Betsy McGinn, CEO, McGinn eComm
Ecommerce certainly is not a future concept. It’s already here, growing—and dramatically changing the landscape for everything from food and beverage R&D to consumers’ purchase decisions. Each day brings more new foods and drinks exclusively developed for online sales—ranging from Amazon’s Wickedly Prime teas, snacks, soups and spreads; to PepsiCo’s “Drinkfinity” flavor pods.
What do leading CPG innovation leaders and small industry disruptors need to know? Listen in as Betsy McGinn, CEO, McGinn eComm, shares perspectives about what’s new, what’s working—and what’s next in the realm of E-Commerce
With an aggregate 12 years of experience with Amazon.com and other strategic eCommerce partners, McGinn guides companies through this new and complex channel, aligning their multi-functional marketing, finance, operations, sales and other strategic teams around this unique opportunity. Since its inception, McGinn eComm has launched, optimized and recalibrated more than 50 brands on Amazon.com, helping them increase their growth, revenue, and overall success.
This is a “must-hear” session for food and beverage company vice presidents of Innovation, Sales & Distribution , R&D, Packaging, Marketing and Operations!
Jim Splinter, Group Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Hormel Foods
During the course of the past three decades, Minnesota’s Hormel Foods has transformed itself from a meat company to a $9.2 billion giant with diversified interests across nearly all product categories and channels. Although it’s still a meat industry leader, Hormel has combined consumer insights, acquisitions and organic innovation and branched into on-trending categories such as better-for-you organic spreads and dips (Justin’s nut butters, Wholly Guacamole) and even sports nutrition (Muscle Milk). Likewise, it continues to walk the cutting edge in meats, ranging from artisanal products from Columbus Foods to Applegate Farms, a leading natural and organic company. Come hear Hormel’s Jim Splinter, Group Vice President of Corporate Strategy, talk about next year’s dynamic food environment and his responsibilities for innovation, consumer insights and corporate development and strategy!
Darren Seifer, Executive Director and Industry Analyst-Food Consumption, The NPD Group
U.S. consumers ate nearly 100 billion dinner meals last year with the vast majority of those meals being shared with others in the home. Although consumers still have dinner at home together, the American dinner meal today looks different compared to 20 years ago. Consumers now have access to almost anything through grocery delivery, meal prep kits, grocerants (supermarkets that offer restaurant quality foods), online ordering, and mobile apps. Convenience is just as important as it was 20 years ago but a new level of it has been enabled with technology and new kitchen tools. Darren Seifer, The NPD Group’s executive director and industry analyst-food consumption, talks about how the dinner solution “will evolve” during the next five years based on generational shifts, consumer needs, and new, emerging options.
Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO, MachineVantage
Artificial intelligence and machine learning help food and beverage manufacturers effectively “invert the pyramid” of traditional R&D and innovation. Come hear Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO for MachineVantage, Berkeley, Calif., discuss how manufacturers already are leveraging these technologies to mine consumer data across a wide base and then funnel the best insights into product development and marketing concepts.
Stephanie Lind, Senior Vice President- Global Sales, Impossible Foods
In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger is the world's only burger that handles, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows—but is made entirely from plants. The Impossible Burger debuted at Chef David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi in Manhattan in July 2016 and is now served in nearly 400 restaurants nationwide—including White Castle (where it hails as the “Impossible Slider.” As the company’s new Oakland, Calif., plant ramps up, Impossible Foods plans to expand distribution to thousands of restaurants in the United States and overseas. The company also is developing more new plant-based products. Come hear Stephanie Lind, Impossible Foods’ Senior Vice President of Global Sales, share consumer insights, discuss Impossible Foods’ 2018 growth and share an outlook for 2019!
Linda Gilbert, CEO, EcoFocus
Authentic brands establish trust with consumers by holding true to core values and doing what they say they are going to do. Today’s consumers want an authentic experience with foods or beverages offering fresh, high-quality, natural ingredients; “clean” processing; “clean” packaging; and product assurance (certifications).
How are consumers integrating lifestyle values with food and beverage decisions? How can brand owners innovate and establish true “authenticity” in 2019? Linda Gilbert shares the latest insights from the EcoFocus My World, My Life™ consumer point of view.
EcoFocus Worldwide engages consumers in large-scale global Trend Surveys and the resulting data help marketers make confident strategic branding decisions. Research focuses on what mainstream consumers look for in green, sustainability and wellness choices. Gilbert knows what brand developers need because she has more than 20 years of experience in strategy, insights, marketing, innovation for range of multi-nationals, including Pfizer, Nestle, Unilever, PepsiCo and Campbell Soup. Gilbert also was founder of HealthFocus International and has 10 years’ experience with the Rodale Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.
Join us in celebrating the industry-nominated, innovative product development teams that recently introduced a new product in six different categoires. Learn the story behind the winning products.
Celebrate and toast the 2018 Spirit of Innovation Award winners. Taste some of the winning products and enjoy drinks and network with winning R&D teams before you head out for dinner.
Dinner on your own.
