innovation opportunities
  • In this session, we will take a look at the opportunities offered by shifts in human behavior

R&D & Formulation

Meeting Unmet Needs: Innovating in Baby Food

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

  • Full session abstract TBC

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM - Solution Spotlights

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Agile Consumer Research Leading Innovation

Anthony Walton, Managing Director, Client Services Midwest, Curion

Mat Henrichs, Sensory Scientist II, Johnsonville Sausage

  • Consumer research leveraging qual/quant touchpoints
  • Incorporating video assessments of consumer interactions
  • Fully collaborative analysis
  • Leading client down pathway for successful launch of innovation product, disrupting two long-standing categories

R&D & Formulation

Optimizing Protein Content with Almonds

Dr. Swati Kalgaonkar, Associate Director, Nutrition Research, Almond Board of California

Christine Farkas, Chef, Almond Board of California

Plant-based eating continues to be a top trend for consumers. According to Innova Market Insights, plant-based products increase consumer interest when elements of indulgence, bold flavors, and nutrition are added. The versatility of almonds provides manufacturers with endless opportunities to develop a functional and flavorful snack with appealing texture, with one ounce of almonds providing six grams of power-packed protein.

In this session from the Almond Board of California (ABC), Dr. Swati Kalgaonkar will share the nutritional benefits of almonds including almond protein and complementary pairings. Chef Christine Farkas will showcase formulations utilizing almonds, highlighting almond protein powder and advantages of incorporating it in snacking products.

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

1-2-1 Meetings & Speaker Roundtables

Consumer Insights & Marketing Roundtable: Development and Consumer Perceptions of Upcycled Food Products
- How upcycled foods are officially defined
- Opportunities and challenges working with upcycled ingredients
- How consumers perceive upcycled foods
- Opportunities to increase consumers' willingness to pay for upcycled foods


Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D., CHE
Professor and Director, Drexel Food Core Lab
Drexel University

Rebecca Etter
Global Marketing Director
Grupo Bimbo

11:50 AM - 12:20 PM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

Carvel R&D and Marketing

Dave Fenner, Sr. Director Culinary R&D, Carvel & Seattle's Best Coffee International, FOCUS Brands

A brief history of the brand followed by:

1. R&D Innovation and Consumer Insights
a) Dairy Category
b) Dairy-Free Category

2. Top Trending desserts and flavors applying to ice cream

3. Marketing Insights
a) Marketing Team
b) Impact 3PD
c) Carvel Testing Program

R&D & Formulation

How to make Cultured Meat delicious: A New Generation of Food Science

Eva Sommer, Co-Founder, Peace Of Meat

  • Full session abstract TBC

12:25 PM - 12:55 PM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Analytics Utilization in PLM for Project Visibility and Decision Support

  • Full session abstract TBC

R&D & Formulation

Inventing the Formulations of Tomorrow: How can you Utilize Data-Driven Sourcing for Novel Ingredients?

  • Taking advantage of cloud-connected databases to find the perfect ingredient compositions for your products
  • Ensuring product integrity and full quality control while uncovering the possibilities to enhance and even transform your formulations

12:55 PM - 1:55 PM

Networking Lunch & Solution Roundtables

Lunchtime Roundtable 1: Innovation & Technology


Lunchtime Roundtable 2: R&D & Formulation


Lunchtime Roundtable 3: Consumer Insights & Marketing

1:55 PM - 2:25 PM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

Win, Win: Developing Plant-Based Protein with No Compromise

Jitendra Sagili, Chief Research & Development and Food Technology Officer, Maple Leaf Foods

  • The future of plant-based protein is clean, minimally processed food that tastes good – with no compromise between simple ingredients and a great taste.
  • The journey to find high-quality protein never ends. To develop the best products for consumers, R&D teams need to continually innovate to stay ahead of the curve and continue appealing to changing consumer desires and demands.
  • One of the most important parts of R&D is consumer research – consumer preferences and desires can and should drive product reformulation. Lightlife found that consumers were looking for products with clean, simple ingredients which led the brand to challenge themselves to reformulate products to meet these demands.
  • Where food is made makes a difference. There is significant value to developing plant-based protein products in a kitchen versus in a lab. You can taste the difference.
  • R&D provides an opportunity to reimagine and change the food ecosystem to make great tasting, nutritious, sustainable and affordable food.

