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Sunday, September 29

12:00 – 4:00 pm
Monte Rosa



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Monday, September 30

7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monte Rosa


7:30 – 8:30 am

Breakfast Buffet, Exhibits

Sponsored by TreeTop

8:30 – 8:45 am
Vevey Ballroom

Opening Remarks
Mike Leonard, Strategic Leader and Publisher, Prepared Foods

8:45 – 9:45 am
Vevey Ballroom

OPENING KEYNOTE: Creating The Future of Conscious Business

Speaker: Eric Schnell, Founder, BeyondBrands and Co-Founder, Good Catch

BeyondBrands is a mission-driven “Conscious Consulting Agency” founded by a team of natural products industry veterans who believe a new generation of business values can serve as guideposts to thrive and prosper under. Led by Steaz Founder Eric Schnell, BeyondBrands applies its business and brand-building talent to emerging companies and new brands in five core verticals: Food, Beverage, Cannabis, Wellbeing and Nutraceuticals. It’s fast-growing business roster includes such up-and-coming names as Good Catch (vegan, plant-based seafoods), Mingle (alcohol free mocktails), Petal (organic botanical beverages), mood33 (cannabis-infused tonics) and KEYLEAF (plant-based ingredients). Come hear Schnell talk about his team’s mission as well as its activities across all five key, trending product platforms.

9:45 – 10:30 am
Vevey Ballroom

Innovation In Action: “The Hatchery Chicago” Helps New Food & Beverage Start-ups

Speaker: Natalie Shmulik, CEO, The Hatchery Chicago

Chicago already is home to many large, leading food and beverage companies. But did you know the city also is home to just as many start-ups and dedicated creative spaces—just for them! Come hear Natalie Shmulik, CEO for The Hatchery Chicago. This $34 million innovation incubator center—a non-profit business—opened in December 2018 as one of the nation’s largest food incubation spaces. The 67,000-sq-ft. facility has 56 private production-ready kitchens, a large shared kitchen, walk-in dry/cold/freezer storage, business planning services and a dynamic co-working space for meetings and events. Along with an M.L.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University, Shmulik has a wide range of experience working with supermarkets, culinary publications, consumer packaged goods companies, and food service establishments. Shmulik brings has a unique perspective on food incubators and she will share success stories—and more, from The Hatchery Chicago’s first nine months.

10:30 – 11:00 am
St. Gallen

Refreshment Break, Exhibits

Sponsored by Cargill

11:00 – 11:45 am
Vevey Ballroom

Actuator: How & Why To Entrepreneurially Incubate Disruptive Innovation

Speakers: Carolina Fryer, Managing Director, Mission Field
Alan Murray, CEO, GoodBelly/NextFoods
Katie Cleary, Director of Consumer Insights, Soup, Sauces, and Meals, Campbell Soup Company

Although large CPG companies have many tools in their innovation tool chest, they often leave opportunities behind when they don’t fit a perceived model of scale, channel and support. The “Actuator”, a new innovation model by Mission Field, Boulder, Colo., is meant to help change that scenario by quickly monetizing multiple disruptive ideas that show promise through creating entrepreneurial action and managing risk. Mission Field Partner Carolina Fryer (formerly WhiteWave) will share this entrepreneurial inspired alternative model to launch and prove out high value concepts in-market with real world learning. Come hear Fryer also flesh out real world innovation examples with Alan Murray, CEO of GoodBelly probiotic foods & beverages (Next Foods) and Katie Cleary, Director of Consumer Insights, Campbell Soup Company.

11:45 – 1:15 pm
Montreux Ballroom

Sensory Luncheon Experience
Curion has partnered with Prepared Foods and Chef Dan of the Swissotel to present you with an exclusive luncheon experience.

Sponsored by Curion

1:20 – 1:40 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Sensory Luncheon Insights
Keren Novack, Curion’s VP of Client Services - Midwest will present collective feedback from the luncheon. You won’t want to miss what your fellow diners and peers in innovation had to say.

1:45 – 2:45 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Upcycling Uncovered: From By-Product Waste to Ingredient Treasure

Up to 40% of food goes to waste in the United States. This simple yet shocking statistic that made headlines back in 2012 helped fuel a forward-thinking group of entrepreneurs who are today turning edible by-products that would otherwise go to waste into profitable food and beverage products that consumers love.

Dive into the world of upcycled ingredients with Philip Saneski, Vice President of Product at ReGrained; Chef Kang Kuan, Culinary Ninja at Tyson Innovation Lab; Caroline Cotto, Chief Operating Officer at Renewal Mill; and just added Rich Troyer, CEO, Comet Bio

ReGrained LLC ( uses spent beer brewing grains to create new snacks including snack bars. Tyson Innovation Lab, Chicago, uses upcycled chicken breast, upcycled beer grains and rescued vegetable purees to create its Yappah! protein crisps ( For its part, Renewal Mill ( Oakland, Calif., uses organic soybean pulp to create okara finished flours and bakery foods.

Come hear Saneski, Chef Kang and Cotto discuss this fast growing segment and supply chain with special guest Moderator Dr. Rachel Cheatham, founder of Foodscape Group.

Moderator: Rachel Cheatham, Ph.D, Founder & CEO, Foodscape Group LLC


Philip Saneski, Vice President-Product for ReGrained
Chef Kang Kuan, Culinary Ninja, Tyson Food Innovation Lab
Caroline Cotto, Chief Operating Officer, Renewal Mill
Rich Troyer, CEO, Comet Bio

2:45 – 3:30 pm
Vevey Ballroom

“Off-The-Shelf” Insights on Food & Beverage Innovation: A Natural Grocer’s Perspective

Speaker: Josh Resnik, CEO, The Wedge Community Co-Op

Minneapolis’ Twin Cities Co-Op Partners is one of the nation’s largest and most successful retail co-ops with two high-volume grocery stores and a warehouse all specializing in natural, organic and local products. However, many Twin Cities consumers may not even realize that Twin Cities Co-Op is more widely regarded for its work with small and emerging food and beverage brands. Leading that vision has been Twin Cities Co-Op CEO Josh Resnik, who previously led a small start-up (Wild Idea Buffalo) and also had more than 13 years of senior marketing experience for some of General Mills’ largest brands and businesses. Now Resnik leverages that passion for food and beverage innovation to help both manufacturer-suppliers and Twin Cities Co-Op partner members. Come listen as he shares insights product development and packaging insights (and more) … from both sides of the buying table.

3:30 – 4:00
St Gallen

Refreshment Break, Exhibits

4:00 – 4:45 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Plant-Based Foods From All Angles: Investment, Ingredients and Innovation

Moderator: Stephanie Lind, Founder, Elohi Strategic Advisors

Investment: Steve Sanger, Partner, Evolv Ventures
Ingredients: Ashley Zager, President & Managing Partner, Siddhi Shot Corp.
Innovation: Kerry Song, CEO, Abbot's Butcher

Plant-based food sales more than doubled from 2017 to 2018 to reach more than $3.3 billion (up 20% year over year) according to Nielsen retail sales data and a report from the Plant Based Foods Association. Without a doubt, this type of fast-paced growth bring opportunities for everyone involved—including entrepreneurs, big CPG companies, investors and ingredient suppliers. Elohi Strategic Advisors was founded to help emerging natural and sustainable food and beverage companies navigate the world of foodservice. Come hear Elohi Founder and Chairman Stephanie Lind lead a multi-dimensional panel discussion about where industry stakeholders can quickly identify and pursue new opportunities and technologies.

Sponsored by Edlong

4:45 – 5:15 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Spirit of Innovation Awards Ceremony

Join us in celebrating the industry-nominated, innovative product development teams that recently introduced a new product in foodservice and retail markets. Learn the story behind the winning products.

5:15 – 6:15 pm
Montreux Ballroom

Spirit of Innovation Celebration Reception

Sponsored by


Celebrate and toast the 2019 Spirit of Innovation Award winners. Taste some of the winning products and network with R&D teams before you head out for dinner.

Dinner on your own.



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Tuesday, October 1

7:30 am – 5:00 pm
Monte Rosa


7:30 – 8:30 am
St. Gallen

Breakfast Buffet, Exhibits

Join us for a natural, locally sourced, with no chemicals, preservatives, or additives, “clean” breakfast sponsored by InsightsNow.

Sponsored by insights now

8:30 – 9:30 am
Vevey Ballroom

KEYNOTE: Innovating with Purpose: Mars Food Embraces SEEDS of CHANGE™ Accelerator Mindset

Speaker: Dan Jackson, Vice President of Marketing at Mars Food North America

This spring, Mars introduced its SEEDS of CHANGE™ Accelerator to help early stage food-focused companies fast-track growth and live their purpose to build a healthier and more sustainable future. Named after the Mars Food organic seed and food brand, SEEDS OF CHANGE, the team selected six US and four Australian participants this summer that share the Mars food values of (1) World Flavors, (2) Plant-Based Eating, (3) Easy-Meal Solutions, (4) Responsible Food and (5) Creating with Care. Come hear Dan Jackson, discuss those values and other stories about how Mars Food views and executes innovation in a such a fast-paced and changing market, from product focused to brand campaigns and AI-driven experiences.

9:30 – 10:15 am
Vevey Ballroom

Green Wave: Cannabis Food & Beverage Product Innovation, Safety, Science

Speakers: Scott Mandell, President, Cannabistry Labs
Shehzad Hoosein, Executive Vice President, Cannabistry Labs

Trend spotters already consider cannabis edibles as a top 10 food trend and US and Canadian sales of these food and drink products are projected to reach $4.1 billion by 2022, according to a report from ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics. Prepared Foods New Products Conference is pleased to welcome Cannabistry Labs President Scott Mandell and Executive Vice President Shehzad Hoosein. Cannabistry Labs, Niles, Ill., is a third-party product development and scientific products consultant specializing in cannabinoid products and research. Mandell joined the company in 2017 after selling his own innovative company, Enjoy Life Foods, an allergen-free products pioneer, to Mondelez International. Hoosein joined Cannabistry Labs in 2015 after more than 15 years of leadership in product innovation at DIAGEO, the world’s leading premium spirits company. Mandell and Hoosein share insights and predictions about this dynamic and fast-growth market. Topics will include the latest trends in new food and beverage development as well as the critical issues of supporting food science, food safety and regulatory / labeling.

10:15 – 10:45 am
St. Gallen

Refreshment Break

Sponsored by Flavor Dynamics inc.

10:45 – 11:30 am
Vevey Ballroom

Sustainable: For Sales and the Planet

Presenters: Randi Kronthal-Sacco, Senior Scholar, Marketing and Corporate Outreach, NYU Center for Sustainable Business;
Larry Levin, Executive Vice President of Market & Shopper Intelligence, IRI
and just added, Kate Adams, Marketing Director, Black Forest & Fruit Snacks Portfolio, Ferrara Candy Co.

Consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, are committed to buying products that have been developed and promoted with a sustainable, eco-friendly positioning. According to research recently conducted by New York University’s Center for Sustainable Business and IRI, sustainably marketed products account for 16% of the CPG market but have driven half the market growth between 2013-2018. And the trajectory is only going to expand according to NYU’s data.

IRI’s EVP of Market & Shopper Intelligence Larry Levin, and Randi Kronthal-Sacco, Senior Scholar, Marketing and Corporate Outreach, NYU Center for Sustainable business will share the impact and importance of driving new sustainable products. The story will encompass a look at key IRI New Product Pacesetters that have thrived thanks to a sustainable positioning, and Randi Kronthal-Sacco will expand on the global importance of sustainability and highlight work NYU has been doing across myriad categories. This session promises a spirited conversation around areas of opportunity; products that are hitting the mark; and the cost of not listening to the voice of the shopper.

Key takeaways: • The current and future value of sustainably marketed products • Categories that lag in sustainability and breakthrough sustainability messages • Steps to take to up your sustainability game • sustainability messages • Steps to take to up your sustainability game

11:30 – 1:00 pm
Montreux Ballroom


Sponsored by California Walnuts

1:00 – 1:45 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Meet Gen Z: An Introduction to the Next Most Influential Cohort

Speaker: Maeve Webster, President, Menu Matters

Maeve Webster, founder of Menu Matters, will discuss 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.). Hear from Gen Z consumers as they 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.

1:45 – 2:30 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Where Consumer Insight Meets New Product and Packaging Innovation

Speaker: R. Andrew Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Science, Clemson University

Perhaps you can’t read a consumer’s mind—but what if a consumer’s facial expressions told you everything you need to know about a new product and its packaging? Meet Dr. Andrew Hurley, Associate Professor of Packaging Science at Clemson University. His research program uses biometric sensors to understand how design impacts human behavior. And that’s just one topic as Dr. Hurley and Clemson’s research lab address a wide range of complex questions involving product marketing and packaging. His experienced group has tested thousands of packages for hundreds of brands. Hurley’s efforts have resulted in multiple awards, patents, and increased sales by 40% for small and large businesses. The success of his lab catalyzed the formation of Package InSight, a full service package design and testing company in Greenville, S.C. Come hear Dr. Hurley share some of the latest developments and new product and packaging design and the lab’s use biometric sensors to understand consumers’ first impressions.

2:30 – 3:00 pm
St Gallen

Refreshment Break, Exhibits

3:00 – 3:45 pm
Vevey Ballroom

Facilitating Innovation! Sneak Peek at Tomorrow’s R&D Center!

