The complimentary education program features Gary Hirshberg, president and CE-Yo, Stonyfield Farm, Madison Mount, associate partner, IDEO, and Harry Balzer, vice president, The NPD Group, each focusing on the macro issues of sustainability, innovative thinking and future trends, respectively.
Hirshberg opens the education program with his session on sustainability. As head of the world's leading organic yogurt producer, with $320 million in annual sales, he's living proof that environmental commitment makes for a healthier planet and healthier bottom line. Drawing from his experience growing Stonyfield Farm from a seven-cow start-up, as well as the examples of like-minded companies, Hirshberg presents stunning evidence that business not only can save the planet, but is able to simultaneously deliver higher growth and superior profits as well.
Using a human-centered approach to innovation within the food and beverage industry means exploring functional connections between people and consumption. With examples from fieldwork and human-focused research, Mount discusses how IDEO has sought to understand the evolving issues of the day and use them to help companies grow strategically and develop new products.
A national expert commentator on food and diet trends, Balzer helps attendees look into the industry's future, make smarter business decisions and gain insight to address the ever-changing marketplace. This session also provides insight into actual consumption behavior and how it is changing. Balzer examines in-home and away-from-home food and beverage consumption, and addresses the impacts of health, nutrition, demographic shifts and economic factors on consumer behavior related to foods and beverages.
Following each session, a panel of industry experts puts the macro issue under a microscope for a segment-specific view. During each panel session, participants provide a brief (5-10 minute), industry-specific presentation, followed by a healthy dose of Q&A. Education sessions take place each show day from 8:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. All sessions are held in the Orange County Convention Center.