Rizal Hamdallah, Head of Innovation Lab, Tyson Foods
This year Tyson Foods launched the Tyson Innovation Lab which is about exploring new approaches to accelerate the pace of innovation. The lab brings together a lean team of designers, chefs, scientists and supply chain experts in a dedicated space at the company’s Chicago office and gives them six months to go from an idea to an in-market solution. For the first product launch, they have explored opportunities to help fight food waste. Utilizing what goes unused in the food supply chain as ingredients, they have developed a line of snacks – ¡Yappah! brand Protein Crisps. More recently, Tyson Innovation Lab partnered with Toronto’s Flashfood Inc., to create an affordable home food delivery business serving the Detroit market with surplus produce and proteins. Come hear Rizal Hamdallah, head of the Innovation Lab at Tyson Foods talk about his group’s new mission and methods!
For the past six years, IRI and Boston Consulting Group have studied large, medium and small consumer packaged goods companies and evaluated them based on year-to-year dollar sales growth, volume sales growth and market share gains. Results show industry leaders in each segment share three common traits: they differentiate offerings, target consumers with greater precision and complement organic growth with inorganic growth. One small company consistently making the cut (six years out of seven!) is potato product specialist Idahoan Foods. Come hear Idahoan President & CEO Drew Facer share the company’s innovation and consumer insights journey with Larry Levin, IRI Executive Vice President of Consumer & Shopper Marketing.
It won’t be long before Gen Z, the next big generation, starts impacting new product development, food consumption and purchase patterns. Come hear what some of those consumers have to say—now! A group of nearly 20 teen consumers (13- and 14-yr olds) will take the New Products Conference stage to share four key perspectives about food and beverage choices.
Maeve Webster, founder of Menu Matters, will lead teens in a discussion about technology (platforms that teens use to learn about foods, make purchases and share opinions), preferences (preferred flavors, formats, categories, cuisines, packaging, etc), and eating places, locations and other influencers (preferred at-home and away-from-home options, etc.). Teen consumers also will discuss their ultimate decision drivers. Webster will engage them to talk about how they consider a manufacturer’s ethics, transparency, ingredient sourcing, geopolitical issues, uniqueness, etc.
Maeve Webster, President, Menu Matters
Maeve Webster will summarize key learnings and share some near-term projections from the GEN Z panel, the dynamic new consumer group.
Moderator: Lauren Mehler Pradhan, Managing Director, Grow North
Panelists: The Amazing ChickPea; Local Crate; Bizzy Coffee; Wholeme
The world of food entrepreneurship and innovation is exploding, and many of these ideas start and scale locally from entrepreneurs willing to challenge the industry. Hear from three leading Minnesota food entrepreneurs in a conversation led by Grow North, Minnesota's connection hub for the food and agriculture entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem.
You won’t grow your brand just by being “consistent.” The marketplace and consumers are ever-changing. Are you? The trade, especially retailers, thinks in static categories, but consumers don’t. We see categories continue to blur and shift, and smart companies responding with products that fit consumers’ shifting tastes and lifestyles. Mintel’s Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago look at some examples that have eschewed consistency with success—such as the growth of craft sodas and how small companies have reinvented better-for-you snacks. Mintel also identifies a few categories that may be ripe for the next shift (think the continued blurring of snacks and meals or the continued impact of plant-based foods).
Dinner on your own.
Join marketing and culinary experts of the brand marketing agency, SRG, for an off-the-grid culinary voyage into the thriving Minneapolis food scene.SRG’s proprietary STREETDive culinary immersion program is a real-time, feet-on-the-street think-tank that takes companies and their customers on off-the-grid culinary voyages designed to stimulate fresh R&D thinking, build team consensus and generate new trend-forward products.
Speakers: Michael Gunn, Culinary Director and Giselle Restrepo, Senior Manager, Strategic Insights & Trends, Schwan’s
We all know knowledge is power—especially in today’s competitive marketplace. But are you able to filter through the mountains of consumer research to apply learning that’s relevant to your businesses and your consumer? Those who can, effectively identify truly actionable insights and gain a competitive edge. Come hear Schwan Food Company executives Giselle Restrepo Senior Manager, Strategic Insights & Trends; and Michael Gunn, Culinary Director, Product Innovation & Development. Giselle and Michael will share insights about their process of harnessing internal expertise, understanding the consumer and focusing resources on activities relevant to an organization and the people it serves.
Speakers: Dr.Rachel Cheatham, Founder, Foodscape Group and Angelo De Blasio, Marketing Manager, Freedom Foods Group North America
There’s one—and only one “health” outcome on the nutrition horizon based on the latest metatrend analysis —and that’s gut health, according to Foodscape Group LLC. This Chicago-based nutrition marketing consultancy identifies “metatrends” and digestive health promises to be a key driver for both consumers as well as food and beverage marketers and product developers. Among those companies targeting gut health in 2019 and beyond is Australia’s Freedom Foods Group, which specializes in better for you items in cereals, snacks, plant-based beverages and specialty coffee milks. Come hear product development insights and strategy from Angelo De Blasio, who leads innovation and communications for Freedom Foods Group North America, San Diego. He’s joined by Foodscape Group Founder Dr. Rachel Cheatham, who will share the firm’s metatrends research involving gut health, clean label, plant-based foods and much more.