The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) welcomed more than 245 companies that conducted nearly 3000 business meetings during our virtual AFFI-CON 2021. While business meetings with familiar and new companies remained a focus, this year’s schedule also included enhanced education to provide industry insights to help frozen food companies navigate the new normal.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Keynote speaker Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity for The Walt Disney Company, kicked off AFFI-CON by sharing real world stories and lessons learned from his more than 25-year career in leadership roles at Disney that inspired attendees to think differently about frozen food innovation.
- Industry Spotlight: The Power of Frozen in Retail – Frozen foods have been a pandemic powerhouse ringing in $65.1 billion in retail sales in 2020, a 21% increase compared to a year ago. The session included a panel discussion with Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics and Sally Lyons Wyatt of IRI about the drivers of that growth and how it can be sustained with a focus on the consumer preferences revealed in the research report. For more information and to access the report visit https://affi.org/insights/.
- Trends in Foodservice – Datassential’s Jack Li shared what has been happening to restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic and how trends will change as a result. Li discussed the latest food trends including health, the role of personal values and global inspiration and what that means for the broader food landscape.
I was particularly pleased by the participation in our Executive Leadership Program with Cornell University. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Cornell to bring our members even more executive leadership opportunities year-round.
A virtual AFFI-CON provided some distinct advantages and we’re already discussing ways we can incorporate elements of a virtual AFFI-CON with an in-person event. AFFI-CON 2022 is scheduled for February 19-22, 2022, in Dallas.