2020 Virtual Program

All times listed are Eastern Time.

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Keynote: Making a Delicious Life Possible: Inspiring R&D Through Consumer Obsession

Amanda Young, VP-R&D, US Zone, Kraft-Heinz

Listen in as Amanda Young, VP-R&D, US Zone, Kraft-Heinz, talks about leading one of the nation’s largest innovation teams in the midst of a challenging marketplace and ever-evolving consumer. “At Kraft Heinz, our purpose is clear,” she says. “We help feed the world, providing families with products they know, love and trust…and we do it deliciously. We are in the midst of reshaping our company and our business for the future by placing consumers at the center of everything we do. R&D plays an integral role in bringing this purpose to life.”

Featured Session Sponsored By

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Generation Next! Planterra Foods Introduces Plant-Based Meat 2.0

Bryan Clardy, Head of R&D, Planterra Foods (JBS USA)

Admittedly, JBS USA, wasn’t one of the first companies active in the meat alternatives space—yet this Greeley, Colo., meat and poultry giant (one of the nation’s largest) is on pace to disrupt the category! JBS formed Planterra Foods in Boulder County and invested years of research in food science, consumer insights and packaging in support of OZO™, a new line that debuted just this past April. Powered by an exclusive proprietary blend of pea and rice protein fermented by shiitake mushrooms, all new OZO products are an excellent source of protein (with up to 22g per serving) and contain no cholesterol and less calories, fat and saturated fat than 80% lean ground beef, as well as leading plant-based protein brands currently in the market. Listen in as Bryan Clardy, Planterra Foods Head of R&D, discusses the market, consumer insights and science and sizzle behind OZO plant-based proteins.

Sponsored By

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Innovation up Close: Beverage Sugar Reduction & Strategies & Solutions For Beverages

Andy Dratt, Chief Commercial Officer, Imbibe
Wesley Boas, Head of Consumer Products - Global Strategy, Innovation & Marketing at WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

Finding the sweet spot for taste, texture and nutritional profile is a challenge for beverages, because consumer sentiments change often and quickly about desired product attributes. Necessity is the mother of invention, and because a swell of consumers are looking to food and beverage to help them feel better and achieve other wellness goals, the current matriarch is demanding alternatives to the often demonized sugar.

Beverage scientists at Imbibe, a boutique beverage development firm, are constantly tasked with designing bespoke sweetener systems for their customers – beverage brands of all sizes. Chief Commercial Officer Andy Dratt will highlight the versatile role of sugar in beverages, alternative sweeteners as solutions, and some of the more novel technology developers are using to achieve the optimal sweetness profile. Following a brief presentation, he will shine the spotlight on Wesley Boas, Head of Consumer Products - Global Strategy, Innovation & Marketing at WW (formerly Weight Watchers) who will field questions about consumer perception, purchase intent and palatability of sugar-free (or nearly sugarless) food and beverage products. Tune in for some insider tips and strategies designed to sweeten the bottom line.

Featured Session Sponsored By

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

Packaging Design Thinking for a New Customer

Lisa Einat Day, Global Brand Design and Innovation, Founder of Day Consulting

The (old) human race as we know it is becoming extinct. As we look to create or maintain the brands of tomorrow, we must bridge the past and the future into the present—by designing for the new human species! Day Consulting Founder Lisa Day has spent the last 20 years showing that good design also can mean good business. Lisa helped bring and shape Design Leadership to the Kellogg’s Company and her resume also includes top global positions within Procter and Gamble, International Paper and Shiseido. Hear her share a new way to look at consumers as well as examples of best-in-class brands that are doing it right. Day outlines a few principles that can help you—whether you are looking to reshape an iconic brand while maintaining its brand heritage; or if you are looking to develop a new brand altogether.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Agile Innovation: How Del Monte Kickstarted Innovation Success

Mario DiFalco, Vice President, Innovation & Insights, Del Monte Foods

How can a company revitalize its innovation program—from consumer insights all the way through R&D and packaging? In the past three years, Del Monte Foods has tripled its number of innovation initiatives. And in 2019 alone it launched 31 products launched and earned three Product of the Year awards! Mario DiFalco, Del Monte’s, Vice President, Innovation & Insights will share Del Monte’s shift to a more fast-paced, agile and people-first process of creating prototypes and soliciting early consumer and customer feedback.

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Keynote: Ocean Spray: Making the Cranberry a Rock Star, Taking Innovation to the " Third Dimension"

Rizal Hamdallah, Chief Global Innovation Officer, Ocean Spray Cranberries

The old saying is that when life gives you lemons—you make lemonade. Yet here’s a case where a world leading cooperative, Ocean Spray Cranberries, is seemingly now making everything—from just a single berry. In mid-2019, Ocean Spray hired 18-year CPG innovation and marketing veteran Rizal Hamdallah as Chief Global Innovation Officer. Come hear Hamdallah talk about changing the “innovational” culture at Ocean Spray with three new directions. They include (1) revamping organic new product development, (2) creating new in-house innovation platforms (a Lighthouse innovation incubator and Cranberry Chef Collective); and (3) establishing new external, best-in-class partnerships with firms such as Plug and Play, an innovation accelerator in Sunnyvale, Calif. In just a year, Ocean Spray has extended its line of unsweetened “pure fruit” juices, introduced Ocean Spray Brew (with cold brew coffee) and even branched into better-for-you beverages. Its Lighthouse group launched Atoka, a complete line of oatmilks, tea tonics, and herbal shots offered in different herbal blends.

