Monday, April 19

3:00 – 3:45 pm EST
A Look at Consumer Eating Behaviors in the U.S.
Speaker: David Portalatin, Senior VP, Food Industry Analyst, NPD Group

U.S. consumers’ lives have been upended over the past year. Uncertainty abounds. Patterns and habits of all kinds have been disrupted … and that includes many aspects of how people eat. Established and emerging behaviors have accelerated, and at the same time, some new patterns have developed.  This session will explore the current state and future outlook of food and beverage consumer behavior in the U.S.

4:00 – 4:45 pm EST
How Post Covid-19 Consumer Buying Behaviors Impact Retailers and CPG
Speaker: Colin Stewart, EVP, Business Intelligence, Acosta Sales & Marketing

Covid-19 was an unexpected event driving both change and opportunity for retailers and CPG manufacturers.   Shoppers have been forced into new routines and several trends that were in motion have been accelerated. Food at home has increased creating new opportunities across many categories, including frozen and refrigerated foods. eCommerce and digital trends have accelerated by 3-5 years creating both challenges and opportunities for retailers. The fundamentals of assortment, price and promotion have been impacted. This session will provide the latest shopper centric research and the implications that create new opportunities for growth in a post Covid-19 world.

Tuesday, April 20

10:00 – 10:45 am EST
What To Expect In 2021 & Beyond: Overview of Key Food Retail Themes & Forecasts
Speaker: Rusty Wilson, CFA, Senior Research Analyst, Partner, Cleveland Research Company

Join us for an overview of the food retail landscape including factors influencing consumer spend, what’s driving share gains/losses at key retailers (Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Target, Amazon, etc.) and the near-term outlook.  This session will walk through Cleveland Research’s proprietary consumer surveys, supplier benchmarks and takeaways from industry conversations which will glean some valuable insights you can take back to your organization. 

11:15 am – 12:00 pm EST
Frozen in Time: The COVID-Borne Consumer Trends that are Here to Stay

Speaker: John Dick, Founder & CEO, CivicScience

With hopes of herd immunity springing eternal as vaccines roll out, it’s easy to daydream about a return to normal in the months ahead. And while social distancing and mask-wearing will eventually subside, many of the underlying trends that emerged during the pandemic may be here for the long run. Macroeconomic forces, political tribalism, and changing American values will permanently impact the way we shop, the way we eat, the way we work, and everything in between. We will be joined for this discussion by John Dick, founder and CEO of market intelligence company, CivicScience. John will share never-before-seen data and insights into the future of American consumerism, with a particular focus on the food service industry and our category in particular. He’ll explore how consumers may shift their spending in the months ahead, viewed through the dual lenses of those who’ve lost and gained the most financially during the pandemic. Expect a stimulating and interactive discussion.

1:30 – 2:15 pm EST
Retailer Keynote
Speaker: Rebecca Lupfer, Vice President Center Store Merchandising, The Giant Company 

2:30 – 3:15 pm EST
Stocking the Fridge and Freezer in a Digital World
Speaker: Seth Dallaire, Chief Revenue Officer, Instacart

A new normal for millions of people has changed the way we shop for groceries and goods. An accelerated timeline made last mile solutions for the frozen and refrigerated categories critical. Instacart’s CRO Seth Dallaire provides an update on the platform’s success and shares key trends across the space. Plus, Seth gives best practices all manufacturers can employ to win market share. Don’t miss the opportunity for Q&A on a topic important to online sales of the frozen and refrigerated categories.

Wednesday, April 21

10:00 – 11:00 am EST
Driving Innovation: Food and Flavor Trends You Should be Paying Attention To
Speaker: Kyle Chamberlin, Senior Account Manager, Datassential

Datassential is the food industry’s leading knowledge agency, providing a data-centric approach to understanding flavor trends, consumer behavior and more. We know that we’re all tired of talking about the challenges 2020 posed, and it’s time to turn toward the future. This session will focus on the vanguard of food and flavor trends that will be driving retail and foodservice innovation in 2021 and beyond, and how the industry can better meet the needs of consumers in the wake of a global pandemic. We’ll cover topics as disparate as ghost kitchens (AKA virtual brands), chefs on Tik Tok, and magic mushrooms in the kitchen. 

11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST
Roundtable: What Happens When the Pandemic-Era Market Defrosts?  
Speaker: Kevin Coupe, Content Guy / Prime Storyteller, Morning News Beat

Amy Bosek, Area Vice President, Kraft Heinz Company

Rebecca Lupfer, Vice President, Center Store Merchandising, The Giant Company
Angela Rosenquist, Vice President, Sales, InnovAsian Cuisine Enterprises

We don’t know when or how the pandemic will recede. But retailers and suppliers can control what they will look like whenever that happens, if they pay attention to the data, focus on what their customers need and want, and keep innovating in a way that keeps them both relevant and resonant to shoppers. MorningNewsBeat’s Kevin Coupe offers some thoughts about how businesses need to be thinking, and then leads a conversation that digs deeper into the unique circumstances that the industry will face going forward.