In this month’s issue, you’ll find our annual feature on food and beverage products and trends for younger consumers. 

Last year, the focus was on teens. This year, our inestimable experts, Dr. Keith-Thomas Ayoob (clinical professor emeritus of the Department of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYC) and Jill Litwin (founder and CEO of Peas of Mind LLC, award-winning makers of foods for little ones) swing their attention to the other side of the playground and take a look at babies and infants, the 0-2 age group, in “Building Better Babies.”

You see, the upcoming 2020 USDA will be adding that age group to its nutrition recommendations in its Dietary Guidelines. This is a tough demographic for product developers; focus group sessions can often break down into a tearful cacophony and processors get caught between a rock and a hard place. 

The challenge is on product developers to create foods and beverages for a highly fickle—albeit brutally honest—consumer who cannot tell you much beyond “Mmm!” and “P’tui!” But make no mistake, it is worth it.


Elijah "Ziggy" Feder

I used to go to a synagogue that was blessed with a lot of little ones. And being small, excitable, and new, they did tend to run amok. I noticed how the rabbi was never flustered or bothered by little kids making noise and constantly moving. One day, I got up the nerve to ask him, “Doesn’t it just drive you crazy?” He looked at me with a big grin and asked, “Are you kidding? Do you know what’s the first thing that goes through my mind when I hear noisy children?” I shook my head, No. “Job security!” he said, repeating in a dramatic stage whisper, “Job security!”

So, to the food and beverage developers who are faced with the challenge of creating products for little kids: do it with care, do it right, and realize that winning consumers from an early age can readily translate into job security.

On a side note, the “Building Better Babies” feature carries special meaning for me personally. A few months ago, my wife and I had a baby boy. When it comes time to feed him solids, all I can say to the makers of foods for infants and toddlers is, Watch out! We’re keeping an eye on you.

Developing New Products for E-Commerce on Tap at NPC in Minneapolis

September 30 – October 3, 2018 – Make Plans to Attend Now!

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 new “Drinkfinity” flavor pods. 

What’s next for this market in 2019 and what do leading CPC innovation leaders and small industry disruptors need to know? Come hear New Products Conference speaker Manu Sareen, Managing Partner, Marketplace Explained; and Amazon’s former General Manager for Private Brands (2013-2017). 

Sareen built and managed two start-up businesses, grew Amazon Basics to be one of the company’s biggest and most profitable brands, and managed Amazon’s food and beverage private brands division (Wickedly Prime, Amazon Fresh, Happy Belly brands). Sareen has more than 20 years of experience in building and running multi-billion dollar retail businesses. Prior to joining Amazon, he held senior merchandising posts at Best Buy and Radio Shack.  

This is a “must-hear” session for food and beverage company vice presidents of Innovation, Sales & Distribution, R&D, Packaging, Marketing and Operations!

Learn more at


Originally appeared in the April, 2018 issue of Prepared Foods as Job Security.