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Smart Diets: How Technology Is Creating New Opportunities for Personalized Food and Drink

Melanie Bartelme, Global Food Analyst, Mintel

The food and drink industry has been advancing toward ever more personalization in how consumers select and consume their meals. From DNA-based diets to 3D printed products to interactive apps, customization is possible like never before. In this session, Mintel global food analyst Melanie Zanoza Bartelme will explain how consumers view these advances and how brands can ensure consumers see the value in sharing their data in exchange for more personalized food and drink experiences.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

How Networked Product Development Drives Better, Faster Innovation

Gary Nowacki, CEO, TraceGains

TraceGains orchestrates product development from concept through production, accelerating research, recipe iteration, claims verification, and change management. Teams can go from manual processes to automated results by digitizing and streamlining product development for better, faster innovation. 
  • Gain a unified view of products, data, and processes across the business and throughout the supply chain, no matter how complex or dispersed.
  • With network connectivity, the software gives teams immediate access to more than two million supplier-provided documents to accelerate formula and recipe development. 
  • Achieve more informed, cost-effective ingredient and material research choices, and significantly reduce product development timelines.
  • Digitally model recipe variants with real ingredient and supplier data to meet cost, nutrition, allergen, and claims product criteria faster.
  • Automate version control with roll-back capabilities to instantly find current and past product details with all documentation, recipe variants, and information exchange digitally tracked for a complete audit trail.

R&D & Formulation

How can you Find a Natural Alternative to Effectively Reduce Added Sugar?

  • Whether it is replacing or reducing sugar or “added sugar,” finding a natural solution to processed sugar can certainly be more than transformative for your product and portfolio
  • With sweetness levels as high as 65% in natural ingredients from plants, they are more than an effective tool in reducing sugar naturally if extracted and refined correctly
  • Sugar reduction of 33% or greater is therefore achievable in dairy, baked goods, bars, cereal and a number of other applications

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

1-2-1 Meetings & Speaker Roundtables

Roundtable 1: Innovation & Technology


Roundtable 2: R&D & Formulation


Roundtable 1: Consumer Insights & Marketing

3:50 PM - 4:20 PM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

Session Title TBC (Chobani)

Rajneesh Hora, VP of Research & Development, Chobani

  • Full session abstract TBC

Innovation & Technology

Demystifying the Secrets to Success for Innovation

Andria Long, Board Member, Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network

After building two Innovation Centers of Excellence and leading innovation at multiple companies, Andria has a proven and repeatable approach to deliver transformative innovation.

Andria will share some of her favorite pages from her innovation playbook. She has found no matter what company she has worked for; they  all have similar pain points when it comes to innovation.

Learn expert industry insights to help you catapult your innovation based on what took decades of experience to figure out.


The key insights she will share:

• Ideas aren’t the hard part - Designing innovation for the new consumer reality
• Differentiate or die - Importance of a Sustainable Point of Different
• How can I go faster? Ways to streamline the innovation process

4:25 PM - 5:10 PM - Panel Discussion

Innovation & Technology

How can the Food Industry Become More Sustainable and More Appealing to Evolving Consumer Demands?

Brian Spears, CEO & Founder, New Age Meats

Michelle Wolf, Co-Founder/CTO, New Wave Foods

Morgan Oliveira, Founder & Principal, Grounded, Etc.

  • Why is it more difficult than ever before for product launches to meet the shifting demand?
  • How can personalized nutrition, tastes and diets provide mass appeal?

5:15 PM - 6:15 PM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Networking, 1-2-1 Meetings & Breakfast Briefings

Breakfast Briefing 1: Innovation & Technology

 
Breakfast Briefing 2: R&D & Formulation

9:00 AM - 9:05 AM

9:05 AM - 9:50 AM - Panel Discussion

How to Handle Trade-Offs Between Quality, Safety and Costs especially in the Context of a Post-COVID Recession?

Matteo Gori, Global Marketing Director, Barilla Group

  • Full session abstract TBC

9:55 AM - 10:25 AM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

Why we need Healthy New Proteins with a Low Environmental Impact

Tim Finnigan, Chief Scientific Adviser, Quorn Foods

  • Something is broken in the way we produce and consume our food
  • Our demand for cheaper and more plentiful food is unsustainable and our addiction to meat is literally costing the earth
  • Malnutrition and food inequality remain unacceptable with over 20% of global non communicable disease now attributed to poor diets – worse than smoking
  • We can no longer separate the impacts of our dietary choices on their impacts on the health of our bodies and of the planet as well
  • We need healthy new proteins with a low environmental impact as an important tool to help address a sustainable food future
  • We need scientific underpinning to create a strong evidence and proof points for change that will help to change behavior and remove consumer uncertainty. The Quorn story is a good example of what has to be done and, importantly, what continues to be done

Innovation & Technology

How to Adapt your Innovation Approach in a Global Pandemic

Johan Sanders, Chief Product Officer, Dawn Foods Global

  • The trends/innovation platform pre-pandemic
  • Key changes for customer requirements in a crisis
  • What to do differently internally and externally
  • Key learnings relevant beyond the bakery industry

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

From Concept to Commercialization: How can you Streamline the Innovation Process?

