Abbas is a regionally acclaimed Marketer with experience in Pakistan and across MENA markets. He is known for his passion for growing brands and businesses while leading capability development for his team as well as entire industry.
He is one of the most awarded marketers at Coca-Cola Company having won 3 Global Innovation Awards from the Board of Directors over last two years.
Currently he leads marketing for Pakistan which is among top 20 markets for Coca-Cola globally. He is leading development of core brands about unique purpose, establishing new ways of experiential and digital marketing and inspiring the organization for exponential 10X thinking.
Under Abbas's leadership, Coca-Cola became Marketer of the Year at the Effies in 2018, and had won 10+ awards previously in Campaign Asia, Dragons Asia and PAS.
Abbas led campaigns such as Coke Studio which is the largest digital asset of the Coca-Cola Company globally with 7B+ minutes of watch time. He also designed Coke Fest, which is the largest experiential marketing platform in Asia. He has been leading innovation agenda with brand launches of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Dasani water, Roar and Cappy over last 3 years.
Abbas is committed to developing capability of his team and the community he lives in. He is marketing capability lead for Coca-Cola Middle East North Africa, with responsibility for 50+ marketers across 24 countries. He is also General Secretary for Pakistan Advertising Council which leads Media Monitoring standards, advertising trainings and government relations on behalf of entire industry. He is also on the board of LUMS (his Alma Mater) Alumni, which provides industry perspective on recruitment of new MBA students as well as providing industry knowledge to graduating MBA classes.
Chief Operating Officer
Adam Grogan is Chief Operating Officer at Greenleaf Foods, SPC. In this role, Grogan oversees business operations and commercial strategy for Greenleaf’s leading plant-based brands, Field Roast and Lightlife. He is also responsible for long-term capital plans, business goals, and cost management of manufacturing and supply chain processes.
Grogan began his career in the food industry with Maple Leaf Foods, of which Greenleaf is a subsidiary, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Marketing, Innovation, Research and Development. Prior to that, he was Vice President and General Manager of Customer Business Teams, where he helped shape one of the largest transformation agendas in Canadian food history.
Grogan graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration in 1998 and with an MBA from York’s Schulich School of Business in 2003. In 2013, he won the Generation Next Award which recognizes a leader under the age of 40 for Outstanding Innovation and Contribution to Canadian Grocery Industry.
Aylon is an expert in the alternative protein industry and has spoken regularly on food innovation at conferences and schools such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, Berkeley, and Stanford. In his work at the Good Food Institute, Aylon incubated dozens of startups and advised investors and strategic partners on the protein alternative space. Aylon has co-founded two startups and has worked with companies such as Kraft Heinz, Nestle, and Kellogg’s.
Global Vice President and General Manager, Freestyle Division
The Coca-Cola Company
Chris Hellmann is the Global Vice President and General Manager, Freestyle Division at The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, he is responsible for leading North America’s Equipment Innovation Center and technical R/D team encompassing strategy, customer and commercial leadership, innovation, equipment & software engineering, supply chain development and e-business to advance the global growth of this vital Company platform. There are currently +50,000 Freestyle dispensers globally and the Equipment Innovaton center operates as a vital innovation hub for The Coca-Cola Company. Chris is responsible for the Freestyle P/L which represents a $1b business for the Coca-Cola Company.
Prior to this role, he was the Global VP leading the SUBWAY Restaurant business overseeing all of the Coca-Cola business and contractual agreements for approximately 45,000 customer outlets in 100 countries. He was responsible for leading sales, marketing, finance and operations as well as managing the Company P/L for this customer business.
Previous to the above role, Chris was Vice President, Global Commercial Execution. In this position, he was focused against the Europe and Eurasia Coca-Cola Business units and was responsible for building Customer Leadership Capabilities for both Bottler and Company associates. He built and deployed The Coca-Cola Modern Trade Customer Management System across the global system.
Chris was previously Marketing Director for Coca-Cola North America, responsible for planning and executing marketing plans for large-scale Coca-Cola Foodservice customers in the Northeast Region. Chris also served as a Segment Marketing Manager, where he was responsible for identifying and developing new opportunities for growth among U.S. customers in the casual dining trade channel. Chris joined Coca-Cola North America as a Marketing Manager and later as Assistant Brand Manager for brands including Minute Maid, PowerAde and Hi-C.
Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Chris held several positions in advertising and marketing, most notably BBDO South, where he was responsible for developing and executing marketing and advertising campaigns.
Chris received a B.S. in Journalism from Ohio University, and a Masters in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University – Carey School of Business.
Director of Product Development
La Terra Fina USA
Dan has been working in the food industry for over 25 years, starting in the trenches at Starbucks where he developed his deep love of good coffee and strong desire to work regular hours. He then managed to annoy his way into an internship at Mattson, the nation’s premier food product development firm, where they kept him and let him make things for over 11 years. While at Mattson he was featured in the 2005 Malcom Gladwell New Yorker article “The Bakeoff”. He was lured away from Mattson by Windsor Foods in Hayward to lead part of the product development team for frozen Asian meals and appetizers. Since he always has felt that he should be in charge, he jumped at the chance to prove it at La Terra Fina, a fast growing, premium brand currently placed in the deli category with dips and quiche leading their portfolio. This is where he and his small team do product innovation and renovation. During his tenure at La Terra Fina sales have tripled and they have successfully launched over 20 new products that account for a significant percentage of that growth.
Sr. Director Culinary R&D
FOCUS Brands/Carvel & Seattle's Best Coffee International
Peace Of Meat
Head of Food Defence
Bart Ingredients supply a wide range of ingredients including herbs and spices from origins around the world. These products are widely considered to be at risk from adulteration and contamination. Bart Ingredient’s Food Defence Team focusses on the Integrity of Ingredients throughout the global supply chains. Gideon has worked in the UK and overseas in primary food production and technical management for 15 years, with experience of the challenges of emerging ingredients and new technologies.
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Glenn Mathijssen is the co-CEO & Co-Founder of Alberts, leading a Belgium-based team focusing on food robotics and AI. The result is Vending 2.0 solutions for personalized smoothies & soups as well as personalized nudging solutions for food service providers looking for options to offer healthier snacks and meals. Alberts joined EIT Food as a Rising Food Star. Glenn holds a double degree Ph.D. in Electro-Mechincal Engineering with specialty in Robotics from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and the University of Pisa (Italy). In 2019, Glenn was chosen as Belgium's FITCE Young ICT Personality.
Chief R&D and Food Technology Officer
Jitendra Sagili is the Chief Research and Development and Food Technology Officer for Greenleaf Foods. In his role, he is responsible for culinary development and process and packaging technology functions for the company’s leading plant-based brands, Field Roast and Lightlife. He also supports commercial and manufacturing growth.
Sagili previously worked as Vice President, Research, Development and Technology for Maple Leaf Foods, the owner of Greenleaf Foods, where he worked primarily with animal protein products. A food industry veteran, he has held leadership positions at OSI Industries, Armour Eckrich Meats and ConAgra Foods.
Sagili has a Master’s in Animal Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Sciences from Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, India.
Chief Product Officer
Dawn Foods Global
With more than 25 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Johan has dedicated his career to providing the industry with innovative new ideas and offerings to help companies of all sizes grow their business. As Chief Product Officer, Johan is responsible for Dawn’s R&D and Category marketing globally, prioritizing innovation efforts within Dawn to provide customers with the best bakery products in the business. Since joining the team in 2012 as vice president of R&D in Europe, Johan has led the research and development of multiple Dawn product launches, specifically the Dawn Balance Line, which contains clean label, vegan and better-for-you products. In addition to his focus on product development, he also drives global technology projects to keep Dawn at the front of introducing new industry capabilities both for bakers and within the walls of the company.
Prior to joining Dawn, Johan was the Innovation Director at Sara Lee and also previously held various R&D roles across food product categories at Unilever in the Netherlands and the UK. He holds a masters and a PhD in Molecular Science from the Agriculture University of Wageningen, and an MBA from Rotterdam Erasmus University.
Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D., CHE
Professor and Director, Drexel Food Core Lab
Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., CFS
Johns Hopkins University
VP, Research & Development, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs
Simmons Pet Food
Leah Lambrakis is the Vice President of Research & Development, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs at Simmons Pet Food. In this role she leads a team of 25 scientists across Simmons’ wet and dry pet food, and pet treats divisions. Leah has a life-long passion for nutrition, health and wellness, innovation and consumer insights for pets and pet parents.
Leah is a University of Guelph (ON, Canada) Alumna, with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Animal Science and Animal Nutrition. As a Nutrition Research Assistant for the Toronto Zoo during her graduate program, she performed research on the nutritional evaluation of diets for exotic animal species and participated in diet management for species in reintroduction programs.
In 1999, Leah moved into the field of Companion Animal Nutrition with Menu Foods Limited, which was later acquired by Simmons Pet Food. During her career, Leah has developed deep knowledge and expertise in pet food nutrition, formulation and food science, palatability and feeding behavior, as well as product safety and manufacturing processes. As a result, her work spans major categories such as pet specialty, private brands, organic and veterinary formulas. In her career, Leah personally created, commissioned and launched over 1,000 pet food products into the market, today continuing this work by driving forward new innovation with her team.
Luis Carlos Chacón
Op-Ed Columnist | Global Consultant
Forbes Latin America | BusinessCase
Luis Carlos Chacón leads the BusinessCase team, global boutique consultancy that works with multinational FMCGs identifying emerging and future business opportunities. Also, has been a columnist for Forbes Latin America for several years (being nowadays top-rated) and currently finishing a postgraduate degree in Global Business at the University of Oxford (where previously graduated in Strategy and Innovation), his educational background includes studies in Design Thinking at Stanford, and Futures at The University of Manchester, and Houston. In business, he has worked for more than nineteen years for the operations of Fortune 500 Companies such as Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, LVMH, Diageo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Dannon, AbInbev, among many others. Behavioral economics enthusiast (understanding the cross between needs and contexts) and believer in connecting the distant (linking the disconnected but inseparable) under the influence of socio-cultural changes in industries and consumption.
Magdalena Bartosik, PhD
Director of R&I
Happy Family Organics
Global Marketing Director
After the graduation in Economics at Università Bocconi and a Master of Science in International Public Policy at UCL (University College London), Matteo joined The Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm, supporting companies' business development in EMEA.
He joined Barilla in 2008 and moved from Marketing to Innovation in 2012 to develop and launch CucinaBarilla, which he led as the CucinaBarilla Managing Director.
In 2018 he was appointed Global Marketing Director at Barilla, leading of the most dynamic and vibrating product categories of the company with a global footprint.
He is passionate about Food, business modelling, trends and innovation.
He will be chairing the Food Innovate Summit for the second time and attending it for the third time.
Global Food Analyst
Melanie joined Mintel in 2017 as a global food analyst. She provides insights on global innovation and consumer trends across a number of food categories, including produce, pasta and grains. At Mintel, Melanie co-created the annual US Flavor and Ingredient Trends, which spotlight the cuisine types and ingredients that are growing on restaurant menus and on grocery shelves.
Melanie is passionate about sharing her knowledge of the industry. She has presented at conferences and trade shows around the globe and appeared in such publications as the Chicago Tribune, NPR and The BBC. She is also a regular contributor to Mintel’s blog and Little Conversation podcast.
Prior to joining Mintel, Melanie reported on industry news and trends for the Institute of Food Technologists, where she created a new monthly column devoted to product development innovation.
Melanie holds a BS in journalism from Northwestern University. In her spare time, she loves to share what she’s eating at home in Chicago or while traveling the globe on her Instagram, @melanietastestheworld.
Vice President of Sales, North America
Michael Frankel is Vice President of Sales, North America for Selerant Corporation, a leading global provider of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions for process manufacturers in the food and beverage, personal care and specialty chemical industries. Michael has been with Selerant since 2011 and has over 15 years of highly successful PLM sales experience working with leading global companies to both justify and automate their product development processes. The topic of his presentation on “Analytics Utilization in PLM for Decision Support and Project Visibility" a is critical component of consideration in the extended value of PLM for food manufacturers.