Program 2022

March 28-29; Chicago, IL

7:45 AM - 8:35 AM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM - Panel Discussion

What are the Post-COVID Learnings for the Food Industry?

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

Rajneesh Hora, VP of Research & Development, Chobani

  • The food industry has faced an unprecedented last 18 months (and ongoing), but what are the key learnings to be taken away from such a tumultuous time?
  • In terms of company culture, how has food safety and food innovation been impacted?
  • What are the new processes that you and your organisation have put in place and which of those will remain?
  • With the majority of product launches either delayed or cancelled, what kind of effect will this have on new product development and production in 2022?

9:35 AM - 10:05 AM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

Session Title TBC (Glanbia Performance Nutrition)

Andrew Lynch, Vice President, Research & Development, Glanbia Performance Nutrition

  • Full session abstract TBC

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Next Gen Foods)

Andre Menezes, Co-Founder & CEO, Next Gen Foods

  • Full session abstract TBC

10:10 AM - 10:40 AM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Selerant)

  • Full session abstract TBC

R&D & Formulation

Creating a Clean Label: Meeting the Demands of your Consumers through Sustainable Ingredients, Flavors, Fragrances and Colorings

  • The growing and unrelenting demand for plant-based, natural options has led to a growing appeal for clean labels from consumers
  • How can you most effectively alter the artificial ingredients involved in your formulation to meet this consumer need?

10:40 AM - 11:30 AM

Networking Break & 1-2-1 Meetings

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (PeaTos)

Nick Desai, Chairman and CEO, PeaTos

  • Full session abstract TBC

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

12:05 PM - 12:35 PM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (TraceGains)

  • 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

12:40 PM - 1:10 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

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

Monica Massey, Chief Innovation Officer, Dairy Farmers of America

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

12:40 PM - 1:10 PM - Panel Discussion

R&D & Formulation

Panel Discussion - R&D

1:10 PM - 2:00 PM

Networking Lunch

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM - Panel Discussion

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Panel Discussion - Consumer Insights

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

Innovation & Technology

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

2:35 PM - 3:05 PM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Employing Leading Technologies and Approaches to Better Understand Shifting Consumer Demands

  • In what ways can breakthrough industry research methods be employed in order to create a greater understanding of everything from science to sensory benefits to packaging design?
  • How can you remain better in tune with consumer and industry trends through the advancement and introduction of new technological practices?

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

3:10 PM - 3:40 PM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

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

Innovation & Technology

Why Cost-Effective Innovation does Not have to be Restrictive

  • Operating within a budget while trying to achieve a USP during new product development during uncertain times in a recession
  • Why the commercialization strategy must be established in the initial stages to ensure an aligned and targeted approach between Procurement, R&D, Innovation and Marketing

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

How could Scientifically Enhancing the Shelf-Life of your Product Save you Time, Cost and Strengthen your Brand Positioning?

  • In a COVID/post-COVID world, it is more important than ever to save costs, time and resources in such a challenging environment
  • How can scientifically enhancing the properties of your product allow you to increase your product’s shelf-life capacity?
  • How has this been achieved naturally without artificial preservatives?

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Successfully Communicating Healthy Branding across your Organization and Products

  • What must you consider when developing a consistent visual brand of health and wellness among your products?
  • How can you strike a balance with being non-GMO but still meeting the standard, quality and health claims which are integral to your product?
  • Adding product value: innovative methods to promote nutrition, health and wellness

5:05 PM - 5:50 PM - Panel Discussion

Innovation & Technology

A New Approach to Delivering Transformative Innovation

  • 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

5:50 PM - 5:55 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Day 1

5:55 PM - 6:55 PM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings

8:00 AM - 8:40 AM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM - Panel Discussion

Improving the Working Relationship between Food Safety & Quality and Innovation Teams to Create Better Product Cycles

  • What are the challenges for food innovators from a safety & quality perspective and vice-versa?
  • How can communication and cooperation between departments be improved?
  • Has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything about working across departments, countries, offices/factory etc.?
  • Learn how companies are breaking down these silos to optimise and accelerate their product cycles

9:35 AM - 10:05 AM - 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

What is the Future for Consumer Feedback through Social Media?

  • Has social media become the new focus group?
  • Elicited versus non-elicited research - defining the real preferences, demands and concerns of the contemporary consumer
  • Using new online mediums for research rather than structured surveys
  • What can be learnt from other industries who have already explored these platforms?

10:10 AM - 10:40 AM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Refining the Innovation Process - Decreasing Time to Market using PLM software

  • Proven strategies to streamline the innovation process and cut down time and expense
  • R&D, Innovation and Marketing: determining the process and setting goals
  • Internal conflict management: solving the issues in front of you and those that may arise during the ideation and implementation process

R&D & Formulation

Fortifying your Products with Plant Proteins

  • Going beyond nutrition: utilizing protein to optimize product quality and shelf life
  • Comparing protein benefit, functionality, and price
  • Progressing through the protein lifecycle: Identifying when the timing is right

10:40 AM - 11:30 AM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Some Things Don’t Change: Using a Philosophical Approach to Navigate Uncertain Times

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

  • The mental tools and techniques that have stood up to the onslaught that was 2020

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Optimizing Appeal on the Label while Meeting the Shifting Demands of the Regulatory Landscape

  • How to achieve simple labelling for your consumer base while meeting the changing regulatory demands
  • Key case study examples of effective labelling in the food and beverage industry

12:05 PM - 12:35 PM - Case Studies

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.

Consumer Insights & Marketing

The Role of Indulgence in an Increasingly Healthy World

  • Despite the growth of health & wellness, consumers are still buying indulgent foods. Here we will discuss the current landscape and psychological drivers as to why indulgence is here to stay

12:40 PM - 1:10 PM - Panel Discussion

Consumer Insights & Marketing

How should you Deal with the Consumer Fragmentation into Niches?

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

12:40 PM - 1:10 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Barilla Group)

  • Full session abstract TBC

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

Innovation & Technology

The Art of Innovation

Jeff Manning, “Godfather”, GOT MILK?

  • “Innovation” has become an overused, often abused concept.
  • With the same fate as “Streamline”, “Breakthrough” and “Bandwidth”, it has lost much of its potency.
  • Closely associated with R&D, innovation is most often treated as a science, with quantitative objectives, established protocols and evaluative norms.
  • Approaching innovation as “Art” has the potential to deliver impactful, surprising outcomes.
  • But it requires the expertise of a variety of people with vastly unique backgrounds and passions.
  • How can sculptors, musicians and choreographers redefine and empower innovation?

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM - Panel Discussion

R&D & Formulation

Panel Discussion: R&D

2:35 PM - 3:05 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

How can you Keep it Natural Without Compromising your Product Identity?

  • What are some of the latest solutions for achieving a cleaner label
  • Initial stages of development are crucial to effectively avoiding the use of artificial flavors, colorings etc. or additives and supplements
  • How replacing legacy formulations for established or new products can open the window to a new set of consumers

3:10 PM - 3:55 PM - Panel Discussion

Innovation & Technology

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

  • What have the past few years shown us in terms of new product launches and the great success of many 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?
  • How do you discover and define potential new innovative products?
  • How can R&D, Innovation, Marketing and all other teams work more cohesively during the NPD process?

3:55 PM - 4:05 PM

4:05 PM - 5:05 PM

Networking & 1-2-1 Meetings