  • R&D, Innovation and Marketing: determining the process and setting goals in order to decrease time to market
  • Translating design ideas and principles into viable and successful product launches?
  • Internal conflict management: solving the issues in front of you and those that may arise during the ideation and implementation process
  • What are the key factors in optimizing the chances of a breakthrough first-time product launch without sacrificing time, investment and resource?

R&D & Formulation

Sourcing More Compatible Ingredients and Materials for Your Consumer and the Earth

  • Revolutionizing your product proposition to your consumer with sustainable innovation
  • Taking legacy products and transforming them with plant-based ingredients, natural flavors, biodegradable packaging and much more

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

1-2-1 Meetings & Speaker Roundtables

From Food Robotics to AI in 5 years to make a Healthy Life the Easiest Option

As a frontrunner in Food Robotics and AI, we love to be back here at the conference to bring you the story of our journey of the last 5 years. We are excited to share our honest insights on:

1) Our portfolio extensions towards hot drinks resulting in delicious soups.

2) Our technology expansion from robotics towards AI through the PERSFO.eu project with EIT Food focusing on healthy personalized nudging to improve the health of the 100m consumers served daily by Sodexo. 

As always, we'll be blunt and transparent about the ins and outs. We very much look forward to share how we believe food tech has a bright future in food service when approached hands-on and goal-oriented with the right partners.


Glenn Mathijssen
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Alberts

11:50 AM - 12:20 PM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Nurture Life Co-Founder Weighs In: The Importance of Teaching Nutrition At A Young Age & How to Turn it Into a Lifestyle

Jennifer Chow, Co-Founder, Nurture Life

  • Nurture Life is a subscription service that provides busy families with a creative variety of fresh, nutritionally-balanced, ready-to-enjoy meals for children of all ages, delivering a healthier world through better nutrition for kids
  • Co-Founder Jennifer Chow will talk about the state of children’s nutrition in our country, how food brands can help educate parents on the importance of healthy eating from the start from the brand’s experience in working with thousands of families, how the brand’s ‘Picky Eater Bootcamp’ is helping parents tackle picky eating and expand their children’s palates, and more
  • Jennifer Chow will talk about the barriers parents have expressed to bridging the gap between education and execution in fostering healthy eating in their children and why she created Nurture Life to provide parents with a 360 approach to ensuring children receive the proper nutrition through delicious, nutritious, ready-to-enjoy meals and how Nurture Life helps expand children’s palates with a wide variety of flavors, ingredients and cuisines not found in typical “kids food”, helping to lay the foundation for a healthy eating lifestyle
  • Jennifer Chow will discuss why it’s crucial for children to eat nutritionally balanced meals for proper growth and development and the importance of educating children at a young age about variety to help create lifelong healthy eating habits

R&D & Formulation

Challenges and Opportunities in Plant-Based and Alternative Proteins

Kyle Gaan, Research Analyst, The Good Food Institute

Overview of the key growth accelerators for the alternative protein industry and GFI's exploration of the major challenges at each stage of the alt protein supply chain, the key risks for alternative proteins, along with research and commercial opportunity suggestions that could radically accelerate industry growth.

GFI interviewed over 200 experts from every stage of the alternative protein value chain, identifying the most pressing risks and challenges facing the industry as well as high-impact solutions to address those risks and challenges, at each step in value chain and across all of the relevant technology sectors to plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-derived meat+egg+dairy products. While we are currently only making some of the content public via a beta launch on our existing website, we will be doing a much more expansive resource releases in February when our new website is launched.

12:25 PM - 12:55 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

An Innovation Dilemma: Case For Change OR Burning Platform

Chris Hellmann, Former VP and GM, Coca-Cola Freestyle and Dispensed Innovation, The Coca-Cola Company (Formerly)

In assuming leadership of the Coca-Cola's Freestyle Division, Chris Hellmann learned a difficult and meaningful lesson: Disruptive Innovation has a Short Shelf Life.

In today’s environment of lightning-fast business cycles, keeping up with change and innovation is not optional nor should it be an annual planning event.  As leaders we must constantly drive an innovation agenda…but how do you know if it’s time for practical evolution or true disruptive innovation?  Do you have a clear assessment and innovation plan for your company, product or brand?  Are you building a Case for Change or standing on a Burning Platform?  Chris will share lessons learned and a way to help you assess your innovation requirements and a blueprint for how to approach practical evolution vs. true disruptive innovation.

