The Future of Food – How to talk to consumers?

21-22 May 2019. Chicago The Future of Food.

This two-day business conference identified the main areas of opportunity and innovation within the food and beverage industry. It assessed how business can react to consumer trends and expectations, whilst building sustainable, resilient agricultural supply chains.

Extract of the programme:

Consumers: How do we talk to consumers about choices using labels and packaging?
Are labels an efficient communication tool or do consumers simply glaze over when faced with multiple signs on their packaging?
How do we take packaging and labels beyond certification stamps?
Hear about successful programmes that communicate sustainability standards to consumers

  • DAVE STANGIS, Campbell Soup Company, Chief Sustainability Officer
  • ROBIN AVERBECK (see picture), Rainforest Action Network, Agribusiness Director
  • IAN LIFSHITZ, Asia Pulp and Paper, Vice President of Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations
Can brands and agri-business partner with advocacy groups more effectively on consumer education?
The everyday consumer cannot be expected to understand the intricate nuances of different sustainability issues. However, some issues (such as palm oil for example) have been over simplified and resulted in misguided consumers believing that these topics are black and white. It is important to give consumers enough information to make informed decisions.
Is it possible to have a more concerted effort between food businesses and advocacy groups to educate consumers? This debate discussed how it can be done and showcased a few examples.

  • BILL SHIREMAN, Future 500, President and CEO
  • ROBIN AVERBECK , Rainforest Action Network, Agribusiness Director
  • SHAWNA LEMKE (see picture), Bayer, Vice President of Food Safety, Health and Nutrition Stakeholder Affairs

Meat substitutes, organic options, clean eating: The consumer trends that will shape the future of food
In this closing session, leading food companies identified key trends and shifts that are likely to stick over the next ten years and explain what changes they will bring about within their business. 

There is a lot of momentum behind alternative protein sources such as cellular meat or plant-based alternatives. Will big meat producers turn to these avenues to keep their market share or is the answer simply to improve the sustainability of current animal production systems?
Clean and healthy eating is another consumer trend that big business will want to stay on top of. 

The panel evaluated how drastically business models will need to change to adapt to these demands.

  • UDI LAZIMY JUST Global Plant Sourcing and Sustainability Lead 
  • ROB MORASCO Sodexo Senior Director Culinary Development
  • NICK HALLA Impossible Foods Senior Vice President, International

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