11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

BlueNalu Makes Waves, Leads Cell-Based Technology for Tomorrow's Seafood

Lou Cooperhouse, President & CEO, BlueNalu

With demand for seafood at an all-time high and supply in an increasingly vulnerable state, a group of food innovators and culinary leaders joined forces with tech experts to create BlueNalu Inc., the global leader in cell-based seafood, that produces seafood directly from fish cells. Since its launch in 2018, BlueNalu’s mission has been to provide great tasting, healthy, safe, and trusted seafood products that are sustainable, and support ocean health and global food security. In December 2019, BlueNalu passed it’s first big test, the successful culinary showcase of whole-muscle portions of yellowtail amberjack prepared in three different cooking applications: deep-fried in fish tacos, raw in a poke bowl, and acidified in kimchi. BlueNalu has successfully raised $24.5 million to date, with investors that originate from 11 nations, demonstrating the global interest in the company. Come hear BlueNalu President & CEO Lou Cooperhouse talk about this emerging technology, consumer insights, production plans and BlueNalu’s exciting goals for 2021 and beyond.

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Power of Verified Buyers

Leslie Na, Director of Business Development, Ibotta Insights
Travis Spaeth, Sr. Director- Strategy & Analytics, Birch Benders

Historically, research has recruited respondents based on what they claim to be true. But relying on people’s memory and integrity—both of which can be faulty—causes enormous discrepancies in data. A 13-year CPG products veteran, Leslie Na has experienced these challenges the hard way across leading brands within White Wave Foods and Procter & Gamble. Now, as a Director at Ibotta Insights, Leslie unveils a higher standard and discusses how verified buyers and purchase data can change the game for start-ups and larger corporations alike. Listen in as she also discusses consumer insights as applied to Birch Benders, a Denver, Colo., manufacturer of pancake and waffle mixes, toaster waffles and microwave cup entrees. Na talks strategy and solutions Travis Spaeth, Birch Benders Senior Director of Strategy & Analytics.

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Connecting the Dots of Innovation from Farm to Fork: Regenerative Agriculture Panel

Moderator:Barb Stuckey, President & Chief Innovation Officer, Mattson
Panelists: Birgit Cameron, Head of Patagonia Provisions, Colby Darling,Senior R&D Scientist, Annie’s / General Mills, Dag Falck, Organic Program Lead, Nature’s Path

Growing numbers of “conscious” consumers are expanding the concept of clean label to a wider ideal of clean product. For starters, this not only impacts a product’s ingredients but its packaging as well. Active consumers—particularly those passionate about natural and organic products—want to know even more about manufacturers sustainability and environmental practices.
Prepared Foods’ 2019 New Products Conference in Chicago examined manufacturers’ growing use of “upcycled” ingredients—food inputs that previously would have been lost to food waste. This year, we look at how manufacturers work proactively and directly with their ingredient supplier farmers to promote “regenerative agriculture.” Regenerative Agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.
Listen in to an exclusive regenerative agriculture panel moderated by Barb Stuckey, President & Chief Innovation Officer at Mattson. Stuckey and experts from three leading manufacturers will discuss related consumer insights, how regenerative agriculture benefits farmers and the nation’s ingredient supply, and how the broader trend factors to into everything new product development, ingredient purchasing and even front-of-pack package marketing.

Sponsored By

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 3:45 PM

Innovating in a Time of Crisis

Lynn Dornblaser, and David Jago, Directors of Innovation Insight, Mintel

Product pipelines don't disappear, marketing efforts don't stop, and the bottom line is still the bottom line. Consumer needs may have changed (or, have they?), and now is the time for disruptive innovation. Mintel Directors of Innovation Insight Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago look back at what we learned from the last recession, discuss the unique dynamics of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic—and focus on where to go now with product innovation. Mintel looks at which categories will continue to be hot—and why—while other sectors may fade. Dornblaser and Jaso also make a few educated guesses on areas to explore that you may not have thought about yet.


11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Next Generation of Brand + Innovation: SRG Presents Abstract Invention

Amy Shipley, Adam Max, and JC Longbottom, Managing Director + Partners, SRG

Join the Strategy and Innovation team at Boulder-based SRG, to learn more about the Abstract Invention, a new, proprietary approach that blurs the line between product innovation, strategy, advertising and brand marketing to create fresh, asymmetrical, impactful ideas and programs.

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Workshop: Give'Em What they Want! Match Consumer Perceptions-with New Functional Foods & Drinks

Ed Collins, Associate Director, Product and Process Development, The National Food Lab
Natasha Dsouza, Associate Director of Consumer and Sensory –Client Services, The National Food Lab

Thinking about adding a new “functional” better-for-you benefit to your food or beverage? Considering what ingredients to use and what better-for-you benefits are best? If so—you’re not alone. Every day, more small and large companies alike are looking at the functionality of foods and their ability to impact human health. Come listen and learn from this hands-on workshop from National Food Lab experts Ed Collins, Director, Product and Process Development; and Natasha Dsouza, Associate Director of Consumer and Sensory–Client Services. Collins and Souza use this hands-on discussion to address growing health interests, such as relaxation, gut health, etc.; as well as on-trend ingredients including plant proteins, adaptogens and other inputs.

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Workshop: Innovation Master Class: How to Improve Innovation Pipeline & Connect with Consumers

Galit Feinreich, Principal, Little Wave Company

Innovation master Galit Feinreich shares best practices gleaned throughout her decades-long career leading white space innovation and launching new products and platforms as former Chief Marketing Officer for Readypac Foods; and as a consultant to CPG clients including Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company. In this informative and fun workshop, Galit will share tangible tactics that Marketing and R&D leaders can adopt NOW, to break through the many obstacles in the innovation path and take your innovation organization's performance to the next level. As principal for her own consulting practice, Little Wave Co., Feinreich now helps other food and beverage companies jumpstart innovation pipelines, revamp lagging product lines and translate data and insights into marketing initiatives that drive results. Be prepared to listen and learn!

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