R&D & Formulation

SavorEat – More than just a Meat Alternative!

Racheli Vizman, Co-founder and CEO, B.Sc.,MBA, SavorEat Ltd.

  • Major trends and the fit of SavorEat solution
  • The market potential for plant- based meat alternatives
  • SavorEat game changing platform

12:55 PM - 1:55 PM

Networking Lunch & Solution Roundtables

Lunchtime Roundtable 1: Innovation & Technology

 
Lunchtime Roundtable 2: R&D & Formulation

 
Lunchtime Roundtable 3: Consumer Insights & Marketing

1:55 PM - 2:25 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

How Eclipse Foods is Building the Beyond Meat of Dairy

Aylon Steinhart, CEO, Eclipse Foods

The press has called Eclipse Foods the "Beyond Meat of Dairy", but what does that actually mean? Eclipse Foods co-founder and CEO Aylon Steinhart will present what makes Eclipse so different from other plant-based dairy companies, how he (an advocate and long-time vegan) and his cofounder (an world-renowned chef) aim to transform the food system, and how the dairy industry can actually benefit from the plant-based movement.

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Session Title TBC (Euromonitor)

Matthew Godinsky, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International

  • Full session abstract TBC

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Hormel Foods)

Dan Howell, Director of R&D Columbus Craft Meats, Hormel Foods

  • Unlocking new ways to deliver transformative innovation in the FMCG world
  • Establishing external partnerships to accelerate learning
  • How to identify and harness the behaviors to deliver change
  • Staying agile and flexible on the path to new Ideas

R&D & Formulation

Pawing Through the Pandemic - Pet Food's Solutions in a Covid World

Leah Lambrakis, VP, Research & Development, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs, Simmons Pet Food

As with most industries, the pandemic resulted in turmoil across the pet food industry.  From team member safety, manufacturing disruptions, shortages in ingredient and packaging supply, and a surge in product demand, pet food industry leaders had to step up their game and push for agile and creative solutions. Leah will cover the following topics in her overview about the pet food industry's efforts to adapt during these unprecedented times:

• The Pet Food Market & Spending Behaviors
• Behind the Supply Chain Disruption
• Pivoting for our Company & our Customers
• Opening our Toolbox - Innovative Alternatives in the Funnel
• The Re-Awakening of the Pet Food Bowl

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

1-2-1 Meetings & Speaker Roundtables

Roundtable 1: Innovation & Technology

 
Roundtable 2: R&D & Formulation

 
Roundtable 3: Consumer Insights & Marketing

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Consumers: The Key Ingredient for Success

Adam Grogan, Chief Operating Officer, Lightlife

  • Listening to your consumers is the key ingredient for success. They should drive your strategy, your innovations and your product development
  • Among plant-based meat eaters, 92% think it’s important to recognize all the ingredients in a plant-based burger patty. To further this point, 67% of people who eat plant-based protein prefer fewer ingredients in their patties
  • Lightlife heard from consumers that they want to know what’s in their food, a desire that is currently unmet by brands and products in the category. To meet that growing consumer demand, the brand committed to clean up their ingredient decks and offer products made from simple, recognizable ingredients
  • Drawing from these consumer insights, Lightlife has reformulated their product line. To further the progress of the plant-based protein industry, Lightlife also took a bold step and made a clean break from others in the category who attempt to mimic meat at any cost with unrecognizable additives and synthetically produced ingredients. This commitment, Clean Break, invited competitors to join the brand in the journey to deliver plant-based products without hyper-processed ingredients, additives, fillers, synthetically produced compounds, and GMOs
  • Listening to consumer demands has a direct impact on sales and business growth. Lightlife brand sales jumped 57.4% in the 12 weeks YoY as the brand continued to meet rising consumer demand
  • Reformulating products can re-energize a legacy brand, allowing it to innovate to meet changing consumer demands and appeal to the trends of today

Innovation & Technology

Innovation in Ingredients and Manufacturing Technologies for the COVID and Post-COVID Marketplace

Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., CFS, Senior Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University

  • Full session abstract TBC

4:05 PM - 4:50 PM - Panel Discussion

Innovation & Technology

Learning from the Entrepreneurial and Start-Up Culture: Innovate Faster or Stand to be Disrupted

Dan Howell, Director of R&D Columbus Craft Meats, Hormel Foods

Rajneesh Hora, VP of Research & Development, Chobani

  • What have the past few years shown us in terms of new product launches and the unparalleled success of new, innovative food companies with smaller R&D and Innovation teams and capabilities?
  • What are the key factors to accelerating your NPD without falling into the pitfall of the dreaded 80% fail rate of first-time product launches across the food industry?

4:55 PM - 5:55 PM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings