7:30am - 8:30am


8:30am - 8:45am
Opening Remarks
Mike Leonard, Strategic Leader and Publisher, Prepared Foods

8:45am - 9:45am

Keynote: Go Team! Kraft-Heinz Revitalizes Insights + Innovation

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

9:45am - 10:30am

Expanding The World of Plant-Based Milk Options, Beverage Innovations

Jeff Richards, Founder, Mooala

It was four years ago when Jeff Richards left the world of merchant banking to make a splash in beverage innovation. Seeing double-digit growth in plant-based milks, he left a vice president’s role at BNP Paribas to found Mooala, now a Dallas producer and distributor of premium, organic, dairy-free beverages to more than 2,000 retail stores nationwide. Come hear Richards talk about using new products to carve out a unique niche in the dairy-free beverage market. Not only does Mooala offer almond milks and oat milks, but also its own distinct line of banana-based milks, the industry's first organic, nut-free, dairy-free, and soy-free offering. Richards is also an advisor to Magic Mind, a functional drink company in San Francisco, and serves on the board of The Great American Turkey Company.

10:30am - 11:00am

Refreshment Break / Exhibits

11:00am - 11:45am

To Be Announced

12:00pm - 1:30pm


1:30pm - 2:45pm

Sugar Reduction & Sweetening Solutions For Beverages

Andy Dratt, Chief Commercial Officer, Imbibe

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 role of sugar in beverages, alternative sweeteners, and some of the more novel technology developers are using to achieve the optimal sweetness profile. Joining Imbibe will be a beverage brand owner to share another perspective and solutions to ensure a sweet future.

2:45pm - 3:15pm

Refreshment Break / Exhibits

3:15pm - 4:00pm

Packaging: Designing for the New Human Species

Lisa Day, Founder, Day Consulting LLC

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. Come 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.

4:10pm - 4:45pm

Prepared Foods’ 18th Annual Spirit Of Innovation Awards

Prepared Foods profiles innovative new products—and R&D team members behind them. Six industry awards include:

  • Editor’s Choice: Most Innovative
  • Best New Retail Food
  • Best New Retail Beverage
  • New Foodservice Front of House (food or beverage addressing consumer trends)
  • New Foodservice Back of House (food or beverage addressing operator needs)
  • New Alternative Channel / C-Store Food or Beverage

4:45pm - 6:00pm

Spirit of Innovation Awards Tasting Reception

Come try and taste SOI award winners; talk to winning R&D team members!


Dinner on your own

7:30am - 8:30am


8:30am - 9:30am

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.

9:30am - 10:15am

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.

10:15am - -10:45am

Refreshment Break / Exhibits

10:45am - -11:30am

Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Power of Verified Buyers

Leslie Na, Director of Business Development, Ibotta Insights

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.

11:30am - 1:00pm


1:00pm - 1:45pm

Farm To Fork: Connecting R&D To Regnerative Agriculture And More!

Proposed: Conscious consumers want to know more about the farm-to-fork connection involving everything from ingredients to finished products. Learn how leading manufacturers now connect the dots between new product development and ingredient purchasing.

1:45pm - 2:30pm

Agile Innovation: How Del Monte Kickstarted Innovation Success

Mario DiFalco, Senior Director of Innovation & New Ventures, 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 senior director of Innovation & New Ventures 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.

2:30pm - 3:00pm

Refreshment Break / Exhibits

3:45pm - 4:30pm

Innovating in a Time of Crisis

Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago, Directors of Innnovation 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.


Dinner on your own

6:00pm - 8:30pm

Sterling Rice Group’s Dallas “Streetdive” / Taste The Trends Event

Join us for an exclusive, curated preview of tomorrow’s foods, flavors, tastes and textures—as showcased by Dallas trendsetting retailers and restaurant operators

Sponsored by Tastepoint
7:30am - 8:30am


8:30am - 9:15am


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. We’ll be talking insights from the Tuesday night StreetDive and sharing how those insights would be leveraged in this revolutionary new approach. Sponsored by Tastepoint

9:15am - 10:00am

Listen, Learn + Leverage These Ideas! Wednesday Workshop
Innovation Master Class! Proven Strategies to Boost Success at your Company

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!

10:00am - 10:45am

Listen, Learn + Leverage These Ideas! Wednesday Workshop
Add Better-For-You Functional Benefits to New Foods, Beverages

Want to increase value and consumer appeal with added probiotics or immunity support? Ready to enter the world of foods and drinks with added functional benefits? Don’t miss this guided workshop about consumers’ top trending health interests—and how to source and formulate the right ingredients in new foods or beverages.


Conference Adjourns

Knowledge Partner



Platinum Sponsors



Gold Sponsors

california walnuts cpkelco Tree Top


Silver Sponsors

comax FDI roxlor