Program 2023

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:30 AM - 8:40 AM

8:40 AM - 9:25 AM - Panel Discussion

Innovation & Technology

Food Based on Animal Ingredients is a Big Market Segment, but Can we Demonstrate the Sustainability Behind Animal Protein

Fabien Robert, NQAC Head, Nestlé

Adam Brock, Vice President of Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D, CHE, CRC Professor in the Department of Food and Hospitality Management, Drexel University

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

Miri Eliyahu, Senior Research Analyst for Food and Beverages, Euromonitor International

  • Vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits. You may choose a plant-based diet for various reasons but are these the most sustainable options?
  • Food sustainability can be achieved through responsible meat consumption. If so, what are the opportunities for our market?

9:25 AM - 9:55 AM - Keynote

Innovation & Technology

Embracing Collaborative Innovation – The Impact of Start-Ups on the Food Industry

Olaf Gruess, Director of Partner Development, Cargill

Abstract TBC

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Lessons Learned in Scaling Innovation in a Big Market

Ana Plasencia, Innovation Explorer Associate Director, Mars Wrigley

Skate ramp versus sand dune and the importance of thinking of retailer strategy early in the innovation process.

R&D & Formulation

Sustainable Protein Production for Food Applications From a Microbe, Fusarium Strain Flavolapis, Isolated From Yellowstone National Park.

In 2009, as part of a NASA and NSF-supported project on extremophiles, a Fusarium strain, now called Fusarium strain flavolapis was isolated from an acid sulfate chloride spring in Yellowstone National Park.  Under appropriate cultivation conditions, a filamentous mat of mycelial biomass (biomat) can be grown with a texture profile similar to muscle fibres.  

Our research led to the development of an air-liquid interface fermentation technology that allows for the fast production of protein. The final product is Non-dairy cream cheese and meatless breakfast patties made with Fy under Nature’s Fynd label.

10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

1-2-1 Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:20 AM - 11:50 AM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Solution Spotlight by Selerant

Innovation & Technology

Sustainability and Brand Strategy; Is Sustainability Part of Your Brand's Growth Strategy but You Are not Sure Where to Start?

Rachel Calomeni, Senior Vice President, Growth & Innovation, HowGood

Nearly half of all food brands have set emission reduction goals, but many face challenges measuring their current impact. You can't improve what you can't measure. In this interactive session, we will discuss a variety of impact metrics, including Carbon, Water, Labor Risk and Biodiversity. Ingredients, crop location and growing standards and their essential role in determining Impact.

11:55 AM - 12:25 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Farmer's Fridge)

Arne Saupe, Vice President of Technology , Farmer's Fridge

Abstract TBC

Innovation & Technology

12:25 PM - 1:25 AM

Networking Lunch

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

R&D & Formulation

Dairy Bioactives and The Opportunity to Advance Food Innovation for Human Health

Michelle Slimko, Senior Vice President of Nutrition & Environmental Research , Dairy Management Inc.

Consumer perspectives on modern health and wellness continue to evolve at a rapid pace, driving scientific discovery and innovation behind many of the ingredients and products on today’s shelves.  Advances in nutrition research and product development have unlocked many of the nutritional benefits of dairy, but what’s next for leveraging dairy’s health and wellness benefits and future innovations with dairy?  

In this session, Michelle Slimko, DrPH, MPH, RDN, SVP, Nutrition and Environmental Research at Dairy Management, Inc, will explore the potential for dairy bioactives as health and wellness ingredients for science-based, consumer-centric product development and innovation. Dr. Slimko will review the latest science on the bioactive properties of dairy protein and peptides, discuss benefits for human health, and explore future opportunities to advance food innovation with dairy bioactives.

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (BrightPet Nutrition Group)

Ding Wang, Director of Research and Development, BrightPet

Abstract TBC

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

Innovation & Technology

Solution Spotlight By Tracegains

R&D & Formulation

Climate Proof Agriculture

Simon Carr, VP Head of Practice, Evalueserve UK Ltd

With the world facing increasing temperatures, prolonged mega-droughts and decreasing viable agricultural land technologies that provide a level of climate proofing either standalone or in combination with other solutions, will become increasingly important. This presentation will take delegates through technologies that show the most promise now and technologies that may be implemented in the near future.

2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

Meetings & Networking Refreshments

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

Innovation & Technology

We Are Eating the Planet to Death - Here is How We Can Solve It

Rich Dillon, CEO, Ivy Farm

We are eating our planet to death. Globally, animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to climate change, bigger than all of the transport put together. And as the world’s climate changes and extreme weather becomes more common, it’s clear we need to change the way we consume and produce meat.

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Innovating for the Future of Food

Andria Long, Chairman of the Board, Chicagoland Food & Beverage

Driving innovation in today’s fast-paced world requires more than just knowing the trends.

Our industry is facing massive changes, from digital transformation, to supply chain disruption, to changing consumer preferences, all of which will shape the landscape for the future of food.

The pace of change is accelerating and learning quickly to evolve for the future is essential.  Understanding the shifts in consumer behaviour and the drivers of change propelling disruption are critical to success.

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Solution Spotlights

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Infor)

Session Abstract (TBC)

R&D & Formulation

Solution Spotlight Integrated Digital Product Innovation Can Help Quickly and Efficiently but How?

  • Introducing new and compelling products to the market faster than your competitors.
  • What’s the right path to achieve that competitive advantage your company deserve?