Speakers: Roselia Harris, Senior Interior Designer and Bryon Sutherly, Senior Project Architect and Leader of Workplace Strategies, Hixson Architecture, Engineering & Interiors

Ready to see the future of new product development? The innovation center of tomorrow promises to look nothing like the sterile industrial offices and labs from decades ago! Today’s multi-disciplinary teams of professionals—including consumer insights, packaging, R&D, chefs and operating engineers—now must quickly and easily collaborate in spaces expressly designed to enhance their work. Moreover, these new facilities will come equipped with tools and technologies to support ideation, speed and precision. One expert with broad industry experience—across a host food and beverage applications—is Cincinnati’s Hixson Architecture, Engineering & Interiors. Come get a glimpse of the very best in new food and beverage innovation center designs from Hixson’s Roselia Harris, Senior Interior Designer; and Bryon Sutherly, Senior Project Architect and Leader of Workplace Strategies.

3:45 – 4:30 pm
Vevey Ballroom

How Well Do You Know The Mainstream Consumer?

Speakers: Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago, Directors, Innovation & Insight, Mintel

Regardless of your company's size, it's essential that you understand who mainstream consumers are, how they behave now, and how they will behave in the future. By "mainstream consumer,” Mintel, a world leader in data and consumer insights, isn’t just referring to a 25-44 year-old mother as the primary grocery shopper. Come hear Mintel Directors of Innovation Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago talk about who these consumers are, what motivates them, and how to appeal to them. In this interactive session, Mintel will test your knowledge of mainstream consumers and discuss products that succeed—and fail—with this key demographic group.

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Dinner on your own.

6:00 – 9:00 pm

STREET Dive Chicago
Join marketing and culinary experts of the brand marketing agency, SRG, for an off-the-grid culinary voyage into the burgeoning Chicago food scene. SRG’s proprietary STREET Dive 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.

Sponsored by Tastepoint



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Workshop Wednesday, October 2

Enhanced Learning Workshops
Explore Prepared Foods through hands-on experiences in a smaller, personable setting. The workshops are located in Geneva, allowing attendees the opportunity to immediately apply learned lessons in a comfortable venue. You can participate in discussions and industry experiences, ask questions, and receive instantaneous feedback. Sign up today as space is limited.

7:30 – 8:30 am

Breakfast Buffet

Sponsored by Mane, Inc.

8:30 – 9:30 am

SRG Street Dive – Now Live! Learn How To Create "Crave-Able" New Products!

Speakers: Amy Shipley, Managing Director/Partner and Taylor Cunningham, Strategist, Innovator & Insights, Sterling-Rice Group

After a night out in Chicago to see, taste and touch new ideas and products —come back Wednesday morning for a how-to session to transform those insights into action points. SRG Craveology is a new-to-world model that challenges conventional thinking on “cravings.” This session will take the previous evening’s “Street Dive” experiences and look deeper at the subconscious cultural forces that ignite consumer desires. Developed by psychologists, neurologists, anthropologists, and consumers from around the world, SRG Craveology and the Street Dive will explore the science and “sizzle” of the foods and experiences we crave the most.

9:30 –10:30 am

Design Thinking: Think, Act & Innovate Like a "Challenger" Brand

Speaker: Tom Newmaster, Principal and Owner, FORCEpkg.

New product development routinely connects consumer insights with ingredients. But what if you could dramatically increase new product appeal with a third dimension: design thinking. Come join FORCE pkg Founder Tom Newmaster for a fun, roll-up-your sleeves workshop that will challenge attendees to think outside the box while they combine product ideation and development with package design. Winner of more than 45 design awards, Newmaster has decades of food and beverage experience and has worked with many emerging and “challenger” brands rising up to compete in different markets. The FORCE crew has strategic and tactical design experience across numerous categories, including automotive, breakfast cereal, cheese, confectionery, fresh produce, frozen food, hardware, household cleaning, housewares, ice cream, nutritional supplements, meat, outdoor, OTC and snacks.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Experience The Science of Sensory & Texture: "Mouth Behavior" Impacts Consumer Choice and Needs

Speaker: Jennifer Vahalik, CEO, U&I Collaboration LLC

U&I Collaboration, a consumer insights specialist, has researched the previously unrevealed, unexpressed need that drives food texture preferences: mouth behavior. The truth is that individuals have a preferred way to CHEW most foods and it is not the same experience in their mouths (mouth behavior) and this BEHAVIOR influences the foods and food textures they will prefer and claim that they like better for FLAVOR! Come for an experiential interactive session with U&I Collaboration CEO Jennifer Vahalik as she leads attendees in workshop about how consumers experience as many as four distinct mouth behaviors. You will have a chance to see how Mouth Behavior can be measured qualitatively and then scaled up to quantitate these findings online, followed by an approach to analysis and implications for product design. This is one of the futures for differentiated product creation and should be incorporated in all forward thinking food research programs.

12:00 pm

Conference adjourns



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