4:35 PM - 5:25 PM - Keynote

R&D & Formulation

How Can we Satisfy the Increasing Demand for Food by the Growing Human Population?

A plant-based diet and flexitarians options are some of the possible solutions, but what is the best alternative for consumers?

5:25 PM - 5:30 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Day 1

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Evening Drinks Reception

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:45 AM - 8:50 AM

8:50 AM - 9:25 AM - Keynote

Innovation & Technology

A Few Grocers Have Had the Financial Capacity to Invest in Highly Efficient Services and Make Home Deliveries Profitable

  • The US grocery industry showed consistent growth in home delivery services.
  • We will examine the competition among the most influential industry brands to understand how these companies compete and innovate to obtain a larger customer base, cut costs, and ensure subscriptions.

9:25 AM - 10:00 AM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

The Fuzzy Front-End of Innovation

Carolina Alfero, Disruptive Innovation Manager, The Kraft Heinz Company

The new product development and innovation process is not a straight line. Cross-functional teams are in a constant process of diverging and converging, and always seeking to uncover the right insight that represents that key universal consumer truth.

This talk will explore new methodologies and ways to connect with consumers and address the main challenges on the road to disruption.

Innovation & Technology

Title TBC (Grocery Shopii)

Katie H. Hotze, Founder and CEO, Grocery Shopii

Abstract TBC.

10:05 AM - 10:40 AM - Solution Spotlights

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Solution Spotlight Balancing Consumers Research Rigor Versus Speed to Market

  • Producers need to be creative and provide some point of difference when launching their products.
  • Why do people make decisions based on price rather than quality?

Innovation & Technology

Solution Spotlight Researching and Innovating New Ways to Feed the World

  • How can we satisfy the increasing demand for food by the growing human population?
  • A plant-based diet and flexitarians options are some of the possible solutions but what is the best alternative for consumers

10:40 AM - 10:40 AM

Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:40 AM - 12:15 PM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Innovation and Hyper-Personalization

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

The Foodservice Industry has gone through a tremendous evolution over the past several years and with the transformative tailwinds from the pandemic, we are moving into an era of hyper-personalization. Advances in technology, data, and analytics will soon allow brands to create much more personal and “human” experiences across moments, channels, and buying stages. This session will cover how successful personalization is powered by the simple foundation of VALUE and will be enabled by technology to deliver tailor-made experiences in real time.

R&D & Formulation

Starting With the End in Mind: Tiiga’s Approach to Product Development

Jeff Tezak, CEO, Tiiga

Working backwards from the nutritional facts panel and ingredient labels to create innovative products centred around novel or new ingredients. As a startup, we’re forced to think differently about going to market with new and novel ingredients. By focusing on the benefits that consumers are looking for as well as the increased interest in nutritional facts panels and ingredient labels, we create products that are on trend, different and customer-centric while introducing a new ingredient to the market

12:20 PM - 12:55 PM - Case Studies

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Sustainability is Marketability – Don’t Waste It

Nicky Quinn, Vice President Marketing , Aleph Farms

Certain brands utilize the lexicon and visual language of sustainability in their marketing to garner affection from consumers without subsistence behind it.

Also known as greenwashing, this unfortunate trend has resulted in rightful consumer scepticism and eroded trust. How can brands avoid this pitfall and find other ways to succeed in the marketplace by valuing genuineness over the desire to be accepted by consumers while achieving greater sustainability?
We will cover three key strategies to avoid greenwashing and instead make it clear to your customers that you’re committed to the environment.

Innovation & Technology

Session Title TBC (Mid-Day Squares)

Abstract TBC.

12:55 PM - 1:55 PM

Networking Lunch

1:55 PM - 2:30 AM - Case Studies

R&D & Formulation

A BRIGHTULL Product: From the Lab to the Shelf

Santiago Pardo Ferrer, International Business Hunter, Team Food Colombia

The purpose and duty of a company that unexpectedly identified pain in the community's daily habits led to a fascinating journey of innovation and a higher impact on health and quality of life.

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Session Title TBC (Illinois Woman In Cannabis)

Abstract TBC.

2:35 PM - 3:10 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Food Suppliers Have to Work Efficiently Without Forgetting How Consumers Want Better Quality

  • Companies have to focus on developing innovative products to meet the changing requirements of consumers.
  • The current demand for healthy and sustainable foods has encouraged the development of new alternatives even in traditional products.

R&D & Formulation

Drinks: What Are the Innovations Behind Fermented Beverages?

  • A look into the high nutritional value, pleasant taste and potential health benefits
  • Analysis of fermentation techniques and the choice of ingredients.

3:15 PM - 3:50 PM - Case Studies

Innovation & Technology

Robotics and Automated Intelligence, Understanding Their Way Into the Food Supply Chain


  • How does automating the food or beverage-making process help companies save money and human resources costs?
  • Robotics can help to enrich menus, make fewer mistakes and reduce food waste but at what price?

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Global Food Trends in Post Inflation Times

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

After a dramatic change in food prices, consumers finally adapt to an emerging reality where expensiveness centralizes sentiments and behaviours. This session describes the main patterns the food industry will follow to drive and thrive change towards an upcoming chapter where reaching margins will challenge producers while consumers evolve how they eat.

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Keynote

Consumer Insights & Marketing

Title TBC (Dole Sunshine For All)

Abstract TBC.

4:30 PM - 4:40 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Conference